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June 1, 2015

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


Astronaut Hall of Fame

: Four space shuttle veterans were added to the Astronaut Hall of Fame Saturday (May 29) at a ceremony held under shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. The class of 2015 included spacewalker John Grunsfeld, early female astronaut Rhea Seddon, and commanders Steven Lindsey and Kent Rominger. Founded 25 years ago, the Astronaut Hall Fame now honors a total of 91 U.S. space explorers.


May 30, 2015

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


'Heroes and Legends'

: The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex broke ground Friday (May 29) on a new attraction that will provide guests with the sensation they are floating in the vastness of space. Scheduled to open in 2016, "Heroes and Legends" will feature the Astronaut Hall of Fame, bringing the artifacts from the 25-year-old off-site museum onto the visitor complex's campus and adding to them high-tech immersive and interactive experiences.


May 28, 2015

/ 6:00 a.m. CT (1100 GMT)




#94 from LA to L.A.

: The California Science Center will receive the last of NASA's space shuttle external tanks, ET-94, to display with Endeavour and a pair of real rocket boosters for its unique launch pad-like exhibit opening in 2018. The tank, which is currently in Louisiana near New Orleans, will be delivered by barge to Los Angeles, via the Panama Canal, and then, like Endeavour, will complete the journey by embarking on a road trip to the science center.


May 27, 2015

/ 8:20 a.m. CT (1320 GMT)


Module moved

: Marking its first remodeling since the end of the shuttle program in 2011, the International Space Station's Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) "Leonardo" was moved from the Unity node to Tranquility on Wednesday (May 27) to free a port for cargo freighters and make way for future Boeing and SpaceX commercial crew spacecraft to dock at the outpost. The PMM, which serves as a storage closet, was first installed during STS-133, the final flight of the space shuttle Discovery, four years ago.


May 26, 2015

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


Google Doodles for Sally Ride

: Coinciding with what would have been her 64th birthday on Tuesday (May 26), Sally Ride is featured in five new Google Doodles that highlight her achievements as an astronaut and educator. The Doodles, created by animator Olivia Huynh, show the first American woman in space floating onboard the shuttle and inspiring a new generation of scientists and explorers.


May 22, 2015

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




Tomorrowland

: In Disney's "Tomorrowland" (opening in theaters Friday [May 22]), Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) dreams of flying in space. But (note: minor spoilers) with NASA dismantling its launch pad, her future seems bleak. It's that same platform though, Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, that in real-life provided the filmmakers with the sense of awe they sought to capture in the movie.


May 20, 2015

/ 10:15 a.m. CT (1515 GMT)


X-37B, LightSail lift off

: A clandestine mini-space shuttle and a citizen-funded prototype solar sailing satellite lifted off on Wednesday (May 20) from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch began the 4th mission for the U.S. Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), which this time is carrying an experimental thruster and a NASA materials study. The Planetary Society's first LightSail, one of ten CubeSats that hitched a ride atop the Atlas V, will demonstrate deploying the large reflective sail that will tack into the solar wind on its primary mission.


May 17, 2015

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


Chuck Norris and the Shuttle-747

: Actors, astronauts and Houston's high society came out on Friday (May 15) to attend the "Galaxy Gala" fundraiser for Space Center Houston's display of the original Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and replica orbiter Independence. The evening's attendees included veteran astronauts Gene Cernan, Mark Kelly, and Ellen Ochoa; actor Gary Sinise, who closed out the event with his Lt. Dan Band; and Chuck Norris, who delivered a punch of support for the $12 million landmark attraction.


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May 13, 2015

/ 2:25 p.m. CT (1925 GMT)


Centimeter of sail

: Bill Nye, as CEO of The Planetary Society, has started a Kickstarter campaign for the LightSail, a "citizen-funded flight by light" launching in fall 2016. Already beyond the Society's initial goal of $200,000, the crowdfunding campaign is now aiming for $1 million, in part by offering a "centimeter of sail," symbolic squares of the solar sailing cubesat's Mylar material, to supporters.


May 13, 2015

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


What is Pluto?

Astronaut Mark Kelly traded his flight stick for a buzzer on Tuesday (May 12) as he faced Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and investor Kevin O'Leary of "Shark Tank" on Celebrity Jeopardy! Playing for a Houston hospital, Kelly fielded questions in "Traveling Amongst the Stars" and "'N' Deavour," but it was a clue in "Physical Sciences" that led to his most notable reply.


May 12, 2015

/ 4:05 p.m. CT (2105 GMT)


Departures delayed

: Terry Virts, Samantha Cristoforetti and Anton Shkaplerov had been scheduled to depart the International Space Station on Wednesday (May 13), but instead will wait until at least early June. The delay, which has also put off the next crewed launch to late July, comes as a result of the loss of Russia's Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft and the investigation into that failure.


May 11, 2015

/ 6:55 p.m. CT (2355 GMT)


Shuttle arm reaches out

: The public touring NASA's Kennedy Space Center can now get up-close with a historic space shuttle launch pad artifact, but its exhibit is temporary. The orbiter access arm and white room from Pad 39A was recently relocated to outside the 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building to wait its next indoor housing. The arm was used by 82 space shuttle crews from 1981 to 2011.


May 8, 2015

/ 6:25 p.m. CT (2325 GMT)


Space Cups for all!

IRPI, the Oregon-based R&D company behind the specially-designed space coffee cups on board the International Space Station, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to make the Space Cups available to all aspiring barista-nauts. Perks (get it?) include mission patches, 3D-printed cup keychains and of course, the cups themselves, in glass and 3D-printed plastic as is on orbit.


May 7, 2015

/ 10:15 p.m. CT (0315 GMT May 8)


Progress plunges to Earth

: Nine days after it spun out of control on its way to resupply the International Space Station, the Russian Progress M-27M spacecraft plunged back to Earth on Thursday night (May 7). The cargo craft broke apart and burned up as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, though some debris may have made it to the surface. An investigation is ongoing as to what caused the Progress M-27M and its three tons of supplies to be lost.


May 6, 2015

/ 8:25 a.m. CT (1325 GMT)




Pad abort

: SpaceX conducted the first flight test of its Crew Dragon on Wednesday (May 6), demonstrating how the spacecraft and its future astronaut crews could fly away from a launch failure. The two-minute pad abort test used the Dragon's eight SuperDraco engines to push it just under a mile high and 0.7 miles downrange to a parachute-assisted splashdown. The same Dragon will be used for an in-flight abort test atop a Falcon 9 rocket later this year.


May 5, 2015

/ 12:20 p.m. CT (1720 GMT)


55 years of pad abort tests

: SpaceX is set to fire the first "big test" of its Crew Dragon, its capsule designed to deliver astronauts to the space station. The pad abort test, which will push (rather than pull) the capsule from a ground-based mount representing the company's Falcon 9 rocket, is the latest in a 55-year history of launch escape system trials that began with NASA's Mercury program.


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