The Source for Space History and Artifacts
: On Nov. 11, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will open Heroes and Legends, featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. The new attraction will provide guests with immersive experiences that highlight the almost 100 astronauts honored in the Hall of Fame. To help put their roles as heroes into context, the visitor complex is now inviting the public to submit videos about their heroes, with the chance to see themselves in Heroes & Legends.
: Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko are back on Earth, having safely landed on board Russia's Soyuz TMA-19M on the steppe of Kazakhstan. The three crewmates spent more than 185 days on the International Space Station since their launch in December. Malenchenko now ranks second for the most time in space. Peake is Britain's first government-sponsored astronaut.
To INFINITY and beyond
: The last Saturn V rocket stage to be built has left its birthplace and home of the past 38 years, the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, to be put on display at the INFINITY Science Center in Mississippi. The S-IC stage, which would have launched on Apollo 19 had that mission not been canceled, will arrive at the center on Tuesday (June 21), where a fundraising effort will lead to its conservation and a future indoor exhibit.
LEGO to launch Saturn V
: NASA's massive rocket that flew the first astronauts to land on the moon is the next topic on LEGO's launch pad. The toy company on Thursday (June 9) announced it will produce the Saturn V scale model designed by Felix Stiessen and Valerie Roche which last year received 10,000 votes on LEGO Ideas. The 3-foot toy rocket is slated for release later this year or early next.
Air Force space gallery
: The last Lockheed Martin Titan IVB rocket is now on display, 13 feet above visitors' heads, as part of the new space gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. A part of the museum's fourth building, which opened Wednesday (June 8), the new gallery showcases rocket planes, satellites and capsules that span the U.S. Air Force's history in space.
S.S. Alan Poindexter
: Four years after Alan Poindexter died in a tragic recreational water sports accident, he is being honored with the naming of a space station-bound cargo craft. Orbital ATK on Tuesday (June 7) announced it had christened its OA-5 Cygnus resupply ship for the late NASA astronaut. A veteran of two spaceflights, Poindexter helped to build and stock the International Space Station.
: A new documentary, to be previewed for the first time this week, shines light on the personal and professional stories of NASA's flight controllers. "Mission Control: The Men Who Put a Man on the Moon," from the producers of the Gene Cernan biopic "The Last Man on the Moon," features Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz, Steve Bales, John Aaron, Sy Liebergot, and others who made the "go/no go" calls behind the Apollo lunar landings' success.
Boggs SpaceBooks closes shop
: Whether you were looking for an astronaut's memoirs, a vintage NASA publication or a title from the first half century of space exploration, Boggs SpaceBooks was your online source. Donald Boggs, who founded the store in 1999, is now closing shop and sending its remaining inventory, as well as his personal collection, to auction. "I'm looking forward to reading books and spending less time shipping them," said Boggs.
BEAM 'pops' out
: The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is now at its full size outside the International Space Station, after its successful inflation on Saturday (May 28). The first human-rated expandable module in space, BEAM will be monitored over the next two years to gauge its performance. It took 25 bursts of the station's air, ranging from one to 30 seconds long, to expand the BEAM. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, who controlled the inflation, heard pops, "like popcorn in a frying pan," as the room's rip stop fabric straps and stitches were released as planned.
Airport renamed for astronaut
: Lawmakers in Ohio unanimously voted Wednesday (May 25) to name the Port Columbus International Airport for John Glenn. The first American to orbit the Earth and the oldest person to fly in space, Glenn is the last surviving Mercury 7 astronaut. The renamed John Glenn Columbus International Airport is the second U.S. international airport named for an astronaut.
: Just in time for the deployment of the real experimental habitat on board the International Space Station, NASA is offering an origami model of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM. The "origaBEAMi" reproduces the inflatable room in miniature using about two dozen folds of a single sheet of paper and "a good firm puff of air." The model's template and Ground Crew Procedures (instructions) can be downloaded from NASA's website.
What's next for ET-94
: NASA's last existing built for flight space shuttle external tank was delivered to the California Science Center on Saturday (May 21) but it wasn't until the next day that it arrived in its newly-paved parking spot. Now in place beside the pavilion displaying the orbiter Endeavour, work will commence restoring ET-94 in full view of the public. The California Science Center plans to exhibit the tank, mated with Endeavour and two rocket boosters, in an unprecedented vertical display slated to debut in 2019.
: Four decades after Mark and Scott Kelly graduated from Pleasantdale Elementary School, the twin astronauts were honored Thursday (May 19) with the school's renaming. Kelly Elementary in West Orange, New Jersey celebrates the two astronauts' NASA careers, which included helping to assemble the International Space Station, serving on board the orbiting outpost, commanding the space shuttle and upgrading the Hubble Telescope.
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