S.S. Gene Cernan
: Orbital ATK's next space station-bound cargo ship will lift off under the name of the last man on the moon. The OA-8 Cygnus commercial resupply spacecraft is christened the "S.S. Gene Cernan," honoring the Apollo 17 astronaut who died in January at age 82. The S.S. Gene Cernan is targeted for launch in November.
LEGO 'Women of NASA'
: LEGO will launch its new "Women of NASA" minifigures set for sale on Nov. 1. The fan-designed set honors four trailblazing women, including "Mother of Hubble" Nancy Grace Roman; first American woman astronaut in space, Sally Ride; Margaret Hamilton, Apollo software coder; and Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space. The "Women of NASA" set also includes settings and spacecraft builds to go with the minifigures.
: When the UCF Knights take to the field on Saturday (Oct. 14), the Central Florida university football team will sport new uniforms celebrating the school's support for the U.S. space program. The "Space Game" wear will feature a mission patch and helmets adorned with Hubble Space Telescope imagery. The team uniforms also include a nod to NASA's historic Saturn V moon rocket.
Return to Houston
: Almost 50 years since it was last in Houston, the Apollo 11 command module Columbia will debut on public display at Space Center Houston, as the first stop of the Smithsonian's "Destination Moon: Apollo 11 Mission" traveling exhibit, on Saturday (Oct. 14). On its prior visit to Houston, Columbia was hidden from view.
Coat of arms
: Sworn in on Monday (Oct. 2), Julie Payette is now the Governor General of Canada, the Queen's representative and the commander in chief of the Canadian Armed Forces. With her inauguration, also came the reveal of Payette's coat of arms, a design full of symbolism including nods to her being a former astronaut. A spacesuit helmet tops the art, representing Payette's shuttle missions to the International Space Station in 1999 and 2009.
Spacewalkers 'hand' it to Canadarm2
: The International Space Station's primary robotic arm had one of its hands replaced Thursday (Oct. 5), after 16 years of grappling vehicles and hardware. Two NASA astronauts, Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei, removed the degraded hand, or latching end effector, from the Canadarm2 and installed a spare during a seven-hour spacewalk. The faulty LEE will be returned to Earth next year to be serviced for reuse.
'View from Above'
: Former NASA astronaut Terry Virts takes readers on a visual journey into space and back in "View from Above: An Astronaut Photographs the World," released by National Geographic on Tuesday (Oct. 3). The new book features the best 300 photos out of the more than 300,000 images taken by Virts during his 200 days off the planet. "I really wanted to capture what it is like to fly a space mission," Virts told collectSPACE in an interview.
Sputnik sale soars
: Sixty years after it was used to prepare for the launch of the world's first satellite, a Sputnik test model shot up to more than three-quarters of a million dollars on Wednesday (Sept. 27) at Bonhams' Air & Space sale in New York. The replica Sputnik sale preceded the 60th anniversary of the launch of the historic satellite by a week. The auction also included an Apollo intravehicular glove sized for Apollo 11 moonwalker Neil Armstrong.
Soyuz on UK tour
: Almost two years after it landed with British astronaut Tim Peake from a 185-day mission to the International Space Station and nearly a year after its acquisition by the Science Museum, London, the Soyuz TMA-19M is launching on a two-year, eight-stop tour of the United Kingdom. The spacecraft and its main parachute, as well as a related VR experience, will be seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors, including at a venue to be decided through a public competition.
'Turtles' on a post
: NASA's new astronauts are "The Turtles." The new nickname, which describes the 12 members of the 22nd U.S. astronaut class, as well as the two Canadian candidates training with them, was revealed by the director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. A possible nod to a Mercury-era practical joke, the nickname plays off Hurricane Harvey and a joke about "post-turtles."
: Telescopes on Earth will be pointed at Saturn on Friday (Sep. 15) on the chance they can capture the last moments of NASA's Cassini spacecraft as it plunges into the ringed planet and is destroyed. After two decades in space and 13 years circling Saturn, Cassini has reached its end. The mission leaves behind a rich scientific legacy, but looking back its 20-year history, Cassini's mark on pop culture may be as faint as its impact with Saturn.
Soyuz MS-06 launches
: Launching from the same pad where the Space Age saw its start 60 years ago, a Russian cosmonaut and two U.S. astronauts lifted off for the International Space Station on Tuesday (Sept. 12) aboard Russia's Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft. Alexander Misurkin, Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei will serve on the Expedition 53 and 54 crews during their five months in space together.
Sputnik on Soyuz
: Soyuz MS-06 will lift off on Tuesday (Sept. 12) from the same launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome where the world's first satellite departed Earth 60 years ago (less 22 days). To mark the anniversary, the Soyuz FG rocket that will loft the space station-bound spacecraft is adorned with a "First In Space" logo, while the crew, Alexander Misurkin, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, will use a mini model of Sputnik as their zero-g indicator.
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