The Source for Space History and Artifacts
VSS Unity flies free
: Virgin Spaceship Unity (VSS Unity), Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo built by The Spaceship Company, completed its first glide test on Saturday (Dec. 3), at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The space tourism spaceplane separated from the VMS Eve, its WhiteKnightTwo mothership, at 50,000 feet with pilots Mark Stucky and David Mackay at its controls.
: NASA's first Apollo command module pilot to launch to space, Donn Eisele died 29 years ago Friday (Dec. 2) at the age of 57. Three decades later, museum director and author Francis French has rediscovered Eisele's draft memoir, which has now been published for all to read. "Apollo Pilot," edited by French, offers a "fresh and contemporary" look at Eisele's mission on board Apollo 7.
Aldrin medevac'd from South Pole
: Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, 86, is recovering in a New Zealand hospital after he fell ill and was evacuated from the South Pole. Said to be in "good spirits," Aldrin was with a tour group in Antarctica when his condition deteriorated. "He has fluid in his lungs but is responding well to antibiotics," stated White Desert, the tour operator. "His condition is stable."
Progress MS-04 lost
: Three-hundred eighty two (382) seconds into the launch of a cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station on Thursday (Dec 1), an anomaly resulted in the freighter's loss. Russia's Progress MS-04 lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a mission to deliver food, fuel, air, water and supplies to the space station, but an unknown problem with the third stage of its Soyuz U rocket ended in the craft falling to Earth.
Back to Taurus-Littrow
: If all proceeds as it plans, PTScientists, a Germany-based group of scientists and engineers, will launch a pair of rovers to land in the moon's Taurus-Littrow valley next year, where they will inspect the historic Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle, 45 years after it was last driven. PTScientists' ALINA lander and two Audi lunar quattro rovers, in development since 2008, now have their reserved ride to space with a signed launch contract.
Soyuz at 50
: Russia's Soyuz spacecraft has now been flying for half a century. The craft's first launch, on Nov. 28, 1966, flew under the purposefully nondescript title, "Kosmos 133." The mission, which was originally planned to demonstrate an automated rendezvous and docking with a second uncrewed Soyuz, quickly ran into engine problems, such that the focus turned to how to de-orbit the capsule.
Apollo coder, 'Apollo 13' actor
: Magaret H. Hamilton and Tom Hanks were bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, at the White House on Tuesday (Nov. 22), along with 19 others who were chosen by President Barack Obama. Hamilton led the creation of the flight software for NASA's Apollo spacecraft. Hanks portrayed astronaut Jim Lovell in the film "Apollo 13" and produced HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon."
Have space suit – will inspire
: When Arklu and the European Space Agency (ESA) sent a Stargazer Lottie doll to the space station in 2015, they shared images on social media of the "First Doll in Space" wearing a spacesuit. That outfit, based on Russia's Sokol pressure suits, is now planned for release in 2017 as a limited edition accessory.
JiHAE, singer, actress, space geek
: In the National Geographic Channel six-part series "MARS," Korean singer JiHAE portrays both Hana Seung, pilot of the first mission to land on the Red Planet, and her twin sister, Joon, the capcom in mission control. The dual roles led JiHAE to immerse herself in space exploration for the first time, and in doing so, found she is a self-described "space geek."
Landing on exhibit
: A NASA Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) and space shuttle Crew Transport Vehicle have been loaned by the Armstrong Flight Research Center to the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The LLRV was used to devise the techniques for flying the Apollo lunar module. The CTV was used to move astronauts after the space shuttle landed.
Shenzhou 11 returns
: China's Shenzhou 11 mission came to its end on Friday (Nov. 18), as crewmates Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong returned to Earth and landed in the country's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The 32 day flight to the Tiangong-2 space lab set a duration record as China's longest mission to date. During their month-long stay on orbit, Jing and Chen conducted science, worked on space station systems and spoke to students and officials.
MS-03 lifts off
: NASA's Peggy Whitson, who on Thursday (Nov. 17) lifted off on a two-day journey to the space station with cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet of ESA, will set several records during her six-month expedition. In addition to extending her 377-day record for the most time in space by a woman, Whitson will break the 534-day record for time in orbit by an American. She's also become the oldest woman to fly into space (she will turn 57 in February) and will be the first woman to twice command the International Space Station beginning in February.
NASA and the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee have partnered to give fans at the 2017 Super Bowl LIVE festival an experience unlike any other. Future Flight on Discovery Green will combine a virtual reality simulation with an amusement park drop tower to fly guests on a journey to Mars and back in just over two minutes.
The Last Steps
: It has been nearly 44 years since astronauts traveled beyond Earth orbit. "The Last Steps," a documentary short from CNN Films and Great Big Story, provides its viewers a cinéma vérité experience of Apollo 17, the final moon landing mission in 1972. The film, which was posted online Wednesday (Nov. 16), is comprised only of archival footage, some rarely seen outside of NASA.
Worthy of commemoration
: With just a few weeks remaining for its passage, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins have urged Congress to support a bill directing the U.S. Mint to issue curved coins to honor the first moon landing. The "Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act" would also raise millions for the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and Astronaut Memorial Foundation, furthering programs to inspire future generations to take the next giant leaps.
MARS lands on NatGeo
: Premiering on the National Geographic Channel Monday (Nov. 14), the six-part "MARS" blends feature film-quality scripted drama and visual effects with documentary sequences to drive a cohesive, edge-of-your-seat story of humanity's quest to land and live on the Red Planet. The series features actors and the real-life leaders in the journey to Mars, including SpaceX's Elon Musk, NASA's Charles Bolden and astronaut Jim Lovell.
[ browse earlier updates ]
© 2016 collectSPACE.com email@example.com