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October 1, 2014

/ 6:25 p.m. CT (2325 GMT)

Final countdown

: NASA's countdown clock at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida may have already ticked down to its final launch. In use since Apollo 12 in 1969, the clock will soon be replaced by a more modern display, capable of showing not just the countdown but also NASA TV programming. NASA hopes for the new screen to be in place by December in time for the Orion EFT-1 launch.

October 4, 2014

/ 10:55 a.m. CT (1555 GMT)

Sweets memories

: Ten years ago Saturday (Oct. 4), SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE by reaching space for a 2nd time in two weeks. Flying along the side and aboard SpaceShipOne were M&M's candies, a symbol of Mars, Inc.'s sponsorship and a nod to a prior flight's payload of a pocketful of the colorful chocolates.

October 6, 2014

/ 6:35 p.m. CT (2335 GMT)

A 'more fitting container'

: An architect with a lifelong interest in spaceflight has put forth his design for a new structure to display the historic Saturn V rocket outside the entrance to NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. Brantley Hightower's concept restores a view of the rocket from the outside and includes gantry-like catwalks to offer visitors the chance to see the moon booster from above.

October 8, 2014

/ 7:30 a.m. CT (1230 GMT)

Houston, we have a Smithsonian Affiliate

: Space Center Houston, the non-profit visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas, is now the first Smithsonian Affiliate in Houston. The center's new status grants it access to the national collection of more than 138 million artifacts, specimens and artworks, as well as more than 50 traveling exhibitions developed by the Smithsonian.

October 9, 2014

/ 1:10 p.m. CT (1810 GMT)

Go for Payload

: Two years after landing on display at the California Science Center, the retired space shuttle Endeavour was "Go for Payload" Thursday (Oct. 9) as it received its final cargo. A Spacehab module it previously had flown to space was returned to its payload bay to outfit Endeavour for its vertical display, scheduled for 2018.

October 13, 2014

/ 7:20 a.m. CT (1220 GMT)

Astronaut Wives Club

: ABC's limited event 10-episode TV series, "The Astronaut Wives Club" has finally leapt off the launch pad and begun filming in New Orleans. Based on the 2013 bestselling book by author Lily Koppel, the series has completed casting seven actresses to play the spouses of the Mercury 7 astronauts, but plans to grow the cast to include the Gemini and Apollo wives, too.

October 15, 2014

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

Flight of the Phoenix

: As perhaps a patch before its time, the Apollo 7 crew's first idea for their mission's official insignia was to pay tribute to the fallen Apollo 1 crew. Overruled by NASA, the Phoenix-themed patch did not become a reality until 45 years later, when astronaut Walt Cunningham had it made as a commemorative emblem.

October 17, 2014

/ 5:30 p.m. CT (2230 GMT)

675 days in orbit

: For almost two years, the U.S. Air Force's X-37B reusable space plane orbited the Earth conducting a secretive test mission. On Friday (Oct. 17), it returned to a landing in California after 675 days in space. The touchdown on a runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base marked the end of the X-37B program's third mission, with a fourth flight planned for 2015. Built by Boeing, the orbital test vehicle used on this mission previously flew in 2010.

October 20, 2014

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

Alan Bean Plus Four

: Tom Hanks imagines a modern-day bootstrap mission to the moon in "Alan Bean Plus Four," an original work of fiction in the current issue (Oct. 27) of "The New Yorker." The actor, who's no stranger to playing an astronaut, crafts a tale of four friends who travel around the moon in a way less complicated way than Alan Bean did aboard Apollo 12, 45 years ago this November.

October 21, 2014

/ 8:15 p.m. CT (0115 GMT Oct 22)

Shuttle doors shut

: The California Science Center closed out the 'Go for Payload' phase of its future space shuttle Endeavour display plans on Tuesday (Oct. 21), shutting the two doors on the retired orbiter's cargo bay. Over the past three weeks, the science center outfitted the hold with a flown Spacehab module and replica parts to prepare Endeavour for its vertical exhibit, slated to open in 2018.

October 23, 2014

/ 6:00 a.m. CT (1100 GMT)


: Marking 25 years of scientific discovery, the Hubble@25 temporary exhibit opens on Thursday (Oct. 23) underneath the space shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. The exhibit, co-curated by astronaut Mike Massimino, features flown artifacts, artistic photos, and immersive experiences highlighting the history of the Hubble Space Telescope.

October 27, 2014

/ 5:55 p.m. CT (2255 GMT)

SS Deke Slayton

: One of the original seven astronauts chosen by NASA in 1959, Donald "Deke" Slayton was also an early champion for commercial spaceflight, helping to launch in September 1982 the first privately-funded rocket to reach space, and advocating for the Commercial Space Act to be passed 30 years ago this month. In honor of his memory, Orbital Sciences named its fourth Cygnus cargo spacecraft the SpaceShip Deke Slayton. The space freighter launched on Monday (Oct. 27) for the International Space Station with science experiments and supplies.

October 28, 2014

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

First Hasselblad in space

: The camera that began Hasselblad's association with NASA's most iconic missions in space will be sold at auction on Nov. 13 in Boston. RR Auction is offering the flown Hasselblad 500C, which is comprised of a body that flew aboard Mercury-Atlas 8 with Wally Schirra in 1962, a film magazine that Gordon Cooper used aboard Mercury-Atlas 9 in 1963 and a Zeiss lens that both Schirra and Cooper used on their historic missions.

October 29, 2014

/ 1:30 a.m. CT (0630 GMT)

Antares explodes

: Orbital Sciences' private Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft were lost in flight on Tuesday (Oct. 28), after the two-stage booster exploded and fell back to Earth at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Cygnus, which Orbital named the SpaceShip Deke Slayton for the Mercury astronaut, had been destined for the International Space Station to deliver supplies.

October 30, 2014

/ 9:00 a.m. CT (1400 GMT)

Insuring for the future

: When it was signed 45 years ago, the envelope bearing the three Apollo 11 astronauts' autographs was meant to provide for the future of moonwalker Neil Armstrong's family. Now, the rare "insurance cover" is set to be auctioned to benefit the next generation of scientists and space explorers. The cacheted envelope, which is the first example of space memorabilia to be sold from Armstrong's estate, was donated by the moonwalker's son to support the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

October 31, 2014

/ 6:30 p.m. CT (2330 GMT)

SpaceShipTwo destroyed

: During a test of a new hybrid rocket engine, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo was lost in flight Friday (Oct. 31), leaving one of its pilots severely injured and the other dead. The identities of the two crewmen have not been released. The flight on Friday was the 55th time SpaceShipTwo was airborne, the 35th time it flew free of its carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo, and just the fourth time it attempted powered flight. Virgin Galactic had hoped to reach space with the craft by the end of 2014.

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