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October 26, 2021

/ 8:45 p.m. CT (0145 GMT Oct 27)


L+600 and counting:

In the 12 years since NASA launched the 500th person to fly into space, another one hundred people have left the planet. European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer is set to become no. 600 when he lifts off for the International Space Station on SpaceX's Crew-3 mission. Maurer's crewmates include NASA's Tom Marshburn, who came close to being no. 500.


October 22, 2021

/ 3:30 p.m. CT (2030 GMT)




Artemis I SLS stacked:

NASA's first moon-bound Artemis mission has reached a major milestone with the complete assembly of the launch vehicle and spacecraft. After almost a year of crane operations in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the components of the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft were stacked on Thursday (Oct. 21), forming a 322-foot-tall (98-m) vehicle.


October 16, 2021

/ 11:50 p.m. CT (0450 GMT Oct 17)


That's a wrap!

Actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko returned to Earth with cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy after 12 days shooting a movie on the International Space Station. The touchdown aboard Soyuz MS-18 wrapped the on-orbit filming of "Вызов" ("Challenge" in English), which has been billed as the first feature length narrative movie shot in space. Novitskiy landed after 191 days, bringing his three mission total to 531 days in space.


October 15, 2021

/ 11:35 a.m. CT (1635 GMT)


Shenzhou 13 launches:

China launched its second crewed mission to its space station on Friday (Oct. 15) to prepare for the orbiting outpost's planned expansion. Shenzhou 13 crewmates Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu will spend six months aboard the Tianhe core module. Zhai, who in 2008 made China's first spacewalk, is the Shenzhou 13 commander. Wang was China's second woman to fly into space and will be the first woman to enter the country's space station. Ye is on his first space mission.


October 11, 2021

/ 7:15 p.m. CT (0015 GMT Oct 12)




Not for sale:

William Shatner let it slip: the passengers flying with Blue Origin can take a small satchel of mementos with them, but "you can't sell it." The company has banned its clients (including Capt. Kirk) from cashing in on the cache they will fly on board New Shepard. Virgin Galactic has a similar policy for its future astronauts. The rules have changed as the personal preference kits of early spaceflight have now become commercial carry-ons.


October 5, 2021

/ 8:05 a.m. CT (1305 GMT)


ESA astronaut Barbie:

Mattel is celebrating World Space Week and its theme this year of "Women in Space" with a new Barbie doll styled after Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian women to fly into space. The doll, part of Barbie's Signature Role Model line, depicts Cristoforetti in a spacesuit ready for a spacewalk. Made in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), the doll's sale will fund a bursary to encourage a new generation of explorers.


October 4, 2021

/ 12:45 p.m. CT (1745 GMT)


'For realsies!'

William Shatner, Star Trek's Captain Kirk, is set to fly into space on Blue Origin's New Shepard. "For realsies!" said the 90-year-old actor, who is soon to be the oldest person to enter the final frontier. The NS-18 mission will be crewed by Shatner, Chris Boshuizen of Planet Labs, Glen de Vries with Dassault Systems and Audrey Powers, Blue Origin's head of mission operations.


September 30, 2021

/ 1:00 p.m. CT (1800 GMT)


Zero-G Skittles:

Skittles is putting its new guarantee — "Now floats in space!" — to the test with a sweepstakes for a zero-g flight and bags of Zero-G Skittles. First announced in July in celebration of the candy's launch on Blue Origin's New Shepard, the limited edition packs of Planet Pineapple, Rocket Raspberry and Berry Blast-flavor candies are Skittles' first blue and purple only mix. To enter, fans only need to buy a Skittles product from Amazon and register the order on the Skittles In Space contest website.


October 25, 2021

/ 7:30 p.m. CT (0030 GMT Oct 26)


Get your kicks on Expedition 66:

The new insignia now in use by the crew on board the International Space Station brings together the "Mother Road" with a hidden nod to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn worked with designer Blake Dumesnil on the Expedition 66 patch, which draws its shape from Route 66 and celebrates the artist behind Marvel's "The Eternals."


