Apollo 1 memorial marker
: A newly-signed law authorizes the construction of a privately financed memorial to honor NASA's Apollo 1 astronauts at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The marker will serve as a reminder of Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee, who died in a fire on the launch pad 50 years ago. The new memorial will join similar monuments at the cemetery to the fallen space shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews.
'Spirit' of Apollo
: A new boutique wine has received the signature of approval — literally — of some of the astronauts who walked on the moon. "Moonwalker" wine, now available from the Cosmosphere and Holman Cellars, features labeled bottles autographed by Alan Bean, Charlie Duke and Harrison Schmitt. Proceeds from the wine benefit the Kansas space museum and its education programs.
Soyuz MS-05 crew lands on Earth
: Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos, Paolo Nespoli of ESA and Randy Bresnik of NASA landed on Earth Thursday (Dec. 14) after spending five months living aboard the International Space Station. The Expedition 52/53 crewmates logged 139 days conducting experiments and performing spacewalks. Their return aboard the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft marked the end of the space station's 53rd crewed expedition.
Sally Ride stamp
: The United States Postal Service has revealed that Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, will be the subject of a postage stamp to be issued in 2018. Ride, a crew member on two space shuttle missions, died in 2012. She is only the second NASA astronaut to be honored on a U.S. stamp, after Alan Shepard in 2011. The USPS also plans a 2018 stamp depicting in part an Apollo spacecraft to represent engineering in STEM education.
'Diary of the Twelfth Man'
: Harrison Schmitt has begun sharing his Apollo 17 diary, just in time for the 45th anniversary of the sixth, last and most recent moon landing mission. The only geologist to fly to the moon, Schmitt has organized the transcripts, public affairs reports and science results to complement his own recollections in "Apollo 17: Diary of the Twelfth Man," which he is releasing in chapters online. "It is both technical and philosophical," he says.
Back to the moon, with care
: PTScientists, a German company planning to launch lunar rovers to revisit the last Apollo moon landing site in 2019, has pledged to ensure no harm comes to the historic artifacts present there. The company announced a partnership with the non-profit organization For All Moonkind, which is working to develop a framework to preserve humanity's heritage in space. The news of the partnership coincided with the 45th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 17 lunar landing mission.
: A storage bag used by the Apollo astronauts on their missions to the moon has inspired the style of a new tool bag designed by a former "Mythbusters" co-host. The EDC One, as created by Adam Savage, draws its clamshell opening and other style points from the "McDivitt purse," a temporary stowage bag first proposed by Apollo 9 commander Jim McDivitt for use in space. The EDC One is even equipped with a mount for a "mission" patch.
: For five years beginning in 1981, John Chakeres photographed NASA's space shuttle orbiters as they launched and landed on their first flights. But with the tragic loss of one of the ships, Chakeres put his negatives into storage, where they remained unseen for almost three decades. Now, with the support of a Kickstarter campaign, Chakeres is preparing to publish "First Fleet," a photo book documenting the space shuttle in its burgeoning years.
Budweiser barley bound for orbit
: Looking towards the day when astronauts enjoy "Bud on Mars," Anheuser-Busch on Tuesday (Nov 21) revealed it will send 20 Budweiser barley seeds on a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station. The seeds will be the focus of two experiments in malting and germination to learn how the grain reacts to and grows in microgravity. The Bud-ding barley will be in orbit for 30 days before returning to Earth.
'Mercury 13,' the series
: The story of the 13 women who underwent physiological testing for spaceflight at the start of the space age is being developed by Amazon as a miniseries. "Mercury 13" (working title) will be based on Martha Ackmann's 2003 similarly-titled book about the First Lady Astronaut Trainees, or FLATs. Amazon's "Mercury 13" is the second announced project about the women; another event series is in development by ITV Studios America.
First cat in space statue
: A statue will soon stand in Paris honoring the first, and perhaps only, cat to fly into space. More than $57,000 was raised on Kickstarter to fund the bronze monument honoring Félicette, the black-and-white stray that France launched on a 15-minute suborbital spaceflight in October 1963. The crowdfunded memorial is intended to raise awareness of the oft-forgotten feline.
Apollo in 'Artemis'
: Author Andy Weir ("The Martian") sets his new novel "Artemis" on the moon, near the site of the first moon landing. Centered around a crime at the first and only moon base, "Artemis," in stores on Tuesday (Nov. 14), includes more than a few nods to NASA's Apollo missions. Weir described the role that real lunar exploration history plays in his fictional future story in an interview.
SNC Dream Chaser glides
: Forty years and 16 days after the prototype orbiter Enterprise flew its fifth and final free flight approach and landing test, Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser achieved a similar feat from the same place. The smaller commercial space plane dropped away from a helicopter above the lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base in California to glide to a landing on the same runway used by the shuttles to return from orbit. The flight advances SNC's plans to use the Dream Chaser to fly cargo to and from the International Space Station under a contract with NASA.
Gold LM lands at auction
: Just four months after a Cartier-crafted gold lunar module was stolen from a museum, another has surfaced at auction. The model gifted to Buzz Aldrin in Paris in 1969 opened for bids at $10,000 on Thursday (Nov. 9) as part of RR Auction's week-long space memorabilia sale. The model is one of only three that were made for the Apollo 11 crew. Neil Armstrong's went missing from Ohio's Armstrong Air and Space Museum in July.
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