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December 13, 2018

/ 4:25 p.m. CT (2225 GMT)


SpaceShipTwo reaches space

: For the first time in history, a commercial spacecraft built to carry paying passengers has been piloted into space. Mark Stucky and CJ Sturckow on Thursday (Dec. 13) rocketed to an altitude of 51 miles (83 km) on board Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. The flight earned the pair FAA Civilian Astronaut Wings.


December 12, 2018

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


Toys to touch down

: Maisto Tech has been chosen by China's lunar exploration program to make toy models of the now in lunar orbit Chang'e 4 lander and rover. The toys, which are based on the first spacecraft to attempt a landing on the moon's far side, will feature motorized action (with an obstacle avoidance sensor), lights and sounds.


December 12, 2018

/ 12:15 a.m. CT (0615 GMT)


Spirit of Apollo

: NASA and the Smithsonian joined together at National Cathedral to mark 50 years since the first mission to fly humans to the moon. The Tuesday evening (Dec. 11) event, entitled "The Spirit of Apollo," featured Apollo 8 astronaut Jim Lovell, who shared some of his own revelations made in lunar orbit and reflected on the reading from the Book of Genesis on Christmas Eve in 1968.


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Now out from Smithsonian Books and the editor of collectSPACE

December 9, 2018

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


The Borman Collection

: Frank Borman, the commander of the first mission to fly humans to the moon, has donated his memorabilia to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). "The Borman Collection" debuted at the EAA Aviation Museum in Wisconsin on Saturday (Dec. 8), with a selection of the astronaut's Gemini 7 and Apollo 8 artifacts.


December 7, 2018

/ 12:45 p.m. CT (1845 GMT)


To the far side

: China launched a probe and rover to the moon on Friday (Dec. 7), in a bid to become the first mission to explore the far side. The Chang'e 4 spacecraft lifted off on a Long March 3B rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China. The mission is planned to land in the South Pole-Aitken Basin in early January.


December 6, 2018

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


'Armstrong'

: A new documentary film by the team that made "The Last Man on the Moon" focuses on the life of the first man to walk on the moon. "Armstrong" from Tin Goose Films uses archived and new interviews, as well as never-before-seen home videos from the astronaut's family, to deliver Neil Armstrong's story to the screen. The feature-length documentary is due out in 2019, in time for the 50th anniversary of Armstrong's Apollo 11 moon landing.


December 3, 2018

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


MOL astronaut enters orbit

: A new satellite pays tribute to America's first black astronaut 51 years after he died. The ENOCH satellite-sculpture by artist Tavares Strachan uses an ancient Egyptian tradition, combined with the rituals of Japan, to raise awareness of Robert H. Lawrence Jr., a test pilot and chemist who was chosen to train for the U.S. Air Force's Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL).


December 3, 2018

/ 7:50 a.m. CT (1350 GMT)


Soyuz MS-11 launch

: Less than two months after the prior crew survived an inflight abort, the Soyuz MS-11 crew made it safely to orbit on Monday (Dec. 3). Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, astronaut Anne McClain of NASA and Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques lifted off for the International Space Station, where they will serve on the Expedition 57 and 58 crews.


November 30, 2018

/ 5:55 p.m. CT (2355 GMT)




'Apollo to the Moon'

: For four decades, the National Air and Space Museum's "Apollo to the Moon" gallery showcased more than 200 artifacts from humanity's first visit to another world. On Monday (Dec. 3), the Smithsonian will close the gallery to make way for a new exhibition, part of a $1 billion renovation and revitalization of the museum. The "Destination Moon" gallery is slated to open in 2022.


November 29, 2018

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


Moon rock market

: Sotheby's auction of the only known moon rocks to be collected from the lunar surface and be legally sold brought in $855,000 on Thursday (Nov. 29). The sale included three tiny pebbles returned to Earth by the former Soviet Union's Luna 16 probe in 1970, which were then gifted to "chief designer" Sergei Korolev's widow. The lot headlined Sotheby's Space Exploration auction that also sold a complete U.S. Gemini spacesuit for $162,500.


November 27, 2018

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


Rocket pens

: Just launched, Retro 51's new Space Race Series of collectible pens puts a trio of iconic NASA rockets in writers' hands. Issued as a limited edition of 1958 each, the pens are styled after the Mercury-Redstone, Gemini-Titan II and Saturn V rockets that led up to and flew the first astronauts to the moon 50 years ago. Sales of the pens will benefit the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.


November 26, 2018

/ 6:15 p.m. CT (0015 GMT Nov 27)


InSight's easter egg

: NASA's newest probe to land on Mars is focused on studying what cannot be seen, and includes a subtle nod to those without sight. The InSight lander has a message "coded" in braille on the calibration target for its robotic arm-mounted camera. The dots are the latest "easter egg" to be incorporated into the Mars landers managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).


November 26, 2018

/ 2:00 p.m. CT (1900 GMT)




InSight on Mars

: NASA's InSight spacecraft touched down on Mars on Monday (Nov. 26) after a seven-month journey from Earth. The InSight lander will deploy a seismometer and a burrowing "mole" to study the deep interior of Mars to learn more about how rocky planets are formed. InSight is only the eighth probe in history to make it safely to the Martian surface since the Viking landers in 1976.


November 21, 2018

/ 1:00 a.m. CT (0700 GMT)


Moon Bean

: A new timepiece pays tribute to the late astronaut-artist Alan Bean, 49 years after he landed on the moon. Shinola's Moon Bean wristwatch is designed with nods to the Apollo 12 mission and features an engraved caseback design based on one of Bean's paintings. Limited to 500 pieces, the Moon Bean is Shinola's latest release as part of its Great Americans Series.


November 9, 2018

/ 2:30 a.m. CT (0830 GMT)




Restored and returned

: NASA's Apollo-era Mission Control restoration project reached a milestone Thursday (Nov. 8) with the first set of refurbished consoles returning to Houston on NASA's Super Guppy aircraft. The button and screen-lined cabinets spent the past ten months at the Cosmosphere in Kansas, being repaired and equipped with new internal electronics. A group of Apollo flight controllers were among the first to see the restored consoles.


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