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July 28, 2015

/ 6:55 p.m. CT (2355 GMT)


"A single human error"

:

The October 2014 fatal loss of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo was likely caused by its co-pilot's premature unlocking of the feather braking system and the failure of the ship's designer to consider and protect against "a single human error," investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board said on Tuesday (July 28). The NTSB recommended additional oversight for all commercial sub-orbital spaceflight operators, but found no specific problems with SpaceShipTwo's design.


July 27, 2015

/ 1:35 p.m. CT (1835 GMT)


Suit rebooted

Neil Armstrong's Apollo lunar spacesuit will be conserved, digitized and on display for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing thanks to the $500,000 raised for the Smithsonian on Kickstarter. The "Reboot the Suit" campaign reached its goal in its first four days and is now stretching to include some of the other space artifacts at the National Air and Space Museum. First up: the silver spacesuit Alan Shepard wore on the first U.S. spaceflight.


July 24, 2015

/ 7:45 p.m. CT (0045 GMT July 24)


Astronaut Wives 'In the Blind'

:

In the sixth hour of ABC's ten-part "The Astronaut Wives Club," John and Annie Glenn ran for Senate, Scott and Rene Carpenter ran to Sealab and Alan and Louise Shepard ran for a doctor. In the episode "In the Blind," Ed White became NASA's new star, while Ed Dwight was turned away. How closely did "In the Blind" follow real space history? A look at some of the "A-OK!" and "Abort!" scenes from this week's broadcast.


July 22, 2015

/ 4:12 p.m. CT (2112 GMT)


TMA-17M to space station

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Russia's Soyuz TMA-17M crew lifted off for the International Space Station on Wednesday (July 22), two months later than planned. Oleg Kononenko, Kjell Lindgren, and Kimiya Yui were delayed launching by the loss of a Russian Progress cargo vehicle in late April. The three will spend five months on board the station serving as Expedition 44 and 45 flight engineers.


July 22, 2015

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)


Tale of two patches

:

The mission patch for Russia's 43rd Soyuz spacecraft to launch to the International Space Station (set to lift off Wednesday, July 22) pays tribute to another mission 43 years ago. The Soyuz TMA-17M emblem borrows design elements from the Apollo 17 patch worn by the last astronauts to walk on the moon in 1972. A tale of two patches, the current patch came about because the cosmonaut in command is a "big fan of Apollo."


July 20, 2015

/ 4:50 a.m. CT (0950 GMT)


Reboot the Suit

:

Consider it one small step for Kickstarter, one giant leap for putting the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon back on public display. The Smithsonian on Monday (July 20) launched 'Reboot the Suit', its first-ever crowdfunding campaign, to raise the $500,000 needed to conserve, digitize and display the Apollo 11 suit in time for the mission's 50th anniversary in July 2019.


July 17, 2015

/ 9:15 p.m. CT (0215 GMT July 18)


Astronaut Wives 'Flashpoint'

The fifth hour of ABC's "The Astronaut Wives Club" began with a "New Horizons" flyby and closed with the end of the Mercury program. In between, the episode touched on the role of women in the 1960's space program and society in general. How well did "Flashpoint" follow real space history? A look at the "A-OK!" and "Abort!" scenes from this week's broadcast.


July 16, 2015

/ 2:15 p.m. CT (1915 GMT)




Tombaugh Regio

: Just one day after it flew by and beyond Pluto, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft returned its first up-close images of the dwarf planet and its moons. The probe revealed ice mountains on Pluto and a deep canyon on Charon, as well as provided a first look at Hydra that wasn't just a point of light. The New Horizons' science team also revealed a new name for Pluto's most prominent feature: the heart is now called "Tombaugh Regio" in honor of the astronomer who discovered the planet in 1930.


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July 14, 2015

/ 7:55 p.m. CT (0055 GMT July 15)


New Horizons beyond Pluto

: NASA's New Horizons probe survived its flyby of Pluto on Tuesday morning (July 14), as its call home confirmed on Tuesday night. The spacecraft began its broadcast earlier in the afternoon, but its signal takes four hours and 25 minutes to span the more than 3 billion miles to Earth. Its first images from the flyby are expected Wednesday, but it will take the next 16 months for all of its science data to reach the ground.


July 14, 2015

/ 6:49 a.m. CT (1149 GMT)


Knock on wood

: Nine and a half years after leaving Earth, NASA's New Horizons piano-sized probe soared past Pluto Tuesday (July 14), carrying out a historic flyby of the dwarf planet. The spacecraft was scheduled to go by Pluto at a distance of just 7,750 miles at 7:49 a.m. EDT (1149 GMT), but its call home confirming it made it through the encounter will not be received on Earth until 8:53 p.m. As New Horizons' principal investigator Alan Stern advised his mission control and science teams, "knock on wood."


July 13, 2015

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)


First flybys

: We are just one day away from our last first up-close encounter with a world in our classical solar system. New Horizons will fly by the dwarf planet Pluto on Tuesday morning (July 14), capping our first survey of the Sun's sphere of influence. The probe's nine and a half year journey builds upon more than 50 years of spacecraft soaring past planets to reveal Earth's neighboring worlds.


July 10, 2015

/ 5:45 p.m. CT (2245 GMT)


Astronaut Wives 'Liftoff'

The fourth hour of ABC's "The Astronaut Wives Club" launched the fifth American into space, but only if you were really paying attention. Wally Schirra's "Liftoff" on six orbits was all but eclipsed by the wives being introduced to Houston high society and the arrival of "The New Nine" and their spouses. How well did "Liftoff" follow the space history on which it was based? A look at the "A-OK!" and "Abort!" scenes from the episode.


July 9, 2015

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


Commercial crew cadre

: NASA named four veteran astronauts on Thursday (July 9) who will train to fly on the first crewed test flights of the Boeing CST-100 and SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Doug Hurley and Sunita Williams will train for the two companies' maiden crewed missions to the International Space Station slated for launch in the next two years.


July 7, 2015

/ 7:10 p.m. CT (0010 GMT July 8)


'Apollo Edition' Ford Mustang

: Ford Motor Company has created a one-of-a-kind moon rocket-styled muscle car to be auctioned on July 23 to support the EAA's youth aviation programs. The Apollo Edition Mustang has a white body with roll-pattern black hood and roof inspired by the iconic look of NASA's Saturn V launch vehicle.


July 7, 2015

/ 4:15 a.m. CT (0915 GMT)




'Not Yet Explored' no more

: When NASA's New Horizons probe flies by the dwarf planet Pluto in just one week (July 14), it will make space history completing the initial survey of the classical solar system. The mission also will be making philatelic history by carrying a stamp further than one has ever traveled before. The 29¢ Pluto "Not Yet Explored" stamp flying on New Horizons is also believed to be the first U.S. Postal Service stamp to be present for the event that will effectively render its design outdated.


July 6, 2015

/ 12:35 a.m. CT (0535 GMT)


Direct from Pluto

: In just over a week, New Horizons will complete a nine-year journey to Pluto and deliver the first up-close images of the dwarf planet. Those photos will air on the Science Channel in "Direct From Pluto: First Encounter," a new hour-long special premiering on July 15. The NASA spacecraft is resuming science operations after an anomaly on July 4 cut off communications with Earth.


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