The Source for Space History and Artifacts
Direct from Pluto
: In just over a week, New Horizons will complete a nine-year journey to Pluto and deliver the first up-close images of the dwarf planet. Those photos will air on the Science Channel in "Direct From Pluto: First Encounter," a new hour-long special premiering on July 15. The NASA spacecraft is resuming science operations after an anomaly on July 4 cut off communications with Earth.
Astronaut Wives Club 'Retroattitude'
: The third episode of "The Astronaut Wives Club," ABC's 10-part drama about the real spouses of America's first spacemen, aired Thursday (June 3). This hour focused on the events of mid-1962 and in particular, the second U.S. orbital mission by Scott Carpenter. How well did 'Retroattitude' follow the history on which it was based? A look at the "A-OK!" and "Abort!" scenes from the "Astronaut Wives Club" episode.
: Russia resumed resupply runs to the International Space Station early Friday (July 3) with the successful launch of its 60th ISS-bound cargo ship. The Progress M-28M freighter, now on a two-day trip to the orbiting outpost, is the first Progress to fly since the failure of M-27M in late April. M-28M is delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and equipment for the station's crew.
: In Houston's history of being associated with spaceflight, the Texas city has hosted NASA's Mission Control and has been home to the astronauts. But it was not until Tuesday (June 30) that it could also claim being a launch site, too. With its newly-awarded FAA launch license, Houston's Ellington Airport has become the United States' tenth approved commercial spaceport.
804+ days off the planet
: Gennady Padalka on Monday (June 29) beat the record for the most time spent in orbit over a career flying in space. Ninety three (93) days into his fifth stay on a space station, Padalka surpassed fellow cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev's record of 803 days that was set in 2005 after six spaceflights. Scheduled to land in September, Padalka will log a total 878 days in space.
Astronaut Wives 'Protocol'
: "The Astronaut Wives Club" entered orbit on Thursday (June 25) with its second episode, titled 'Protocol.' The hour-long drama revolved around Betty Grissom's and Annie Glenn's experiences as their husbands left for space. How well did 'Protocol' follow the NASA history on which it was based? A look at the "A-OK!" and "Abort!" moments from this week's episode.
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The NASA collection of Leon Ford
: One of the first significant space collectors, the late Leon Ford shared his passion for the history of space flight with collectors and astronauts alike. On Thursday (June 25), more than 100 of the rare space artifacts Ford curated will be auctioned in Boston during a live sale organized by RR Auction.
Soprano's Soyuz seat
: When British singer Sarah Brightman withdrew from her plans for a self-funded flight to the space station, she left an empty seat on Soyuz TMA-18M to be filled. As announced by Roscosmos Monday (June 22), Kazakh cosmonaut Aidyn Aimbetov will now fly in her place when the spacecraft launches this September. Brightman's backup Satoshi Takamatsu announced he has decided to wait for a possible later flight in 2 to 4 years.
Shuttle runway reassigned
: NASA Monday (June 22) handed over control of the historic runway at the Kennedy Space Center where its space shuttles landed in Florida 78 times from 1984 to 2011. Now, under the auspices of Space Florida, the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) will be repurposed to support a commercial spaceport for use with horizontally-launched spacecraft, the Air Force X-37B, and unmanned aerial vehicles. At 15,000 feet long and 300 feet wide, the SLF is one of the largest runways in the world.
: The premiere of "The Astronaut Wives Club" aired Thursday (June 18) on ABC, launching the 10-episode series about the spouses behind the first American spacemen. The docu-drama is based on true events, as told by Lily Koppel in her 2013 bestselling book, but how closely did the show stay to real space history? A look at the "A-OK!" and "Abort!" scenes from the episode.
Apollo 11 golden coins
: A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives has introduced a bill calling for the U.S. Mint to issue gold curved coins celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in 2019. The legislation, if passed into law, would see legal tender coins struck with a convex reverse design based on the iconic image of Buzz Aldrin's helmet visor reflecting Tranquility Base.
Interview with an 'Astronaut Wife'
: Actress Erin Cummings plays Marge Slayton, wife of Mercury original Deke Slayton, in ABC's new series "The Astronaut Wives Club," debuting Thursday (June 18). The docu-drama, based on author Lily Koppel's bestseller, tells the story of the real women behind NASA's first spacemen. Cummings recently spoke with collectSPACE about reconvening the astronaut wives club for the ten-episode limited event TV series.
Philae phones home
: The European Space Agency's Philae lander has "woken up" after seven months in hibernation on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The probe Sunday (June 14) "announced" to the world it was operational again via Twitter: "Hello Earth! Can you hear me?" Data received from the three-legged lander confirmed it was in good condition, giving scientists hope it will be able to resume studying the comet's properties.
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