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Five gift ideas to make the season spacey

collectSPACE presents: Five stellar gift ideas for space buffs. (cS)
Nov. 30, 2015

— If you're looking to launch some spacey cheer this holiday season, here's the gift guide for you.

Whether you're shopping for a space history buff, or you're the "space geek" looking to add to your want list, these gift ideas are sure to make for an out of this world celebration.

Go, Flight! For a Good Cause

More than 20 veteran members of NASA's historic Mission Control will gather at Space Center Houston on Dec. 12 to sign copies of "Go, Flight!: The Unsung Heroes of Mission Control, 1965-1992," the new book by retired flight director Milt Heflin and historian Rick Houston.

Based on interviews with dozens of the individuals who led NASA's Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and space shuttle missions from the ground, "Go Flight!" itself is a great gift for anyone with a home space library (and autographed books can be pre-ordered by calling the Space Trader shop).

But beyond the book (or in addition to it) the gathered flight controllers have also agreed to sign a limited number of 16 by 20 inch photo prints showing Mission Control during the 1970 Apollo 13 mission. All of the proceeds from this print (less the cost of the prints and shipping), will be donated to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation to benefit breast cancer research.

The prints, which are available for $150, must be ordered by next Monday, Dec. 7.

A Watch Like One Other

Although it will not be out in time for the holidays, Bulova's new replica of the chronograph that Apollo 15 commander Dave Scott wore on the moon's surface in 1971 is still sure to be appreciated as an IOU.

The re-edition will retail in early 2016 for $550, a significant savings when compared to the $1.625 million the worn-on-the-moon original sold for at auction. Like the well-traveled model, the replica also includes a Velcro strap like the one Scott used on the lunar surface.

Or, if you'd rather the real deal, Christie's is hosting a sale on Dec. 15 devoted to the Omega Speedmaster, including auctioning the only example of the chronograph carried on board an Apollo mission to the moon that can be owned.

The Next Year in Space

This holiday season falls within the last 100 days of NASA astronaut Scott Kelly's and Roscosmos cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko's nearly yearlong expedition on the International Space Station. They will be returning to Earth on March 2, 2016, a date appropriate to mark in the new Year in Space calendar.

An annual favorite that's published in cooperation with The Planetary Society, The Year in Space wall calendar and its companion Desk Calendar feature stunning space images each month, facts about space exploration and astronomy, daily moon phases and historic dates in space history.

The Year in Space wall or desk versions are $13.95 each.

Ring in the Return to Flights

Two U.S. commercial spaceflight companies are preparing to resume sending supplies to the space station with return to flight missions set for next couple of months. And like all space-bound flights, there are mission patches to be had.

Orbital ATK is scheduled to launch the S.S. Deke Slayton, its first expanded Cygnus cargo freighter, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Dec. 3. If you can't be at Cape Canaveral for the launch, you can still order the OA-4 mission patch from the company's own online store. The embroidered emblem is slated to start shipping on Dec. 11.

SpaceX is also planning to restart flights to the station with its Dragon cargo capsule in early 2016. Though the design of the company's CRS-8 mission patch has yet to be seen, NASA's version of the SpX-8 emblem is already available as an embroidered collectible.

First and Next 100 Years of Flight

2016 will mark the first 100 years for The Boeing Company and the aerospace giant is celebrating, in part, with a new Centennial Heritage Collection featuring its historic aircraft and spacecraft.

Among the first wave of vehicles being commememorated by Boeing is the space shuttle. The winged orbiter appears on a new bronze medallion, t-shirt, cap, mug, lapel pin and watch. A limited edition framed set pairs the medallion with a monochrome print of the shuttle. (In May 2016, Boeing is slated to release a similar set of collectibles celebrating the Apollo command module).

If you would rather a gift that looks forward, then Boeing's next crewed spacecraft is featured in a new desktop model offered by United Launch Alliance. The 120th scale replica displays Boeing's CST-100 Starliner atop an Atlas V rocket poised to launch in 2017.

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