October 19, 2021

/ 4:55 p.m. CT (2155 GMT)




Capt. John Young Hangar:

A 60-year-old aircraft hangar where NASA's T-38 training jets are maintained now bears the name of a legendary astronaut who was an advocate for flight safety. The Johnson Space Center held a ceremony to name Hangar 276 at Ellington Field in Houston for the late John Young. NASA will continue using the hangar as it prepares to return astronauts to the moon.


October 19, 2021

/ 12:25 a.m. CT (0525 GMT)


'The Apollo Murders':

Chris Hadfield may not have flown to the moon during his career as a Canadian Space Agency astronaut, but he takes his readers there in his first novel, "The Apollo Murders." Set within the real-life events of 1973, the Cold War thriller is as engaging for its international intrigue as it is for the accurate descriptions of U.S. and Soviet space hardware that are central to the plot.


October 16, 2021

/ 4:55 a.m. CT (0955 GMT)


Lucy in the sky:

NASA's first mission to the Trojan asteroids, the two swarms of small worlds that lead and follow Jupiter in its orbit around the Sun, lifted off on Saturday (Oct. 16) from Cape Canaveral. The robotic probe named "Lucy" will spend 12 years flying by a record seven Trojan asteroids and one main belt asteroid, collecting data about the "fossils" from the formation of the solar system.


October 13, 2021

/ 10:10 a.m. CT (1510 GMT)


Shatner's space trek:

William Shatner went where no 90-year-old has gone before, lifting off on Blue Origin's New Shepard to become the oldest person to soar into space. Shatner launched with Audrey Powers of Blue Origin and paying passengers Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries on the company's second human flight. The 10-minute hop safely landed in West Texas, near Blue Origin's launch site.


October 8, 2021

/ 1:05 a.m. CT (0605 GMT)


Endurance:

The four members of SpaceX's Crew-3 chose the name "Endurance" for the new Dragon spacecraft that will deliver them to and from the International Space Station. The name was selected for several reasons, from its expected longevity to its connection to "one of the best examples of real-life leadership," the 1914 Shackleton voyage to Antarctica. Endurance now joins Endeavour and Resilience to comprise SpaceX's current fleet of Dragons.


October 7, 2021

/ 2:05 p.m. CT (1905 GMT)


Ride quarter revised:

The United States Mint has revealed the official artwork for its 2022 American Women quarters, including a coin honoring the first American woman in space. Designed by Elana Hagler, the Sally Ride coin differs from its original concept by the addition of a NASA patch and the astronaut's name tag. The Mint has yet to announce the release date for the Sally Ride coin.


October 5, 2021

/ 4:10 a.m. CT (0910 GMT)


3, 2, 1... action!

Russia launched its Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft to the International Space Station on Tuesday (Oct. 5), with a film crew ready to produce the first full-length movie in space. Actress Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko and veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on a two-orbit track to rendezvous with the space station. Peresild and Shipenko will spend 12 days filming scenes for the film, "Challenge."


October 3, 2021

/ 7:35 p.m. CT (0035 GMT Oct 4)


Orbital Planes:

Photographer Roland Miller shares his own slant on the space shuttle in "Orbital Planes," his third photography book now being crowdfunded on Kickstarter. Miller made an effort to document the shuttle as it transitioned into retirement. The 200-page hardcover book includes 150 color photographs and Miller's accounts of his interactions with the personnel who worked the program.


 
Upcoming space events:

Exhibit opening [10/29]
Roving with Perseverance
The Museum of Flight, Seattle

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Newly Added Sightings:
[11/02]  Dick Covey
[10/29]  Hazza AlMansoori
Chris Boshuizen
Oleg Kotov
André Kuipers
[11/07]  André Kuipers

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