: As she would later sign off on notes, Sally Ride became 'AFWIS,' or "America's First Woman In Space," flying on the shuttle Challenger in 1983. But the label, which serves as a subtitle for journalist Lynn Sherr's new biography about the public, private, and secret lives of the late astronaut, wasn't how Sally Ride chose to identify herself. In this interview with collectSPACE, Sherr discusses her friend's legacy as celebrated in "Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space," out Tuesday (June 3).
: You could say that Steve Swanson "bumped heads" with NASA's lawyers over the design of the Expedition 40 patch. Swanson, who is commanding the International Space Station and its six-person crew, worked with his daughter to design the emblem, which originally was based on a logo for Star Trek's bumpy-headed Klingons. Revealed here, Swanson's "badass" design that was jettisoned before it could launch.
: Lily Koppel is flying high. One year after the release of her latest bestseller, "The Astronaut Wives Club," the book is newly out in paperback, has inspired dessert and cocktail "retro-recipes," and will soon be the basis for a limited event television series to air on ABC. collectSPACE.com caught up with Koppel as she launched on her second "Astronaut Wives Club" book tour to reflect on the past year, talk about the softcover edition and learn if she will be playing an astronaut wife on TV.
: In a bid to improve the quality of life on the International Space Station and to extend the Made-in-Italy brand to space, two Italian companies have collaborated with the Italian Space Agency to develop and launch a coffee machine for the orbital complex. The ISSpresso is a capsule-based espresso machine capable of brewing the caffeinated beverage in weightlessness, offering the space station crew an upgrade to the instant coffee that has been the only option to date. Built by coffee retailer Lavazza and Argotec aerospace company, the ISSpresso can also brew tea, infusions and broth, so that food can be rehydrated.
: Russia graduated six new test-cosmonauts on Monday (June 16), two years after they were chosen to undergo basic training. The new class of cosmonauts includes five engineers and a military pilot of ages ranging between 30 and 36. The group is short two of its original candidates: one was medically disqualified; the other, the only woman, was cut for unannounced reasons.
: United Space Alliance (USA) on Wednesday (June 18) presented a framed collection of 135 shuttle mission pins and a flown-in-space American flag to Space Center Houston in recognition of the workers who made the 30-year NASA program possible. USA is, or already has, made similar presentations to Kennedy Space Center, the Space Foundation and the US Space & Rocket Center as its means of "leaving a soft mark in history."
: The Kansas Cosmosphere has launched Liberty Bell 7 on the first leg of a journey to Germany, but the museum has a new mission for the Mercury capsule and the other spacecraft it displays. The Cosmosphere is devoting five years and $15 million to revitalize its exhibits to "inspire innovation through science education and honor the history of space exploration."
: A student-led effort to launch a Time Capsule to Mars stands to set several historic firsts. The project, which as of Monday (June 23) is crowd-funding the flight of photos to raise $25 million, could be the first private mission to Mars, first interplanetary use of CubeSats, first student-led endeavor to another planet, and the first interplanetary test of ion-electrospray propulsion.
: Just over a week after she was excluded from Russia's cosmonaut corps, the federal space agency Roscosmos has reinstated Anna Kikina. The 29-year-old engineer, who was recruited in 2012 as the only female candidate in her group, will reportedly need to undergo another year of training before she will be eligible for a spaceflight. Kikina now stands the chance to become only the fifth Russian woman in history to fly in space.