September 2, 2012 / 3:12 p.m. CT (2012 GMT) Freedom 7 in the Cradle of Liberty: When President John F. Kennedy first announced the goal of landing a man on the moon, only one U.S. astronaut had flown in space. Now, the capsule that carried that astronaut, Alan Shepard, on his historic 15-minute flight has landed at the library and museum dedicated to JFK. Freedom 7 will open on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on Sept. 12, which is also the 50 year anniversary of Kennedy's speech championing the manned moon mission delivered at Rice University in Houston.
September 4, 2012 / 5:01 p.m. CT (2201 GMT) Freeze-dried and heat-resistent: NASA is expanding its offer to museums and schools of space shuttle heat shield tiles and space food that was packaged for astronauts. For the first time on Tuesday, museums across the country were eligible to request the same artifacts that educational institutions have been receiving since the end of the shuttle program in 2011. Requests for the tiles and space food are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
September 4, 2012 / 8:49 p.m. CT (0149 GMT Sept 5) Sept 13 service for Neil Armstrong: NASA chief Charles Bolden will join the dignitaries attending the public memorial service for the late astronaut Neil Armstrong at Washington National Cathedral on Sept. 13. The service, which will be aired live on NASA TV, will include political leaders, Armstrong's family members, and members of the NASA family, including current and former astronauts. The cathedral's "Space Window" pays tribute to the 1969 moon landing and includes a lunar rock returned by Apollo 11.
September 5, 2012 / 6:01 p.m. CT (2301 GMT) Raising and razing trees for shuttles: The future homes for space shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour each advanced the preparations this week for the orbiters' arrival in ways that both involved trees. In Florida, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex topped out its 90,000 sq. ft. exhibition facility for Atlantis, raising a tree to the top as is tradition when a building reaches its highest point. On the opposite coast, the California Science Center had to raze 400 trees to the clear the route for Endeavour's upcoming road trip through Inglewood and Los Angeles.
September 6, 2012 / 2:41 a.m. CT (0741 GMT) Armstrong artifact exhibit: The gloves and visor assembly that Neil Armstrong wore on the moon are now on public display for the first time in over a decade. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is honoring Armstrong's Aug. 25 passing by giving the public a chance to see the iconic spacesuit components for two weeks at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in northern Virginia. The visor and gloves will then be returned to the Smithsonian's preservation facility to be protected for the future.
September 6, 2012 / 11:58 a.m. CT (1658 GMT) Armstrong to be buried at sea: In life, Neil Armstrong walked on the Sea of Tranquility; in death, he will be buried at sea. Details of the late astronaut's sea interment, including the date, were not announced but NASA did confirm the U.S. Navy's role in Armstrong's final voyage. Armstrong served as a naval aviator for three years before joining NASA as a research pilot and later an astronaut.
September 7, 2012 / 11:05 a.m. CT (1605 GMT) Final ferry flight: Space shuttle Endeavour, mounted atop NASA's modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, will make the final ferry flight of the space shuttle era when it takes off on Sept. 17 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida headed for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Along its three-day journey, weather permitting, Endeavour will fly over eight NASA centers and spend nights near the Houston home of Mission Control and the shuttle's West Coast landing site. Endeavour's L.A. landing precedes its delivery to the California Science Center for display.
September 7, 2012 / 4:47 p.m. CT (2147 GMT) Astronaut helmet: A decal paying tribute to the late Neil Armstrong was added this week to the helmets worn by Purdue Boilermakers football players. The stickers, which show a spacesuited astronaut in silhouette holding a Purdue flag, include the text "Neil Armstrong / 1930-2012." The idea to pay tribute to Armstrong, a Purdue alum, was suggested by wide receiver Tommie Thomas after hearing head coach Danny Hope recount Armstrong's exploits.
September 11, 2012 / 4:05 p.m. CT (2105 GMT) Endeavour's ride arrives: NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft landed in Florida Tuesday to start preparations for the final ferry flight of the space shuttle program era. The jumbo jet will be paired with shuttle Endeavour later this week and will take off for Los Angeles on Monday, weather permitting. The transcontinental trip is delivering Endeavour for the California Science Center.
