: Polish toy company Cobi has released a new building block kit of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner commercial crew capsule. The 227-piece set, which is built from blocks compatible with LEGO bricks, is an "officially licensed" Boeing product. The toy model also features two astronaut figures garbed in "Boeing Blue" spacesuits.
Apollo 11 pen
: Fisher Space Pen has a new pen capped by a piece of history. The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Astronaut Pen and Coin Set features an authentic fragment of Kapton polyimide tape that flew on the exterior of the command module "Columbia." The new set also includes a medallion minted for Fisher Space Pen. The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary AG-7 pen has a titanium nitride finish, 24 karat gold-plated engravings and is a limited edition of 500.
'Carrying the Fire'
: Considered by many as the best of the astronaut memoirs, "Carrying the Fire" by Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins has been re-released for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. In a new preface, Collins reflects on the current state of space exploration and his life as an ex-astronaut. Collins spoke to collectSPACE about the legacy of "Carrying the Fire."
: Christina Koch's current first stay onboard the International Space Station will be one for the record books. Rather than return home in six months as is typical, Koch will log 328 days, collecting data for missions to the moon and Mars while setting a record for the longest single mission by a woman. Her extended stay aboard the space station will span expedition crews 59, 60 and 61.
Budweiser and boot prints
: Budweiser has brewed a limited edition lager in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Based on a recipe that dates back to the time of the Apollo missions, Discovery Reserve features a reddish color reminiscent of Mars and a bottle design that includes nods to the past and future of space exploration.
Owen Garriott, 1930-2019
: The first person to use ham radio from space, Owen Garriott died on Monday (April 15) at 88. A member of NASA's first group of scientist-astronauts, Garriott logged almost 70 days off the planet on two missions, Skylab 3 in 1973 and STS-9 in 1983. He was also the first U.S. astronaut to have a child follow him into space, with the launch of his son, Richard, in 2008.
: An Israeli lunar lander met its end on Thursday (April 11) arriving on the moon's surface, but not as planned. SpaceIL had intended for the Beresheet spacecraft to be the first privately-developed probe to land on the moon, but an engine failure resulted in it crashing to the ground in the final minutes of its powered descent.
'Best book on Apollo'
: In James Donovan's new book "Shoot for the Moon" the history of the first lunar landing mission is told from the perspective of some of the people who made it happen. One of those individuals found the approach resulted in the "best book on Apollo that [he had] read," an endorsement that now appears on the cover. The blurb's author? Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins.
Astronaut Hall of Fame
: James Buchli and Janet Kavandi were honored Saturday (April 6) with their induction into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Nearly 30 astronauts spanning the past 50 years of spaceflight attended the ceremony, which was held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Buchli, who launched on four shuttle missions, and Kavandi, who flew three times to space, entered the Hall of Fame as its 98th and 99th astronaut inductees.
Scent of space
: For years, astronauts have reported smelling the distinct scent of space, a burnt metal odor wafting from airlocks after spacewalks. Based in part on astronaut Tony Antonelli's own olfactory experience with the scent, Lockheed Martin launched "Vector," a fragrance that captures the outer space aroma. More than an April Fools' Day joke, Vector is also intended to increase awareness of Lockheed Martin's 60 year history of building spacecraft.
50 Years from Tranquility Base
: Nearly two dozen Apollo 11 artifacts comprise "50 Years from Tranquility Base," the new exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum celebrating the first moon landing. Among the items are several artifacts returned to Earth by Neil Armstrong, which were only discovered after his death. The display case also shows objects from the former "Apollo to the Moon" gallery.
Valery Bykovsky, 1934-2019
: Selected with the Soviet Union's first group of cosmonauts, Valery Bykovsky became the fifth Russian to fly into space in 1963, on the first of his three missions. He died Wednesday (March 27) at the age of 84. Bykovsky set the still-standing record for the longest solo spaceflight on Vostok 5, a mission flown jointly with the first woman in space. He later led two Soyuz flights after training for a possible circumlunar mission.
To the moon within 5 years
: Vice President Mike Pence, addressing the National Space Council on Tuesday (March 26), set the goal of returning astronauts to the moon's surface within the next five years. The landing, which Pence called America's "next giant leap," will be targeted at the moon's south pole and will accomplished using NASA's Space Launch System or "by any means necessary."
: NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has lowered Lunar Module 9 (LM-9) from its overhead display as part of a reimagining of the Apollo/Saturn V Center. A remnant of a replanned Apollo mission, LM-9 was relocated to the ground as other changes to the center were underway for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.
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