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January 22, 2021

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)

Lunar sample 76015,143

: A moon rock now sits on display adjacent to the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. The lunar sample, number 76015,143, was chipped off a boulder during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. President Joe Biden requested the moon rock as a symbol of science and in recognition of earlier generations' accomplishments. The new display is the second Apollo moon rock that NASA has loaned for its long-term exhibit in the Oval Office.

January 16, 2021

/ 10:05 p.m. CT (0405 GMT Jan 17)

'Green Run' cuts off

: NASA fired up its first Space Launch System (SLS) core stage on Saturday (Jan. 16), but the 8-minute "Green Run" test shut down after only 60 seconds. The Boeing-built SLS core stage with its four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engines still successfully ignited while mounted in the same test stand that was used more than 50 years ago to test Apollo-era Saturn V rocket stages at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

January 15, 2021

/ 1:00 p.m. CT (1900 GMT)

'We came in peace'

: Apple TV+ released a new trailer for the second season of "For All Mankind" on Friday (Jan. 15), showing how the Cold War will heat up on the moon when the alternate space history series returns on Feb. 19. "We need to remind them of Apollo 11 – we came in peace for all mankind. We need to live up to that," warns astronaut Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman) in the new trailer.

January 14, 2021

/ 2:00 p.m. CT (2000 GMT)

After 'Apollo 11'

: In the summer of 1969, 50 years before millions of people would isolate themselves to protect against a pandemic, a trio of astronauts did the same to prevent the spread of "moon germs." The new short film "Apollo 11: Quarantine" tells the lesser-known story of what happened after the first moon landing. Set to debut in IMAX and stream on video-on-demand, "Quarantine" comes from the same team behind the 2019 documentary "Apollo 11."

January 11, 2021

/ 5:45 p.m. CT (2345 GMT)

ISS power boost

: Boeing will augment the International Space Station with six new solar arrays to power the orbital complex's expanded research and commercial use for years to come. The more compact, but also more capable XTJ Prime solar panels will partially overlay the current arrays that have provided the station electricity for the past two decades. The new arrays will be launched in the trunks of SpaceX Dragon capsules starting this year.

January 1, 2021

/ 9:15 a.m. CT (1515 GMT)

Preserve and protect

: U.S. companies and other entities working to fly to the moon with or for NASA are now legally prohibited from disturbing the Apollo lunar landing sites. The newly-enacted "One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act" is the first U.S. law directed at preserving the hardware left on the moon 50 years ago.

December 21, 2020

/ 5:10 p.m. CT (2310 GMT)

Christa McAuliffe coin

: The U.S. Mint has revealed its final artwork for the 2021 Christa McAuliffe Silver Dollar, celebrating the life and legacy of the fallen "Teacher in Space." The coin, which is timed to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, will include McAuliffe's quote, "I touch the future. I teach." A surcharge from each coin sold will go to FIRST Robotics to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

December 18, 2020

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)

Chief Astronaut

: NASA has named its new Chief of the Astronaut Office, who may pick the next crews to fly to the moon. Astronaut Reid Wiseman succeeds Pat Forrester in the role and is charged with managing the needs of the 46 active members of the corps. Wiseman previously spent 165 days on the International Space Station in 2014. He is the 17th chief astronaut to lead the office since 1962.

December 16, 2020

/ 1:40 p.m. CT (1940 GMT)

Chang'e 5 returns

: China's Chang'e 5 has returned to Earth carrying the first pieces of the moon collected in more than 40 years. The 23-day robotic mission came to an end on Wednesday (Dec 16), with the probe's "returner" capsule landing in Inner Mongolia. The last time that moon rocks and soil were brought back for study was in 1976 by the former Soviet Union's Luna 24. Chang'e 5 was China's first lunar sample return mission and the 10th in history, including the six U.S. Apollo moon landings.

January 19, 2021

/ 10:00 a.m. CT (1600 GMT)

Demolishing MLP-2

: NASA is demolishing one of the three mobile launch platforms, or mobile launchers, that supported Apollo and space shuttle missions. MLP-2 (ML-2) was involved in 51 launches, including Apollo 14 and the final ill-fated flight of the space shuttle Challenger, 50 and 35 years ago this month, respectively. The decision to demolish MLP-2 was made to make space for a second new mobile launcher to support the Space Launch System.

January 15, 2021

/ 4:55 p.m. CT (2255 GMT)

'Sun Science' stamps

: The United States Postal Service (USPS) will release this year a new set of ten different stamps celebrating the on-going study of our nearest star. The "Sun Science" postage stamps will feature colorful depictions of the Sun using the multi-wavelength images captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

January 14, 2021

/ 11:30 p.m. CT (0530 GMT Jan 15)

William Thornton, 1929-2021

: A twice flown NASA astronaut, William "Bill" Thornton has died at the age of 91. Thornton studied the ill-effects that microgravity has on the human body while serving as a crew member on the space shuttle Challenger's STS-8 and STS-51B missions. On the ground, Thornton took part in Skylab and Spacelab simulations and invented tools to measure and counter the physiological impacts of spaceflight, including the treadmill that he and many other astronauts used aboard the shuttle.

January 5, 2021

/ 1:15 p.m. CT (1915 GMT)

Moonwatch made anew

: Omega debuted a new generation of its iconic Speedmaster on Tuesday (Jan. 5), retaining the watch's moon worn look while introducing a new movement capable of the highest precision levels. The new Moonwatch Professional timepieces carry on Omega's Apollo legacy, including being qualified for use on all NASA missions, and are now also certified Master Chronometers.

December 30, 2020

/ 4:05 p.m. CT (2205 GMT)

Plum Brook now Armstrong

: NASA's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio is now the Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility. Renamed at the direction of Congress to celebrate the life of the first astronaut (and native Ohioan) to walk on the moon, the facility's large vacuum chambers are used to test spacecraft, engines and rocket parts, including the Artemis I Orion, NASA's first moon-bound crew capsule since the Apollo command module.

December 18, 2020

/ 6:25 p.m. CT (0025 GMT Dec 19)

First 'Guardian' in space

: NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins transferred from the U.S. Air Force to the U.S. Space Force on Friday (Dec. 18), during a swearing-in ceremony aboard the International Space Station. The first astronaut to join the newest branch of the U.S. military, Hopkins became the first "Guardian" in space, the title the Space Force has now assigned all of its service members.

December 16, 2020

/ 4:00 p.m. CT (2200 GMT)

Canadians on Artemis

: NASA's next crew to launch to the moon will include Canada's first astronaut to fly into deep space. The Canadian Space Agency will collaborate on NASA's lunar orbit Gateway, overseeing all of the external robotics needs to support the human-tended outpost. In return, NASA has agreed to fly two Canadian astronauts to the moon, including a seat on Artemis II, the program's first crewed mission, planned to launch in 2023.

Upcoming space events:

Auction [1/23]
Space Memorabilia Auction
Lunar Legacies on Invaluable

Ceremony [1/28]
NASA Day of Remembrance
Space Mirror Memorial, KSC, Florida

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Newly Added Sightings:
[03/26]  Kevin Ford
[01/16]  Al Crews
[04/03]  Jack Lousma

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