NASA's new administrator
: Jim Bridenstine was sworn in as NASA Administrator by Vice President Mike Pence on Monday (April 23). A naval pilot, politician and the director of an air & space museum, Bridenstine is the 13th person to be administrator in NASA's 60 years and the first head of the agency born after the Apollo moon landings.
Astronaut Hall of Fame
: More than a dozen space explorers were at the Kennedy Space Center on Saturday (April 21) to see Thomas Jones and Scott Altman be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Combined, the two honorees flew on eight space shuttle missions, helping to service the Hubble Telescope and build the International Space Station. Jones and Altman were the 17th class to be inducted into the Hall, which now honors 97 astronauts.
Vladimir Lyakhov, 1941-2018
: A Soviet-era cosmonaut who flew to three different space stations, Vladimir Lyakhov died on Thursday (April 19) at 76. Lyakhkov lived in Earth orbit for a total of 333 days as the commander of the Soyuz 32, T-8 and TM-6 missions to the Salyut 6, 7 and Mir space stations in 1979, 1983 and 1988, respectively.
: Eleven years after he directed "In the Shadow of the Moon," a documentary about the Apollo astronauts, filmmaker David Sington has collaborated with Heather Walsh to direct a companion hour about the women who could have also flown to the moon. Now streaming on Netflix, "Mercury 13" tells the story of the women pilots who underwent the same tests as NASA's first astronauts.
Moonwalker vs. moon watchmaker
: Apollo 15 commander David Scott has a judge's go to proceed with a lawsuit over the marketing of a replica moon watch. Bulova and Sterling (Kay) Jewelers referred to Scott's connection to the chronograph in their promotional material without the astronaut's consent, allegedly violating his right to publicity and control over his persona. On April 4, a judge rejected a summary judgement, finding Scott's claims had standing.
Air and Space director
: The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum has named its next director. Ellen Stofan, NASA's former chief scientist, succeeds Jack Dailey after 19 years. A planetary geologist who has studied Venus, Mars, Saturn's moon Titan and Earth, Stofan began her professional career as a college intern at the museum.
'E' is for Apollo
: The U.S. Postal Service on Friday (April 6) released a new set of stamps highlighting science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education. A diagram of NASA's Apollo spacecraft is featured on the engineering stamp as a "positive" example of the discipline.
: Robert Kurson was five years old when Apollo 8 launched the first humans to the moon, but it was not until four decades later that he found it was "the greatest space story ever told." A chance encounter with the mission's spacecraft ultimately led to Kurson talking with its crew and then writing "Rocket Men" about their journey.
Starliner MO OFT patch
: Boeing's CST-100 Starliner is the centerpiece of its first mission patch, as debuted by the Boeing mission ops (MO) team on Tuesday (April 3). The Orbital Flight Test (OFT) emblem, which also shows locations on Earth key to the mission, represents the NASA contracted team that will command the flight from Starliner mission control at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
: China's first prototype space station is no more. After six and a half years in orbit, including 24 days crewed by 6 taikonauts, the Tiangong-1 (Celestial Palace) space lab made an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, breaking apart during its fiery fall. Any debris from Tiangong-1 fell into the south Pacific Ocean.
100th expedition EVA
: Two U.S. astronauts went outside the International Space Station to retrieve and install hardware on Thursday (March 29), marking the 100th spacewalk by expedition crew members. Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold added new wireless communication antennas and replaced a faulty standard definition camera, as well as retrieved a pair of jumper cables during the six-hour EVA.
To protect and preserve
: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has submitted to Congress an 8-page report with its recommendations on how best to protect and preserve the Apollo moon landing sites. The assessment, which Congress mandated in 2017, finds historic, cultural and scientific reasons to safeguard the six lunar heritage sites and their artifacts, but has reservations about hindering commercial efforts in the process or having to amend or negotiate new international treaties to do so.
'One Strange Rock'
: Astronauts are Earth's storytellers in National Geographic's new 10-part TV series "One Strange Rock," debuting Monday (March 26). With Will Smith as host, "One Strange Rock" looks at our planet from the perspective of those who left it, revealing how the story of the Earth is interconnected with their experiences in orbit and with all life on the ground. The series was filmed on six continents and aboard the International Space Station.
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