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/ 5:45 p.m. CT (2245 GMT)
'Gateway' to deep space:
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has announced the March 2022 opening of "Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex." The new attraction will feature the exhibit of modern spacecraft and rockets (including a flown SpaceX Falcon booster), as well as immerse visitors in the future of spaceflight using a 4D "flying" theater providing a multi-destination experience.
/ 1:50 a.m. CT (0750 GMT)
Soyuz MS-20 lifts off:
For the first time, two self-funded spaceflight participants launched together for a short stay on the International Space Station. Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano, together with cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, lifted off on Russia's Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft on Wednesday (Dec. 8) Maezawa paid for the mission as an introduction to spaceflight prior to him flying to the moon on a SpaceX Starship targeted for 2023.
/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)
George W.S. Abbey Rocket Park:
Home to one of only three remaining Saturn V rockets and the only one with all flight hardware, the rocket park at NASA Johnson Space Center has been named for a former center director. The George W.S. Abbey Rocket Park honors the respected Apollo-era engineer whose contributions to NASA led to six human moon landings, a more diverse astronaut corps and Russia's participation in the International Space Station.
/ 2:35 p.m. CT (2035 GMT)
Playmobil x ESA on Mars:
Playmobil is set to debut a new "Mars Expedition" playset co-branded with the European Space Agency (ESA). The toy features two ESA astronaut figures, an ESA rover with working lights and sound, a Mars trike, a drilling station and an ESA research laboratory. The set is loosely based on the space agency's current and future missions, including an international Mars sample return campaign jointly being planned with NASA.
/ 10:15 p.m. CT (0415 GMT Dec 20)
Soyuz MS-20 lands:
A Japanese billionaire, his production assistant and an experienced cosmonaut returned from a short stay on the International Space Station aboard Russia's Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft. Yusaku Maezawa, Yozo Hirano and Alexander Misurkin landed in Kazakhstan after spending almost 12 days in space. Maezawa shared his experience through a series of videos filmed by Hirano, which then were viewed by millions of people on YouTube.
/ 4:30 p.m. CT (2230 GMT)
Don't Look Up:
There is no known comet or asteroid on a collision course with Earth (as of today), but that doesn't mean that director Adam McKay's new satirical film, "Don't Look Up" is purely science fiction. In fact, McKay quickly pauses the film to make sure you know the reality: "The Planetary Defense Coordination Office is a real place. This is their logo." Beyond the patch, technical advisor Amy Mainzer tells collectSPACE about the underlying message.
/ 10:15 p.m. CT (0415 GMT Dec 27)
Raise a glass:
The past and future of moon missions both reach milestones in 2022 and The Whisky Barrel has the scotch whisky to toast each. The online spirits merchant now has for sale limited edition bottles of vintage whisky in celebration of the upcoming first launch NASA's Artemis lunar program and the 50th anniversary of the last moon landing with astronauts, Apollo 17.
/ 2:00 p.m. CT (2000 GMT)
LEGO to launch Artemis sets:
LEGO has revealed the first two sets in its new NASA-inspired line. The LEGO City Space Rocket Launch Center and Lunar Research Base, set to go on sale on March 1, 2022, feature NASA logos and components based on real vehicles, like NASA's VIPER rover. The new sets also include astronaut minifigures similar to those launching on NASA's Artemis I.
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