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July 2, 2016

/ 3:00 p.m. CT (2000 GMT)

Happy 40th Air and Space!

Astronauts and aviators on Friday night (July 1) took part in a ceremony marking the 40th birthday of the National Air and Space Museum. Forty years ago, a signal from the Viking 1 lander in orbit around Mars led to the official opening of the Smithsonian's museum and so it was on Friday, four decades later, that a transmission from space helped open the newly-renovated Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. To celebrate, the National Air and Space Museum remained open the entire night.

July 4, 2016

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

Hitchhiking to Jupiter

: After an almost five-year journey, NASA's Juno spacecraft is set to enter orbit around Jupiter on Monday (July 4). The probe, which will fly closer to the gas planet's cloud tops than ever before to study Jupiter's composition and magnetic fields, is carrying with it three special LEGO minifigures designed to inspire children back on Earth. LEGO and NASA are using Juno's arrival to launch a design challenge, inviting kids to build the future.

July 4, 2016

/ 11:10 p.m. CT (0410 GMT Jul 5)


: A NASA probe made history late Monday night (July 4), becoming the first spacecraft to enter polar orbit around Jupiter, the fastest spacecraft in relation to Earth and the farthest probe to operate on solar power. The Juno spacecraft will loop around Jupiter 37 times while repeatedly diving between the giant planet's cloud tops and radiation belts. The data Juno returns will answer questions about Jupiter's — and the solar system's — formation.

July 6, 2016

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

Sixty out of 546

: Kate Rubins, who is set to launch on a four-month mission to the space station, will be the 60th woman in history to fly into space. A crew member on the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft lifting off Wednesday (July 6), Rubins will be the 34th woman to go to the International Space Station and the 546th person to orbit the Earth since Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space in 1961.

July 6, 2016

/ 8:45 p.m. CT (0145 GMT Jul 7)

Soyuz 'MS' maiden mission

: Soyuz MS-01, the first spacecraft in Russia's upgraded line of crew capsules, lifted off on its first mission Wednesday (July 6), launching atop a Soyuz FG rocket on a two-day journey to the space station. The MS-01's crew Anatoly Ivanishin, Takuya Onishi and Kate Rubins will spend four months aboard the orbiting laboratory before returning to Earth in late October.

July 8, 2016

/ 8:45 p.m. CT (0145 GMT Jul 9)

'The Artistic Astronaut'

: On Friday (July 8), Nicole Stott helped to launch The Space Suit Art Project, delivering the benefits of the arts to pediatric cancer patients while increasing awareness of childhood cancer. The project, which blends the arts with spaceflight, is uniquely suited for Stott, who last year transitioned from being an astronaut to becoming an artist. The first person to paint in space, Stott is sharing her experiences through her original artwork.

July 11, 2016

/ 2:25 a.m. CT (0725 GMT)

One giant mural

: After walking on the moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong became a professor at the University of Cincinnati. Now, the Ohio city where he taught and where, in 2012, he died, will honor Armstrong with a new mural. ArtWorks, a non-profit that employs and trains local youth to create art, has recruited celebrated Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra to create a large mural depicting Armstrong at Fifth Third Bank's headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.

July 13, 2016

/ 3:45 p.m. CT (2045 GMT)

'Friendship 7' flight plan

: The scrollable set of instructions used by astronaut John Glenn as he became the first American to orbit the Earth is now being sold by Nate D. Sanders Auctions. The 42.5" long checklist details the tasks Glenn was to complete, including the photographs he was to take of the planet below. The online auction opened with a minimum bid of $25,000 and ends on July 21, within days of two other large space memorabilia sales being held by Lunar Legacies (July 16) and Bonhams (July 20).

July 16, 2016

/ 11:30 a.m. CT (1630 GMT) UPDATED

Apollo 11 flight plan re-issue

: A Kickstarter campaign by Reproduction IO has the stated goal of reproducing the Apollo 11 Flight Plan in the most accurate way possible. To do so, the project needs to raise about $11,275. On Saturday (July 16), 47 years after the Apollo 11 launch, the re-issue was already more than halfway fully funded. Each page of the plan has been recreated using the same fonts and line spacing to match the original, with vector graphics based on high resolution scans of a vintage flight plan.

July 19, 2016

/ 12:25 p.m. CT (1725 GMT)

Record-setting stamp

: A 29-cent Pluto: Not Yet Explored stamp that traveled more than 3 billion miles aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to the dwarf planet (and beyond) was certified on Tuesday (July 19) as having been shipped farther than any stamp in history. A Guinness World Records adjudicator awarded the certificate to NASA and USPS officials at the postal service's headquarters.

July 20, 2016

/ 9:35 a.m. CT (1435 GMT)

Smithsonian marks moon landing

: For the first time in four years, Apollo 11 moonwalker Neil Armstrong's helmet and gloves are now back on display at the Smithsonian's Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. The exhibit, which began on Wednesday (July 20), the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, coincides with the release of the first high resolution 3D model of the command module Columbia, the spacecraft that took Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to and from the moon, and a call from the National Air and Space Museum for the public's photos of Armstrong's spacesuit to help with its conservation.

July 21, 2016

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

Houston lands a Planetary Congress

: The world's largest annual international gathering of space explorers will be held in Houston in 2019, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The Association of Space Explorers (ASE) announced Wednesday (July 20) that the 32nd Planetary Congress will bring over 100 space fliers to the Texas city, home of NASA's Mission Control. The week-long meeting in October 2019 will be open to the public and include community events across Houston and state-wide.

July 22, 2016

/ 1:45 p.m. CT (1845 GMT)

Women of NASA

: A newly-proposed LEGO set honors five "Women of NASA," including astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison. The project, created by science writer and LEGO aficionado Maia Weinstock, features minifigs of Apollo computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, "computer" Katherine Johnson and Nancy Grace Roman, the "Mother of Hubble." Now on the LEGO Ideas website, the set needs 10,000 votes to be considered by LEGO for production.

July 22, 2016

/ 10:55 p.m. CT (0355 GMT July 23)

I(SS) am Groot

: Rocket Raccoon and Groot from Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" star on a newly-revealed mission patch for all of the payloads launching to the U.S. National Laboratory on board the International Space Station in 2016. CASIS (the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) announced the collaboration with Marvel Custom Solutions at San Diego Comic Con on Friday (July 22). The patch and a soon to be announced STEM contest are intended to engage the next generation of scientists.

July 27, 2016

/ 6:15 a.m. CT (1115 GMT)

Goodbye Philae

: ESA on Wednesday (July 27) bid farewell to the first spacecraft to land on a comet, switching off the relay aboard its Rosetta orbiter that enabled communications with the small Philae lander on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Last heard from just over a year ago, mission managers consider Philae to be in an eternal hibernation. Cutting off the comm link will extend the power for Rosetta, which is approaching its own end of mission and soft impact with the comet in late September.

July 29, 2016

/ 1:55 a.m. CT (0655 GMT)


: The next ship to lead a Star Trek television series will bear the same name as a NASA space shuttle. But unlike Enterprise, which debuted on TV 10 years before a real-life orbiter adopted its title in tribute, this new ship's name may be, in part, a way for its creators to return the honor. Is the space shuttle Discovery the namesake for "Star Trek: Discovery," premiering on CBS in 2017?

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