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May 2, 2016

/ 2:45 p.m. CT (1945 GMT)

'All-Night at the Museum'

: The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its flagship building on July 1. An evening ceremony and an "All Night at the Museum" celebration will commemorate the date and reopen the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. For the first time, the museum will stay open throughout the night with music, tours and activities.

May 5, 2016

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)

National Astronaut Day

: National Astronaut Day launched on Thursday (May 5) as a new annual holiday to share the experiences and stories of the United States' space explorers. Timed to coincide with the anniversary of the first American spaceflight by Alan Shepard on May 5, 1961, the day celebrates all of the astronauts who have launched over the past 55 years. As part of the inaugural celebration, Uniphi Space Agency has partnered with Fisher Space Pen to introduce a line of astronaut autographed space pens.

May 5, 2016

/ 4:25 p.m. CT (2125 GMT)

'Human computer' honored

: The Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, was dedicated Thursday (May 5) for the "computer" who calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard to become the first American in space 55 years ago. Johnson, now 97, was part of a pool of African-American women whose mathematics work guided NASA's early spaceflight successes through the moon landings.

May 6, 2016

/ 1:00 p.m. CT (1800 GMT)

'Huge hunk' of Skylab history

: A large part of an oxygen tank that fell back to Earth with the Skylab orbital workshop in July 1979 has now landed at auction. Billed as the largest documented piece of the United States' first space station in private hands, the artifact is being offered as a part of Regency-Superior's May 12 space memorabilia sale. The massive fragment will open for bids at $30,000.

May 9, 2016

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)

A coin for Christa

: New legislation calls for the United States Treasury to mint one dollar coins to recognize the 30 year anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger tragedy and to honor the teacher who was lost with its crew. The "Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act" provides that the sale of the coins benefit FIRST robotics programs, continuing McAuliffe's mission to inspire and engage young people in science, technology, engineering and math.

May 11, 2016

/ 1:45 a.m. CT (0645 GMT)

Three million and counting

: During the first 12 years that crews lived on the International Space Station, one million photographs were captured and sent down to Earth. It took only four more years to take two million more. On April 30, the six Expedition 47 crew members posed for the three millionth photo captured aboard the orbiting outpost.

May 12, 2016

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)

Starliner takes shape

: Boeing engineers on May 2 brought together the upper and lower domes for the first "full-blown" Starliner crew capsule inside a former space shuttle hangar at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mating formed the structural test article that Boeing will use to prove the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is safe to fly astronauts to the space station beginning in early 2018.

May 14, 2016

/ 9:05 a.m. CT (1405 GMT)

ET to the rescue

: The crew of the Maximus, a fishing boat that sank off the coast of Baja California Thursday (May 12), are now safely on their way back to land thanks to a space shuttle external tank bound for Los Angeles. The tugboat transporting ET-94, the last remaining built-for-flight external tank, for the California Science Center was in the vicinity and able to rescue the four-person crew.

May 16, 2016

/ 10:20 a.m. CT (1520 GMT)

Astronaut Hall of Fame

: Veteran astronauts Brian Duffy and Scott Parazynski joined the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Saturday (May 14) during a public ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. An Air Force pilot, Duffy commanded two of his four flights on the space shuttle, including the program's 100th mission. A medical doctor and mountain climber, Parazynski helped to install the Canadarm2 and repair a torn solar array outside the International Space Station. The two comprise the 15th class of space shuttle astronauts to be added to the Hall.

May 18, 2016

/ 10:35 a.m. CT (1535 GMT)

ET-94 makes L.A. landfall

: Five weeks after it left New Orleans, NASA's last existing built for launch space shuttle external tank arrived in Marina del Rey Wednesday morning (May 18). The orange-brown tank, off-loaded from the barge that transported it from New Orleans and through the Panama Canal, will depart midnight Saturday on a 15.5 mile road trip to the California Science Center, where it is to go on display with the space shuttle Endeavour in 2019.

May 19, 2016

/ 12:50 p.m. CT (1750 GMT)

Kelly Elementary

: Four decades after Mark and Scott Kelly graduated from Pleasantdale Elementary School, the twin astronauts were honored Thursday (May 19) with the school's renaming. Kelly Elementary in West Orange, New Jersey celebrates the two astronauts' NASA careers, which included helping to assemble the International Space Station, serving on board the orbiting outpost, commanding the space shuttle and upgrading the Hubble Telescope.

May 21, 2016

/ 11:35 p.m. CT (0435 GMT May 22)

ET-94 arrives home

: A NASA space shuttle external tank navigated the streets of L.A. on Saturday (May 21) to arrive at the California Science Center for a vertical display with the orbiter Endeavour. External Tank 94 (ET-94), NASA's final existing example of its type, departed Marina del Rey just after midnight and pulled up to its new home at the Science Center about 19 hours later. The ET's road trip spanned 16 miles and included crossing Interstate 405.

May 23, 2016

/ 1:25 a.m. CT (0625 GMT)

What's next for ET-94

: NASA's last existing built for flight space shuttle external tank was delivered to the California Science Center on Saturday (May 21) but it wasn't until the next day that it arrived in its newly-paved parking spot. Now in place beside the pavilion displaying the orbiter Endeavour, work will commence restoring ET-94 in full view of the public. The California Science Center plans to exhibit the tank, mated with Endeavour and two rocket boosters, in an unprecedented vertical display slated to debut in 2019.

May 25, 2016

/ 1:30 a.m. CT (0630 GMT)


: Just in time for the deployment of the real experimental habitat on board the International Space Station, NASA is offering an origami model of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM. The "origaBEAMi" reproduces the inflatable room in miniature using about two dozen folds of a single sheet of paper and "a good firm puff of air." The model's template and Ground Crew Procedures (instructions) can be downloaded from NASA's website.

May 26, 2016

/ 1:55 p.m. CT (1855 GMT)

Airport renamed for astronaut

: Lawmakers in Ohio unanimously voted Wednesday (May 25) to name the Port Columbus International Airport for John Glenn. The first American to orbit the Earth and the oldest person to fly in space, Glenn is the last surviving Mercury 7 astronaut. The renamed John Glenn Columbus International Airport is the second U.S. international airport named for an astronaut.

May 28, 2016

/ 5:25 p.m. CT (2225 GMT)

BEAM 'pops' out

: The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is now at its full size outside the International Space Station, after its successful inflation on Saturday (May 28). The first human-rated expandable module in space, BEAM will be monitored over the next two years to gauge its performance. It took 25 bursts of the station's air, ranging from one to 30 seconds long, to expand the BEAM. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, who controlled the inflation, heard pops, "like popcorn in a frying pan," as the room's rip stop fabric straps and stitches were released as planned.

May 30, 2016

/ 7:00 a.m. CT (1200 GMT)

Boggs SpaceBooks closes shop

: Whether you were looking for an astronaut's memoirs, a vintage NASA publication or a title from the first half century of space exploration, Boggs SpaceBooks was your online source. Donald Boggs, who founded the store in 1999, is now closing shop and sending its remaining inventory, as well as his personal collection, to auction. "I'm looking forward to reading books and spending less time shipping them," said Boggs.

May 31, 2016

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT) - UPDATED

Planets (and Pluto) postage

: The USPS on Tuesday (May 31) is issuing two new sets of stamps depicting the eight planets that circle the Sun and the icy world that orbits beyond them. "Views of Our Planets" feature images captured by NASA planetary probes and the Hubble Space Telescope. "Pluto—Explored!" recognizes New Horizons as the first mission to fly by the dwarf planet. The new stamps are the first to focus on the solar system in 25 years.

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