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September 17, 2021

/ 1:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)

Shenzhou 12 lands:

China's first crewed mission to its new space station came to an end Friday (Sep. 17) with the landing of the Shenzhou 12 spacecraft in the Gobi Desert. Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo spent 90 days on board the Tianhe core module, setting a new record for time in space by Chinese astronauts while outfitting the new outpost and conducting two spacewalks.

September 15, 2021

/ 7:25 p.m. CT (0025 GMT Sep 16)

Inspiration4 launches:

The world's first all-amateur space crew is now in orbit, having lifted off on the Inspiration4 mission aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon. Commander Jared Isaacman, pilot Sian Proctor, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux and mission specialist Chris Sembroski will spend three days collecting medical data, viewing Earth and fundraising for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

September 12, 2021

/ 2:15 p.m. CT (1915 GMT)

All-international EVA:

Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet made history on Sunday (Sep. 12) as the first international crewmates to perform a spacewalk without an American or Russian at their side. The Japanese and French astronauts assembled and installed the mount for a new solar array outside of the International Space Station. The EVA was also the first to be filmed using a custom 3D, 360-degree VR camera for the ISS Experience production.

September 8, 2021

/ 12:30 a.m. CT (0530 GMT)

Images of Apollo:

J.L. Pickering's archives are one of the reasons why claims of never-before-seen NASA photos are almost always false. A private archivist with a collection of over 150,000 vintage prints and a reputation for uncovering rare spaceflight photography, Pickering has now consigned a small selection of perhaps the most iconic astronaut photos to Heritage Auctions. "Images of Apollo" opened for bids Tuesday (Sept. 7) and concludes Sept. 24.

August 27, 2021

/ 1:45 p.m. CT (1845 GMT)

Clothing label launch:

A new clothing label is redefining what it means to be "high end." The Space Collective is sending NASA logo-adorned labels to spend (at least) six months outside of the International Space Station in among a platform full of experiments. The cloth tags, once returned to Earth, will then be sewn to t-shirts and hoodies for purchase. Available for sale now, the limited edition tags (and a stash of flags) will come with flight documentation.

August 26, 2021

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

Space Pen enters Hall of Fame:

The only pen to be aboard every crewed NASA flight since Apollo 7 is being honored with entry into Space Foundation's Space Technology Hall of Fame. Founded by Paul C. Fisher in 1966, the Fisher Space Pen uses gas, rather than gravity, to keep its ink flowing. The Hall of Fame honors individuals and companies who have adapted technologies originally developed for use in outer space to enhance life on Earth.

August 19, 2021

/ 4:00 p.m. CT (2100 GMT)

Take the controls:

A Kickstarter campaign by a team of Hollywood artists is offering to produce museum-quality, full-scale replicas of the Apollo command module control panel featuring every switch, knob and indicator illuminated like the original. The replica was designed using NASA blueprints and 3D scans of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

August 16, 2021

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

'Test astronaut':

Grumman test pilot Scott MacLeod not only followed in the footsteps of the Apollo astronauts, he often preceded them in making paths on the moon. Clad in a spacesuit and standing inside a mock lunar module at Grumman's factory, MacLeod offered a play-by-play look at what was happening in space and on the lunar surface for Walter Cronkite and his CBS audience. More than an actor though, it was MacLeod's job to stand-in for the astronauts when it came to developing the lunar lander.

August 9, 2021

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

Astro Restoration Project:

A volunteer-run effort is bringing a 30-year-old space shuttle payload back to its original glory. The Astro Restoration Project is repairing and reuniting the three ultraviolet telescopes and support hardware for Astro-1 and Astro-2, the astronomy-dedicated Spacelab missions. The Astro payload will be displayed by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and the Smithsonian.

September 15, 2021

/ 11:30 p.m. CT (0430 GMT Sep 16)

Space puppy:

Within three hours of it being revealed by the Inspiration4 crew, replicas of the mission's zero-g indicator, a plush space puppy, had sold out from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's online gift shop. Named "Jude," the Gund doll was modeled after the hospital's two facility golden retrievers. Sales of the toy, which is clad in a white spacesuit, benefit St. Jude's cancer studies and care.

September 14, 2021

/ 2:15 p.m. CT (1915 GMT)

From Etsy to Earth orbit:

The four people set to fly on the privately-funded, all-amateur Inspiration4 mission have packed a stash of personal items and memorabilia to serve as mementos of their flight and a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. From a miniature of their SpaceX spacecraft to a moonwalker's autograph, the items are as varied in their choice as the crew themselves.

September 10, 2021

/ 10:00 a.m. CT (1500 GMT)

The camera that captured 9/11 from orbit:

Twenty years after it was used to capture the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, astronaut Frank Culbertson's camera has been put on display. As the only American to be off the planet at the time, Culbertson was in a unique position to photograph the scene from aboard the International Space Station. The camera is on exhibit at the Cosmosphere in Kansas through the end of the month.

September 2, 2021

/ 7:25 p.m. CT (0025 GMT Sep 3)

From observer to administrator:

NASA's 14th administrator returned to his roots this week, visiting the Johnson Space Center for the first time since he was sworn into office. Bill Nelson previously reported to the center as a congressional observer training for his 1986 flight on the space shuttle. Despite the memories, Nelson's focus on this trip was the role Johnson is playing in NASA's future.

August 26, 2021

/ 12:35 p.m. CT (1735 GMT)

Fly your own New Shepard:

Now you can launch your own Blue Origin New Shepard rocket from your backyard. The commercial spaceflight company has partnered with the model rocket company Estes Industries to offer a ready-to-fly 1:66 model of the suborbital booster and crew capsule. Each model rocket comes with a Club for the Future postcard that Blue Origin will fly on a New Shepard flight to space and then return to its sender as a keepsake.

August 24, 2021

/ 2:00 p.m. CT (1900 GMT)

Tianwen-1 tokens:

The People's Bank of China is set to release three commemorative coins in celebration of the nation's first Mars mission. The Tianwen-1 gold and silver coins each depict a different aspect of the mission, including entering orbit, landing and exploring the surface. The coins' release on Monday (Aug. 30) coincides with the successful completion of the Zhurong rover's primary 30-Martian-day mission and the start of extended operations.

August 11, 2021

/ 11:15 p.m. CT (0415 GMT Aug 12)

Armstrong Test Facility:

Eight months after the name change was signed into law, NASA held a ceremony on Wednesday (Aug. 11) to rededicate its Plum Brook Station as the Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility. The remote site in Sandusky, Ohio, is used to expose spacecraft and rockets to the conditions they will encounter in flight. The renaming honors the late Apollo 11 commander and first moonwalker.

August 10, 2021

/ 9:30 p.m. CT (0230 GMT Aug 11)

Slurpee 'space' flight:

To be clear, the 7-Eleven Slurpee "Space Delivery" that was launched by balloon on Tuesday (Aug. 10) did not reach space. But the Coca-Cola-flavored frozen drink did become the highest flying, convenience store-dispensed beverage in history. The Slurpee flew in a limited edition commemorative cup that labeled the contents as a "Slurpee For All Mankind."

Upcoming space events:

Auction [9/7-24]
Images of Apollo: J.L. Pickering
Heritage Auctions

Auction [9/18-19]
Lunar Legacies Space Memorabilia
Invaluable and Auction Zip

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Newly Added Sightings:
[10/12]  Bonnie Dunbar
[11/20]  Nicole Stott
[10/02]  Wally Funk

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