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March 27, 2015 / 2:55 p.m. CT (1955 GMT)
342 days off the planet: The next time that Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko step foot on Earth, the calendar will read March 2016. The astronaut and cosmonaut launched with cosmonaut Gennady Padalka aboard Soyuz TMA-16M to begin a historic first year-long mission on the International Space Station. Padalka will return to Earth in six months, but first he will set a new record for cumulative days in space, logging just under 900 days on five flights.

March 25, 2015 / 6:40 p.m. CT (2340 GMT)
To boulder go: NASA's planned mission to redirect an asteroid into orbit about the moon will go with "Option B" and retrieve a boulder off of an asteroid rather than bag a complete space rock. The decision will give NASA the opportunity to use the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) to demonstrate deflecting an asteroid, as well as test out new capabilities needed to send astronauts deeper in space.

March 24, 2015 / 3:45 p.m. CT (2045 GMT)
Scott Kelly's many mission patches: From his name tags found among rocket debris to the record number of flight insignia adorned with his name, the story behind Scott Kelly's many space mission patches is as dramatic as they are prolific. Set to launch Friday (March 27) to the International Space Station, Kelly together with cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year in orbit collecting data to support even longer expeditions into deep space.

March 23, 2015 / 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)


Gemini 3 at 50: Fifty years ago on Monday (March 23), NASA launched its first two-man crew on the maiden manned mission of the Gemini program. Gemini 3 commander Virgil "Gus" Grissom and pilot John Young orbited the Earth three times, during which they performed the first orbital maneuver by a crewed spacecraft. The two also set another, less important but perhaps better recognized first, smuggling the first corned beef sandwich into space.

March 19, 2015 / 6:50 p.m. CT (2350 GMT)
14 seconds 45 years ago: Omega's "Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award" Speedmaster asks the question on its dial, "What could you do in 14 seconds?" The question is a nod to the 14-second mid-course correction that Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert timed using his Speedmaster 45 years ago. Omega earned a NASA Silver Snoopy award as a result of that event, which the new watch also celebrates with the inclusion of Snoopy on its face and caseback.

March 18, 2015 / 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)


First spacewalk at 50: Alexei Leonov took a short (space) walk into history 50 years ago Wednesday (March 18), as he performed the world's first-ever extra-vehicular activity. The 12-minute EVA established that "leaving the spacecraft into outer space is quite possible and no longer mysterious to a man," as Leonov wrote in his official report for the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).

March 16, 2015 / 6:30 p.m. CT (2330 GMT)
Journey To Space: "Journey to Space," the new documentary from K2 and Giant Screen Films, is now launching onto the big screens at NASA centers and space museums. The movie, narrated by actor Patrick Stewart and astronauts Chris Ferguson and Serena Aunon, showcases NASA's historic space shuttle program and its future plans for deep space exploration, including landing on Mars.

March 13, 2015 / 11:35 a.m. CT (1635 GMT)
T+5,000 and counting: A fan's model of the International Space Station needs just under 4,500 more votes to be considered by LEGO for production, but has less than two months to recruit the support. "Now it's time to ignite those thrusters," LEGO wrote in a comment to the model's creator Christoph Ruge on the LEGO Ideas website. "Make that final push to 10,000 supporters!"

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March 11, 2015 / 9:35 p.m. CT (0235 GMT March 12)
TMA-14M touches down: One hundred and sixty seven days after leaving Earth for the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore and Roscosmos cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova returned home Wednesday (March 11). Descending under parachutes onboard Soyuz TMA-14M, the three Expedition 41/42 crewmates landed on the steppe of Kazakhstan.

March 11, 2015 / 10:50 a.m. CT (1550 GMT)
SLS booster fired: The world's largest solid rocket booster thundered across, rather than above, Utah on Wednesday (March 11) in a ground test for NASA's new heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS). The firing, the first of two planned qualification tests, measured the performance of the five-segment motor, which was built from case parts flown on 23 shuttle missions and an aft skirt that was used on the space shuttle's first flight, STS-1, in April 1981.

March 10, 2015 / 12:00 p.m. CT (1700 GMT)
Sarah Brightman's personal space patch: British singer Sarah Brightman revealed the mission patch for her self-funded flight to the International Space Station at a briefing held Tuesday (March 10) in London. The soprano described her personal emblem as borrowing imagery from the Soviet space posters of the 1960s, while paying tribute to the Apollo moon landings as well. Scheduled for a Sept. 1 launch, Brightman plans to become the first professional musician to sing from space during her 10 days in orbit.

March 9, 2015 / 1:30 a.m. CT (0630 GMT)
QM-1 case history: When Orbital ATK lights a five-segment solid rocket motor in Utah on Wednesday (March 11), it will be test firing an advanced booster that's steeped in space shuttle history. The first of two ground tests in support of NASA's heavy-lift Space Launch System, the qualification motor (QM-1) is comprised of case parts that flew on 23 space shuttle missions dating back 30 years.

March 6, 2015 / 11:10 a.m. CT (1710 GMT)
Dawn over Ceres: NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Friday (March 6) became the first robotic probe to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet. The spacecraft was about 38,000 miles from Ceres when it was captured by the small icy body's gravity. Dawn also has the distinction of being the first mission to orbit two extraterrestrial worlds. From 2011 to 2012, the spacecraft explored the giant asteroid Vesta.

March 5, 2015 / 12:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)


IMAX on-orbit: Toni Myers is making a new film where, once again, her cameras are 250 miles above her. The director of "Hubble 3D" and IMAX's other "filmed by the astronauts in space" movies, Myers has the next seven months to wrap filming on the International Space Station for the tentatively-titled documentary "The Perfect Planet." NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Terry Virts have sent down a "deluge of beautiful images," according to Myers.

March 3, 2015 / 9:05 a.m. CT (1505 GMT)
Norman Carlson, 1934-2015: Norm Carlson served as the launch vehicle test conductor for Apollo 11, the first moon landing, and the test director for STS-1, the maiden launch of the space shuttle Columbia, but he may be best known for starting the tradition of providing beans and cornbread to celebrate a successful liftoff. Carlson, who is credited by his peers for also devising the "built-in hold" in launch countdowns, died on Sunday (March 1) at age 81.

March 2, 2015 / 12:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)
F. Curt Michel, 1934-2015: Chosen in 1965 among NASA's first six scientist-astronauts, Curt Michel died on Feb. 23 at the age of 80. An astrophysicist, Michel resigned from the program before he was assigned to a space mission when it became clear he would not be flying to the moon. Instead, Michel returned to his studies in solar wind, radio pulsars and numerical methods at Rice University.

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