September 12, 2012 / 11:34 a.m. CT (1634 GMT) Around the world in three ways: 300 flags that were flown in space on two flights, three spacecraft and two space stations are set to be returned on Friday to the entity for which they were launched. European and Chinese astronauts will attend the ceremony in Berlin, Germany for the handover of the blue and gold flags to the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). The banners are unique for having flown on Russia's Soyuz, the United States' space shuttle and China's Shenzhou, as well as the International Space Station and China's Tiangong-1 space lab module.
September 13, 2012 / 6:10 a.m. CT (1110 GMT) Celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong: On Thursday, Neil Armstrong will be honored at Washington National Cathedral with a public memorial service. Michael Collins, who flew to the moon on Apollo 11 with Armstrong, as well as Eugene Cernan, the last man to stand on the lunar surface, will help lead the remembrance. Other participants include NASA's Administrator Charles Bolden; John Snow, former Secretary of the Treasury; and John Dalton, former Secretary of the Navy. On Friday, Armstrong will be buried at sea during a private ceremony conducted by the Navy.
September 13, 2012 / 11:45 a.m. CT (1645 GMT) Celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong: On Thursday, the late astronaut Neil Armstrong was mourned at National Cathedral during a memorial service. Michael Collins, who flew to the moon on Apollo 11 with Armstrong, as well as Eugene Cernan, the last man to stand on the lunar surface, helped lead the remembrance. Other participants included NASA Administrator Charles Bolden; John Snow, former Secretary of the Treasury; and John Dalton, former Secretary of the Navy. On Friday, Armstrong will be buried at sea during a private ceremony conducted by the Navy.
September 14, 2012 / 12:01 a.m. CT (0501 GMT) Toyota truck to tow Endeavour: When the space shuttle Endeavour hits the streets of L.A. next month, it will travel 12 miles from the airport to the California Science Center. Most of that road trip will be driven by four self-powered modular transporters until the orbiter turns on to Bill Robertson Lane in Exposition Park, about a quarter mile from its final destination. There, a stock 2012 Toyota Tundra pickup truck will tow Endeavour for the last leg of its journey. Toyota is also pledging to donate $50 for each "tweet" sent through its Tundra Endeavour website, raising up to $500,000 for Endeavour's permanent display.
September 14, 2012 / 8:47 p.m. CT (0147 GMT Sept 15) Final mating: NASA's Endeavour on Friday became the last of the space shuttles to be mated with the modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA). Hoisted 90 feet above the ground by the gantry-like Mate-Demate Device at the Kennedy Space Center, Endeavour was then lowered onto the jumbo jet's upper fuselage. The SCA was most often used to ferry shuttles back to Florida after they landed from space in California. But for this, its final flight, the SCA's route has been reversed to deliver Endeavour to Los Angeles for the California Science Center.
September 16, 2012 / 4:57 p.m. CT (2157 GMT) Delayed departure: NASA's planned ferry flight of space shuttle Endeavour aboard the modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft has been postponed until Tuesday due to an unfavorable weather forecast. To ensure the safe flight for Endeavour and the SCA, NASA managers, in consultation with the California Science Center, decided Sunday to delay the shuttle's Florida departure because of inclement weather predicted along the flight path between Houston and NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
September 17, 2012 / 12:15 p.m. CT (1715 GMT) Riding high and ready to go: Mounted to the top of a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet, space shuttle Endeavour is poised to depart Florida for the final time Wednesday, after a two day weather delay. On Sunday morning, NASA rolled Endeavour, on top the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, out onto the tarmac at the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility, the same runway where Endeavour made its 25th and final return from space in June 2011. The roll back from the Mate-Demate Device (MDD), which for the last time was used to pair the air- and spacecraft, offered a chance to photograph the duo before their flight begins.
September 17, 2012 / 9:28 p.m. CT (0228 GMT Sept 18) Late to Los Angeles: NASA's ferry flight of space shuttle Endeavour atop the modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft has been rescheduled to begin Wednesday, due to an unfavorable weather forecast along the flight path on Tuesday. Endeavour is now expected to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday, one day later than originally planned. Endeavour is being delivered to L.A. to go on display at the California Science Center.
