The Source for Space History and Artifacts
'LIFE' imitates life off Earth
: "LIFE" director Daniel Espinosa said in an interview that his new science fiction thriller "has tons of small secrets," including references to classic sci-fi movies. But as the film takes place on board the International Space Station, he was also able to include references ("easter eggs") to space exploration history and nods to astronauts and other real-life orbiting outposts.
'LIFE' on the space station
: In the new film "LIFE," opening in theaters on Friday (March 24), the International Space Station takes on a new role: haunted house. The sci-fi horror movie from director Daniel Espinosa follows a crew of astronauts (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ariyon Bakare, Ryan Reynolds) as they bring on board and study a sample from Mars. Although "LIFE" is fictional, the filmmakers strove for reality in their depiction of the ISS.
To protect and preserve
: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has the next year to assess how best to "protect and preserve" the Apollo moon landing sites per the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 signed into law on Tuesday (March 21). The bill calls for the OSTP director to consult with other federal agencies to identify the risks and advise on additional legislation and international treaties needed to ensure the Apollo sites and artifacts on the moon are not disturbed or destroyed.
Apollo 15's secret stash of flags
: He didn't know it at the time, but as Dave Scott walked on the moon in 1971, he had on him a secret stash of U.S. flags. Hidden by an engineer in Scott's oxygen purge system, the small flags were only discovered after he came back to Earth. Now, 46 years later, RR Auction is set to sell one of the flags, along with the bracket-mounted pouch in which it was stowed.
'First Woman' exhibit
: Fifty-four years after she made history as the first woman to fly in space, Valentina Tereshkova helped open a new exhibit at the Science Museum, London dedicated to her life and career. The exhibit, "Valentina Tereshkova: First Woman in Space," which runs through Sept. 16, tells the cosmonaut's story using artifacts and photos from before and after her Vostok 6 mission that orbited the Earth 48 times over three days in June 1963.
Bud On Mars
: Budweiser has announced its long-term commitment to brew the first beer on Mars. The company revealed its "Bud On Mars" ambitions at a panel discussion at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on Saturday (March 11). In the short term, Anheuser-Busch has begun exploring ways to use the space station to both advance its Mars goal and improve its beer here on Earth.
S.S. John Glenn
: The first American to orbit the Earth will be heading back to space — at least in name – atop a modern version of the rocket on which he made history. Orbital ATK on Thursday (March 9) revealed that its next Cygnus cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station has been christened the S.S. John Glenn. The ship, named for the late Mercury astronaut and U.S. Senator, will deliver science experiments and supplies to the station.
'I hope they take a camera'
: When SpaceX launches its first private passengers on a trip around the moon, the company and its lunar-bound clients will be able to claim they have done something only a few others have ever done. But Jim Lovell, who as a NASA astronaut was on the first mission to fly to the moon in 1968, says it won't be like Apollo 8. "It's not a Lewis and Clark expedition of some sort — it is just a ride that goes around the moon," he said.
Developing an icon
: Author Dennis Jenkins' new, three-volume tome not only documents the history of NASA's space shuttle, but also spans his own career as an engineer serving the program. "Space Shuttle: Developing an Icon, 1972-2013" chronicles the formation, technical details and flight campaign of the reusable launch vehicle within its 1,584 pages, including 4,000 photographs and diagrams.
: Winco, a NASA lapel pin supplier, has created commemoratives to mark the milestone of 50 expedition crews to live and work aboard the International Space Station. Underway since October, Expedition 50 is set to continue through April. The "50 Expeditions" pin and medallion incorporate metal flown on board the station.
: Germany's first woman in space could be the first second-gen German astronaut. Die Astronautin, a private effort to launch a German woman to the International Space Station, announced its six finalists on Wednesday (March 1), including the daughter of a German who flew on the space shuttle. Two women will be selected to train, with the intent to launch one to orbit before 2020.
LEGO launching 'Women of NASA'
: LEGO on Tuesday (Feb. 28) announced it will make a "Women of NASA" minifigure toy set as its next LEGO Ideas product. The set, designed by science editor and writer Maia Weinstock, includes figures of astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison; astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, mathematician Katherine Johnson; and computer scientist Margaret Hamilton.
To the moon, by the end of next year
: Two privately-funded passengers will launch on a "long loop around the moon," flying into deep space on a Dragon spacecraft, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on Monday (Feb. 27). Slated to launch in late 2018, the circumlunar journey could take place on or about the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8, the NASA mission that flew the first astronauts into lunar orbit.
: Two tags that journeyed to the moon inside and outside of the Apollo 11 command module, Columbia are featured on Antiques Roadshow, airing Monday (Feb. 27) on PBS. The artifacts belong to a retired engineer who was the last to sign off on Columbia prior to it shipping to the Cape for launch in 1969. The appraisal also includes a vintage model signed by 15 Apollo astronauts.
NASA to return Apollo 11 bag
: Following a court order issued on Friday (Feb 24), NASA will hand over an Apollo 11 lunar sample bag to an Illinois woman who won it for $995 at a U.S. Marshals Service auction. A judge ruled the space agency was to return the "outer decontamination bag" used to store the first moon rocks that Neil Armstrong collected at Tranquility Base to Nancy Lee Carlson, despite the artifact having been mistakenly sold in February 2015.
'Mission Control' is a 'go'
: A new film about the team behind the moon landings is set for a theatrical release in April. "Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo," from director David Fairhead and Haviland Digital, reveals the NASA flight controllers who guided the early astronauts on their historic space journeys. The documentary features archival footage and interviews with the likes of Chris Kraft and Gene Kranz, among other legends of Mission Control.
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