: After two days and 700 items opened for bid, Heritage Auctions' sale of Neil Armstrong's collection brought in $5.2 million. Topping the auction was a spacecraft ID plate from the Apollo 11 lunar module that commanded nearly half a million dollars. Other lots blasting off included moon-flown pieces of the Wright Flyer, a larger than typical flown American flag and a Gemini-era flight suit worn by Armstrong. Two more Armstrong Family Collection sales are scheduled for May and November of next year.
Now out from Smithsonian Books and the editor of collectSPACE
Vans x NASA
: Vans has launched a "cosmic tribute" to NASA's six decades of exploration and discovery in the form of a new collection of footwear and apparel. The Space Voyager line features high tops and skateboard shoes styled after spacesuits, jackets celebrating the Apollo moon landing and a duffel bag colored to match the space shuttle pressure garments. Vans' Space Voyager Collection landed Friday (Nov. 2) with unisex products for toddlers to adults.
: Thousands of personal mementos from the collection of moonwalker Neil Armstrong are up for auction. The three-day sale includes items Armstrong carried to the moon, keepsakes from his childhood and souvenirs spanning his professional career. The sale of the Armstrong Family Collection by Heritage Auctions starts on Thursday morning (Nov. 1) in Dallas, Texas.
Moon rocks resurface for sale
: Twenty-five years after they were last sold, a trio of lunar samples are returning to the auction block at Sotheby's. The moon rocks, which the Soviet Union's Luna 16 probe brought back to Earth in 1970, were gifted to the widow of the "Chief Designer" of the Russian space program, Sergei Korolev. Sotheby's sold the tiny moon stones for $442,500 in 1993. The gallery now estimates upwards of $1 million at the Nov. 29 auction.
NASA artifacts audit
: A new report from the NASA Office of Inspector General addresses a spate of historic artifact losses due to what investigators found to be NASA's "reluctance in asserting ownership." The review included the agency's loss of a prototype lunar rover, an Apollo lunar sample return bag and a set of spacecraft hand controllers. The audit recommended NASA improve its procedures and assess if it is the "most effective owner" of the artifacts.
Greetings from Space
: Mattel has launched a Hot Wheels Tesla Roadster toy celebrating the cherry red car that SpaceX sent into orbit on board a Falcon Heavy rocket in February. The "Greeting from Space" Tesla Roadster is packaged with stats about the far-out vehicle and an image of the real car (with "Starman" driver) high above Earth.
S.S. John Young
: Northrop Grumman's next Cygnus cargo spacecraft to carry supplies to the International Space Station will fly under the name of NASA's only astronaut to launch on Gemini, Apollo and shuttle missions. The S.S. John Young, which honors the late moonwalker, will lift off on Northrop Grumman's 10th Cygnus mission (NG-10).
'Gene Kranz Day'
: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed Oct. 23, 2018 to be Gene Kranz Day in honor of the Gemini and Apollo flight director. The declaration was made at a Space Center Houston luncheon that saluted Kranz's contributions to space history and raised $300,000 for the restoration of his former workplace, NASA's Mission Operations Control Room at the Johnson Space Center.
: "Liberty Bell 7," the Mercury spacecraft that carried Gus Grissom on the second U.S. piloted spaceflight, is set to go on display in Overland Park, Kansas in early 2019 to preview the future home of the Cosmosphere Innovation Space. A satellite location for the Cosmosphere museum in Hutchinson, the Bluhawk site will feature rotating exhibits until the Innovation Space opens.
Apollo 7 at 50
: Astronaut Walt Cunningham was the guest of honor at a 50th anniversary gala celebration for the Apollo 7 mission held Saturday (Oct. 20) in Dallas. The Frontiers of Flight Museum welcomed astronauts, guests and the Lt. Governor of Texas to hear Cunningham recount the mission and view the Apollo 7 spacecraft on display.
BepiColombo to Mercury
: A joint European and Japanese mission to the planet Mercury, BepiColombo lifted off on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle on Friday (Oct. 19). The third mission to study our solar system's innermost planet, BepiColombo is the first to send two spacecraft and first to be launched by Europe. The trip to Mercury will take seven years and involve one flyby of Earth, two passes by Venus and six flybys of Mercury before entering orbit in 2026.
50 years in Space Pens
: Fisher Space Pen is marking a half century of its pens in space with a new limited edition space pen set. The Apollo 7 50th anniversary pen celebrates the 1968 mission that first carried the company's AG-7 pressurized pens into Earth orbit. The new space pen is plated in gold titanium and is engraved with a design that depicts the Apollo 7 spacecraft flying through space.
First Man easter eggs
: On first watch, "First Man" is flush with space history details, from its accurate spacecraft sets to its use of flight transcripts for script cues. Take a closer look though, and you can find even more nods to NASA's past and Neil Armstrong's legacy. Director Damien Chazelle included cameos and other "easter eggs" in "First Man" that only space history enthusiasts might notice.
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