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collectSPACE: The Source for Space History and Artifacts
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November 21, 2014 / 8:45 a.m. CT (1445 GMT)
Do you want to launch a snowman? When the Soyuz TMA-15M crew reaches space on Sunday (Nov. 23), they will know it is time to "let it go" when they see Olaf, the snowman from Disney's movie "Frozen," begin to float. Their carrot-nosed companion, in small plush doll form, will serve as both a traditional talisman and zero-g indicator for their four-orbit flight to the International Space Station.

November 20, 2014 / 9:15 a.m. CT (1515 GMT)
Parking space: A Gemini space capsule up for auction in Boston has drawn in more than just bids. The 2-ton boilerplate also attracted the local police for being parked in a loading zone. Narrowly avoiding a parking ticket, the capsule is set to be sold Thursday (Nov. 20), together with 600 other space artifacts, through RR Auction's website.

November 17, 2014 / 12:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)
Comet landing lands on UK mail: The first probe to land on a comet is being celebrated by the United Kingdom's Royal Mail with the use of a special postmark. Millions of letters delivered by the British postal service began arriving on Friday (Nov. 14) with the commemorative mark congratulating the European Space Agency on landing the Philae probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

November 14, 2014 / 11:45 p.m. CT (0545 GMT Nov 15)
Philae falls silent: With its batteries drained and not enough sunlight to recharge, ESA's Philae probe has fallen into "idle mode" for a potentially long silence. Most of its systems and all of its instruments have been shut off. From now on, no further contact with the first probe to land on a comet will be possible unless it is exposed to enough sunlight to generate power and wake Philae from sleep.

November 14, 2014 / 1:25 p.m. CT (1925 GMT)
First Hasselblad in space sells for $275K: "It is a marvelous piece," said the UK-based collector who on Thursday (Nov. 14) won the first Hasselblad camera to fly in space at an auction in Boston. The historic artifact's new owner spoke exclusively with collectSPACE, sharing what attracted him to the camera, which has parts that flew with both Wally Schirra and Gordon Cooper on the last flights of NASA's Mercury Program. "It really gave mankind some of the first views of what was happening in space," he said.

November 13, 2014 / 2:35 p.m. CT (2035 GMT)
Finding Philae: A day after its Philae probe made history as the first craft to touch down on a comet, the European Space Agency on Thursday (Nov. 13) confirmed that the lander bounced twice before settling on the surface in the shadow of a cliff. Although photos returned from the probe show its immediate surroundings, mission managers are not yet certain of exactly where Philae finally landed.

November 12, 2014 / 5:35 p.m. CT (2335 GMT)

Philae is on the comet! For the first time in history, a space probe has descended to the surface of a comet. The three-legged lander, Philae, separated from ESA's Rosetta probe and, seven suspenseful hours later, touched down slowly on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The landing was not problem free: the probe's thrusters failed to activate and the harpoons that were to hold it down did not deploy, which may have caused Philae to bounce.

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November 12, 2014 / 3:15 a.m. CT (0915 GMT)

Rollout of Orion: NASA's first space-bound Orion capsule has completed the final leg of its pre-launch journey, rolling out to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37B, where it will lift off on NASA's and Lockheed Martin's Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) on Dec. 4. Now at the launch pad, the Orion spacecraft will be lifted and attached atop the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy that will loft it on the two-orbit test flight.

November 10, 2014 / 6:00 a.m. CT (1200 GMT)
'Intersteller' inspiration: "Interstellar" lifted off this weekend, soaring beyond $50 million since opening Wednesday (Nov. 5). The sci-fi movie's depiction of space exploration was inspired in part by "the very specific look" of NASA's historic spacecraft, as well as director Christopher Nolan's strong belief in our "need to start looking out again and exploring our place in the universe more." The movie also inspired Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain to review their own connections to space exploration, as the "Interstellar" stars told collectSPACE.

November 9, 2014 / 10:35 p.m. CT (0435 GMT Nov 10)
TMA-13M lands: One hundred and sixty five days after leaving Earth for the International Space Station, Roscosmos cosmonaut Max Surayev, astronaut Reid Wiseman of NASA, and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency returned home Sunday night (Nov. 9). Descending to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft, the three Expedition 40/41 crew members landed in Kazakhstan.

November 6, 2014 / 4:00 p.m. CT (2200 GMT)
Astronaut advised Interstellar actors: "Do you know how astronauts take showers? Oh my god," remarked actress Anne Hathaway, who stars as an astronaut opposite Matthew McConaughey in the new science fiction film "Interstellar." Hathaway, who at one time dreamed of flying in space, learned about life in Earth orbit (and destinations outward) from veteran NASA astronaut Marsha Ivins. Ivins shared her experience with the film's cast, as well as gave her approval for the design of the movie's spaceships.

November 4, 2014 / 12:30 p.m. CT (1830 GMT)

Star of the show: Almost one year after she returned from spending 5 months aboard the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg proudly displayed the result of her idea to get the quilters worldwide excited about spaceflight. Attending the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Nyberg displayed her sewn-in-space star along with 2,200 other star-themed squares inspired by her work.

November 3, 2014 / 8:50 a.m. CT (1450 GMT)
SpaceShipTwo feathered: SpaceShipTwo's hybrid rocket engine fired as normal up until the spacecraft's tail booms feathered without being commanded and two seconds later the vehicle broke apart, NTSB investigators said on Sunday (Nov. 2). For reasons not yet known, video and telemetry data show that co-pilot Michael Alsbury unlocked the feathers 9 seconds into the rocket engine firing, but the handle needed to deploy the tail booms was not moved.

November 2, 2014 / 1:20 a.m. CT (0620 GMT)
SpaceShipTwo crew: The investigation into what led to SpaceShipTwo breaking apart in-flight during a test of its hybrid rocket engine began on Saturday (Nov. 1) as the names of the pilots who were flying the Virgin Galactic spacecraft were released. Michael Alsbury, 39, died in the crash, while Peter Siebold, 43, suffered serious injury. The National Transportation Safety Board may require a year to complete its investigation and make its recommendations.

October 31, 2014 / 6:30 p.m. CT (2330 GMT)

SpaceShipTwo destroyed: During a test of a new hybrid rocket engine, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo was lost in flight Friday (Oct. 31), leaving one of its pilots severely injured and the other dead. The identities of the two crewmen have not been released. The flight on Friday was the 55th time SpaceShipTwo was airborne, the 35th time it flew free of its carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo, and just the fourth time it attempted powered flight. Virgin Galactic had hoped to reach space with the craft by the end of 2014.

October 30, 2014 / 9:00 a.m. CT (1400 GMT)
Insuring for the future: When it was signed 45 years ago, the envelope bearing the three Apollo 11 astronauts' autographs was meant to provide for the future of moonwalker Neil Armstrong's family. Now, the rare "insurance cover" is set to be auctioned to benefit the next generation of scientists and space explorers. The cacheted envelope, which is the first example of space memorabilia to be sold from Armstrong's estate, was donated by the moonwalker's son to support the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

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