The Source for Space History and Artifacts
Choose the moon
: A retired astronaut finds a rocket-like ride at the wheel of his son's car in Audi's new ad to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday (Feb. 7). The spot, which is set to David Bowie's "Starman," features a fictional Apollo astronaut first seen surrounded by memorabilia from the golden age of space exploration. The commercial, titled "The Commander," was first teased by Audi last month with the help of a real Apollo commander, Gene Cernan.
Apollo: The Panoramas • now available from moonpans.com
Moon mission's living monuments
: Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Ed Mitchell landed on the moon 45 years ago this week, while Stu Roosa remained in orbit. Whereas Shepard may have provided the flight's most memorable moment, hitting a golf ball for "miles and miles," it was Roosa who planted the (tree) seeds for what are still Apollo's living monuments four and a half decades later.
Astronaut Hall of Fame
: The commander of the 100th space shuttle mission and a space walker who flew on STS-100 will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 14 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Entering the Astronaut Hall of Fame as the 15th class of space shuttle veterans since 2001, Brian Duffy and Scott Parazynski bring the total honorees to 93.
One watch, two space stations
: An Omega Speedmaster X-33 watch that was worn by a cosmonaut aboard the Mir space station and the International Space Station is now being auctioned. Christie's began online bidding on Thursday (Jan. 28) for the chronograph that Sergei Zalyotin wore for a total of 84 days on his two space missions.
51L's fallen flags and patches
: Thirty years after the space shuttle Challenger was lost in flight, what became of the flags and patches recovered from its debris and then presented to the U.S. states and territories? The artifact adorned plaques were meant to be memorials to the fallen STS-51L astronauts, so where are they displayed today?
Viking Mission Museum
: A newly-launched online archive documents the first mission to successfully land on Mars 40 years ago. The virtual Viking Mission Museum displays more than 300 artifacts from the robotic spacecraft that touched down on the red planet in 1976. The non-profit Viking Mars Missions Education & Preservation Project has partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to preserve and present the collection of documents and recollections.
'Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes'
National Geographic's new documentary, "Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes," premieres on Monday (Jan. 25) to mark the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle accident. The one-hour special uses long-forgotten news footage, radio reports and rarely-seen NASA video to reconstruct the 1986 tragedy.
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'Bigger on the inside'
: Independence Plaza at Space Center Houston opens on Saturday (Jan. 23), providing guests a first look inside the historic shuttle carrier aircraft NASA 905 and full-size replica orbiter Independence. In this photo gallery, collectSPACE shares an inside and out, top to bottom preview of the new eight-story-tall exhibit.
: Two months after starting as a seed inside NASA's Veggie growth chamber, a bright orange zinnia flower bloomed on the International Space Station on Saturday (Jan 16). "First ever flower grown in space makes its debut!" astronaut Scott Kelly stated in response. Though he had reason to be proud (he helped save the plant from dying due to mold), his '#spaceflower' was not the first.
Astronauts, skydivers and fireworks
: The largest single artifact saved from NASA's 30-year space shuttle program will the center of a celebration on Saturday (Jan 23) as Space Center Houston opens Independence Plaza. The $12 million, eight-story-tall exhibit features NASA's first Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747 jetliner, and the replica space shuttle Independence – both of which can be boarded. The opening ceremony will feature astronauts, skydivers and fireworks, leading into a day full of events.
'Inspiration' in motion
: A full scale model of a space shuttle departed its "parking spot" of 20 years on Saturday (Jan. 16) to embark on a new mission as an educational exhibit. The "Inspiration," which was on display in Florida outside the now-former U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, rolled atop a multi-wheeled transporter to a barge that then took it to where it will be repaired and upgraded. Acquired by LVX System, the orbiter mockup will eventually travel America's waterways to bring the space shuttle to new audiences.
Spacewalk cut short
: A small water leak in NASA astronaut Tim Kopra's helmet resulted in Mission Control terminating his and British astronaut Tim Peake's extravehicular activity (EVA) on Friday (Jan. 15). The two achieved their main task, replacing a voltage regulator, before having to return to the airlock as a result of the leak. Kopra wasn't in any danger NASA said, but they followed procedures set after a more serious leak in 2013. The spacewalk had been slated for six and a half hours but ended shy of five.
Three to get ready
: NASA announced three contracts to resupply the International Space Station from 2019 through 2024 on Thursday (Jan. 14). In addition to continuing flights by SpaceX's Dragon and Orbital ATK's Cygnus capsules, the agency also selected Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spaceplane to deliver science equipment and crew logistics to the orbiting laboratory. Each company will fly at least six uncrewed cargo missions to the space station.
Shuttle for tomorrow
: "Inspiration," the full-scale space shuttle mockup that for 20 years sat outside the US Astronaut Hall of Fame in Florida, is moving. Also called the "Shuttle to Tomorrow," the orbiter is set to be upgraded to become an educational outreach tool and showpiece for LVX System, the company underwriting the work. If current plans hold, the Inspiration will ultimately embark on a barge and tour along the waterways of the United States.
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