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August 1, 2016

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

50th astronaut-aquanaut

: Reid Wiseman is the 50th human to orbit the Earth and live on the ocean floor. Wiseman on Friday (July 29) 'splashed up' after eight days at the Aquarius Reef Base commanding NASA's NEEMO 21 mission. A veteran of 165 days on board the space station, Wiseman continues the legacy of astronaut-aquanauts first started by Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter, who lived for 30 days aboard the US Navy's SEALAB II in 1965. Update: According to NEEMO's mission director, Megan Behnken is the 50th astronaut-aquanaut; Wiseman is no. 49.

August 2, 2016

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0445 GMT)

Women of NASA

: Maia Weinstock's Women of NASA LEGO minifigures set has rocketed to 10,000 votes on LEGO Ideas, qualifying it for a production review by the toy company. The set honors five women who made space history, including astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, mathematician Katherine Johnson and computer scientist Margaret Hamilton.

August 3, 2016

/ 12:45 p.m. CT (1745 GMT)

Go for moon landing

: The U.S. government has cleared the first private enterprise, Moon Express, Inc., to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon in 2017. The decision, a first in the history of space exploration, conforms to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which requires private entities to gain approval from the appropriate state party. The FAA, working with the State Department, granted the permission.

August 3, 2016

/ 6:20 p.m. CT (2320 GMT)

'Sooner State' shuttle

: A simulator used by all 135 astronaut crews to launch aboard the space shuttle has landed in Oklahoma for its display at the Stafford Air & Space Museum. Earlier relocated from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, the shuttle fixed-base simulator ultimately did not find a display space at the Windy City museum and so was moved to the Stafford in the Sooner State, where it will go on exhibit.

August 6, 2016

/ 12:45 a.m. CT (0545 GMT)

Lunar bag lawsuits

: A moon rock bag used by the Apollo 11 astronauts is now the focus of a legal dispute involving lawsuits in Illinois and Kansas. The zippered bag was forfeited by a convicted museum curator in 2005, sold at auction by the U.S. Marshals Service in 2015, confirmed by NASA to be stained with moon dust, and now contested by the government to still be the space agency's property.

August 10, 2016

/ 5:10 p.m. CT (2210 GMT)

Super Bowl space football

: Astronaut Scott Kelly will hand off a football flown aboard the International Space Station at a kickoff event counting down to Super Bowl LI in Houston. The Touchdown Tour community celebration, to be held Aug. 27 at Space Center Houston, will feature a robot training field, panel discussions and Kelly passing the ball to the head of the committee hosting the game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017.

August 15, 2016

/ 1:15 a.m. CT (0615 GMT)

Hidden Figures

: As its first trailer promotes, the upcoming 20th Century Fox film "Hidden Figures" is based on the 'untold true story' of the black women mathematicians whose role during the early space race helped to launch the first U.S. astronauts. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, and Kevin Costner, the movie will open in January with original music by Pharrell Williams.

August 16, 2016

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

Boeing's boarding ramp

: Astronauts bound for space aboard Boeing's CST-100 Starliner will cross the 50-foot access arm installed on Monday (Aug. 15) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Complex 41. The gantry, and its white room, were bolted to the 172-foot level of the crew access tower that now stands to support Boeing's Starliner flights atop Atlas V rockets, beginning as soon as 2018.

August 17, 2016

/ 12:15 a.m. CT (0515 GMT)

Apollo 11 anniversary coins

: The U.S. Mint may honor the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing if Congress approves a bill calling for new curved commemorative coins to be issued in 2019. The legislation is ready to pass in the House of Representatives but further support is needed in the Senate. Advocates are asking the public to contact their senators to cosponsor the bill by Sept. 15.

August 19, 2016

/ 1:05 p.m. CT (1805 GMT)

Parking space

: Spacewalking astronauts on Friday (Aug. 19) installed a new International Docking Adapter at the space station, adding a new parking spot for SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner commercial crew spacecraft. Latched to the end of the mating adapter earlier used by the space shuttle, the IDA is the first of two to be attached to the orbiting laboratory. Astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins completed the installation during their six-hour spacewalk, configuring the IDA for its future use.

August 22, 2016

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

Rocket raising

: The first orbital rocket stage to touch down vertically after being launched now stands as a monument at the California facility where it was built. SpaceX raised the historic Falcon stage on Saturday (Aug. 20), eight months after its recovery in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The 165-foot-tall booster is mounted on its landing legs for the display outside of SpaceX's Hawthorne headquarters.

August 24, 2016

/ 4:00 a.m. CT (0900 GMT)

520 days and counting

: Jeff Williams broke the record Wednesday (Aug 24) for the most time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut, and he still has two more weeks before he leaves the space station. Williams, whose total time off Earth was spread over his four missions, surpassed the 520 days Scott Kelly set in March. Williams' record will hold until April 2017, when Peggy Whitson will log her 534th day in space, assuming her next mission stays on schedule.

August 25, 2016

/ 5:05 p.m. CT (2205 GMT)

On the road again

: SpaceX's efforts to build a reusable rocket system has extended to its choice of conveyors for its recovered stages. The company is now reusing NASA's former Orbiter Transporter System (OTS) previously used for nearly 30 years to move the space shuttle orbiters. SpaceX acquired the transporter through a surplus auction and then modified it for use with its Falcon 9 first stages.

August 29, 2016

/ 2:05 a.m. CT (0705 GMT)

Flown-in-space football

: A football flown on board the International Space Station for five months is now in the hands of the committee hosting Super Bowl LI in Houston. Astronaut Scott Kelly on Saturday (Aug. 27) handed off the ball to committee CEO Sallie Sargent at the Touchdown Tour held at Space Center Houston. The football serves as a symbol of the future of the big game, which will played on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

August 30, 2016

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

Gemini XII gala

: The final crew to launch on a Gemini spacecraft will mark the 50th year since their 1966 mission at a gala hosted by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell will headline the dinner celebrating Gemini 12's 50th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as part of the Foundation's annual Space Rendezvous weekend.

August 31, 2016

/ 1:25 p.m. CT (1825 GMT)

Spacesuit test robot

: A 50-year-old android designed to test NASA spacesuits is heading to auction. The robot could simulate 35 basic human motions to measure the forces that a suit would impose on an astronaut — that is, had it not leaked oil in the process. One of only two "Power Driven Articulated Dummies" built, the Apollo-era android is being offered by RR Auction. Bidding begins on Sept. 15.

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