September 18, 2012 / 9:36 a.m. CT (1436 GMT) Extraterrestrial triathlon: On the same day NASA astronaut Suni Williams officially took over running the International Space Station, she also ran the first triathlon in space. Now commander of Expedition 33, Williams used the station's stationary bicycle, treadmill and to swim, the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED), to carry out the race, which coincided with the Nautica Malibu Triathlon held in California. "I'm happy to be done," Williams said on finishing the 22.5 mile "exercise activity" that took her one hour, 48 minutes and 33 seconds to complete.
September 19, 2012 / 6:25 a.m. CT (1115 GMT) Leaving on a jet plane... The space shuttle Endeavour, piggybacking on NASA's Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, has taken to the skies over Florida for the last time. Destined for Los Angeles and a permanent display at the California Science Center, Endeavour, atop the jumbo jet, embarked on Wednesday on the final ferry flight of the shuttle era. After overnighting at Ellington Field in Houston and Dryden Flight Research Center in southern California, Endeavour will land at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday. Next month, the orbiter will embark a two-day road trip to the science center, to go on display on Oct. 30.
September 19, 2012 / 2:20 p.m. CT (1920 GMT) Ferry flight in photos: For the final time in history, a space shuttle is now being ferried across the United States mounted on top of a NASA jumbo jet. "It's a sight to see," said former astronaut Mark Kelly, about watching Endeavour, the shuttle he was last to command, soar atop a Boeing 747. "It's an amazing feat to stick something that heavy, on top of another airplane and fly it through the air." collectSPACE is photo documenting Endeavour during its cross-country tour as it is delivered to Los Angeles for its permanent display at the California Science Center.
September 20, 2012 / 4:00 p.m. CT (2100 GMT) Endeavour's California adventure begins: Space shuttle Endeavour returned 'home' on Thursday, landing at Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. on its final ferry flight. In addition to serving as the primary West Coast landing site for the shuttle fleet as they returned from space, Dryden was also the initial point of departure for the orbiters, which were assembled at the nearby Plant 42 in Palmdale. Endeavour, mounted on the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, will overnight at Dryden before leaving on the last leg of its cross-country trip on Friday.
September 21, 2012 / 3:11 p.m. CT (2011 GMT) Final space shuttle landing: Space shuttle Endeavour, piggybacking on NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft modified 747 jetliner, touched down at Los Angeles International Airport in California on Friday, completing a three-day, cross-country ferry flight, the last one for the space shuttle program era. Endeavour was flown to Los Angeles for the California Science Center, where it is destined for display.
September 22, 2012 / 12:46 p.m. CT (1746 GMT) Wings for wheels: Trading its jumbo jet ride for a customized wheeled transporter, space shuttle Endeavour was rolled into the United Airlines hangar at Los Angeles International Airport that will be its home for the next few weeks. Hoisted off the 747 SCA by cranes early Saturday, Endeavour was lowered onto the platform that will move it to the California Science Center for display next month.
September 22, 2012 / 11:48 p.m. CT (0448 GMT Sept 23) Michael Orenstein, 1939-2012: For over 20 years, Michael Orenstein organized auctions of thousands of astronaut flown artifacts and space memorabilia. Leading the space sales for Superior Galleries, Aurora Auctions, and at the time of his death, Goldberg Coins, Orenstein helped pave the way for the space history collectibles market and the worldwide community that has formed up around it.
September 24, 2012 / 3:04 p.m. CT (2004 GMT) Endeavour's flown patches: Packed inside space shuttle Endeavour's crew cabin for its final flight last week were 5,000 patches and a single photo. Flown on the ferry flight from Florida to Los Angeles at the request of the California Science Center, Endeavour's last payload will be gifted to those who made the delivery possible, including a generous donor whose late husband is now the namesake for the new display pavilion that will exhibit Endeavour.
September 26, 2012 / 4:04 p.m. CT (2104 GMT) Astronauts, artifacts and the law: Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts can keep, sell or donate the equipment they received from their missions, without any further challenge from NASA, thanks to a new law. President Barack Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, conferring "full ownership rights" to the nation's early space pioneers and moon voyagers over the artifacts they saved as souvenirs.