: With the 111th mission of the space shuttle scheduled to launch this Friday, it is sometimes easy to overlook that there was once a time when the vehicle needed a new breed of astronauts to fly it. As collector Bob McLeod recalls, NASA answered that call with 35 candidates selected as Group 8 in Jan. 1978.
: Francis French files an interview with Gemini and Apollo astronaut David Scott. Catching up with Scott at the last Aurora auction, French gets the veteran moonwalker to comment about memorabilia, but misses all mention of the Apollo 15 Sieger cover scandal.
: Novaspace Galleries' Astro-Auction is closing. Though founder Kim Poor says it will return next year, sans consignments, it's disappointing that this safe harbor for space memorabilia sales is coming to an end.
: Space shuttle Atlantis launched this afternooon to deliver the crew of STS-112 to the International Space Station. On-board the orbiter is the Official Flight Kit with nearly 4,000 souvenirs stowed for post-flight presentation to VIPs and others of merit (as usual). Also riding along is a scale replica of the payload, the S1 truss made by expert space modeler Nick Proach.
: Code 3 Collectibles, known for their diecast fire and rescue vehicles, is now producing an authorized series of models for the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. This month, they will offer an astronaut, lunar module and lunar rover.
: In Oct. 2003, the Canadian Post will issue an eight stamp set commemorating Marc Garneau, Chris Hadfield, Julie Payette and the Canadian Space Agency's other astronauts. As for the U.S. Postal Service, their 2003 stamps will again lack space themes.
For those not familiar, a blog — short for "web log" — is a cross between a "what's new" page and a journal. We will be using this format to deliver the same great news stories you've come to expect from cS, as well as shorter "breaking news" updates. What do you think of our new look?
: The final photo: Andrew Chaikin shares his favorite snaps captured over the past five decades of space flight. Meet him as he signs your copy of his bookSpace: A History of Space Exploration in Photographs at cS's World Space Congress booth on October 15, 2002, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Houston, TX.
: It started rather simply, an ad on eBay for a patch allegedly removed from Edgar Mitchell's space suit. Noticing that this emblem was not printed on beta cloth, collectors e-mailed the seller and learned of a dubious visit with Mitchell's daughter as the source. The auction was brought to the moonwalker's attention on his own website and now Mitchell is considering legal action.
: On our readers' suggestion, we are looking to give your memorabilia a chance to be featured here on cS. We've posted a few guidelines, but in general if you have an item others may enjoy seeing, let us know.
: Citing concerns that included a heist from Johnson Space Center, NASA has moved part of its moon rock archive from a vault located at Brooks Air Force Base — where they have been since 1975 — to a new repository at White Sands Test Facility. Involving NASA, Lockheed Martin and Air Force staff, as well as JPL-loaned accelerometers, the lunar specimens were monitored during the trip from Texas to New Mexico.
: With all the talk about fake patches, we thought it was only appropriate that our first reader artifact be the real deal: a flown Apollo 7 beta cloth patch. As owner Richard Jurek describes, "Occasionally people do see flown Apollo 7 items, but this is a bit more rare and a very important relic of this mission given that beta cloth was developed by Corning as a direct result of the Apollo 1 fire." Jurek obtained the patch from Walt Cunningham.
: Aurora Galleries International will be hosting their second space memorabilia auction during the last weekend in October. Today, they named their astronaut guests, but where is the catalog? Aurora says it will ship next week, while an online version will debut on October 21. Last-minute, must-have astronaut consignments are attributed to the delay, Aurora reports.
: A postal cancellation issued in your memory is a honor, therefore it's a shame that Ledovsky, Shiborin, and Mitkov never lived to see their own German cancel. Literally — the three never existed. First reported as sub-orbital fatalities in 1959 by an Italian tabloid, the trio of alleged cosmonauts have since been woven into the urban legend of pre-Gagarin flyers. This cancellation was shared by Peter Haslinger and Rocketmail's Paul Roales.
: The first day of the World Space Congress Trade Exhibition has come and gone, but what a busy day it was! Astronaut appearances, giveaways, and an encounter with the first man on Mars: see it all in our latest photo report.
: The previous two days at the World Space Congress kept us so busy, that we didn't have a chance to post yesterday's photo report until now. Seeing as we have the opportunity, we've posted today's report as well.
: It appears that pop star and underfunded space tourist Lance Bass was not the only aspect of the Soyuz TMA-1 mission replaced: so was his mission patch. Jacques van Oene shared the revised design, which swaps Bass' name with that of crewman Yuri Lonchakov.
: Nikolay Rukavishnikov, 70, died on October 18 of an apparent heart attack. A veteran of three flights, Soyuz 10, 16, and 33, Rukavishnikov was selected as a cosmonaut to train for the USSR's manned lunar program.
: Aurora Galleries reports that catalogs are in the mail and on their website for the next auction, set to begin this Saturday. Look for some of the featured lots to be posted here soon, in addition to how to access our live audiocast. Novaspace Galleries' Astro-Auction is to go out with a bang, with nearly 300 lots currently open and more being added daily. The free auction site, which may return next year in some form, is closing on Oct. 31.
: Space collectors have been clamoring for Buck, the rare Apollo astronaut figure from Dragon Models. Now that it has arrived, was Buck worth the bucks? Karl Tate shows what is right and wrong (and how to fix the latter). Don't have a Buck? Order one now.
: A massive server failure has unfortunately taken Astro-Auction offline only a few days short of its planned October 31 curtain call. Based on the responses received so far, the website will be missed. In other news, Aurora Galleries has provided details for the featured lots in the upcoming auction. We have posted a preview, as well as how to listen to our auction audiocast.
: Two days and more than 1400 lots later, Aurora Galleries fall space & aviation memorabilia auction has come to a close. Preliminary prices realized for the second day of bidding are now online to reference.