June 3, 2013 / 2:35 a.m. CT (0735 GMT) "One small step 'frrr(uh)' man": When Neil Armstrong took his first step onto the moon, he intended and may have indeed said "one small step for a man..." – but many listeners believed he left out the "a." Now, a team of speech scientists and psychologists who've studied how speakers from Armstrong's native central Ohio pronounce "for" and "for a" have suggested that it is entirely possible Armstrong spoke correctly, though people are statistically more likely to have heard "for man" due to his accent.
June 4, 2013 / 7:35 p.m. CT (0035 GMT June 5) Switching Saturn Vs: "The Dream Rocket," an ambitious art project to wrap a rocket in a student-created quilt, has switched its target Saturn V. Since 2009, the educational effort has focused on covering the 363-foot replica that towers over Huntsville, Alabama, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Realizing that it may be difficult for anyone to see the art at the top, The Dream Rocket team has now proposed blanketing the real Saturn V that lies horizontally next to the vertical replica. The project has begun a crowd-funding campaign to launch the revised exhibit's design.
June 5, 2013 / 5:00 p.m. CT (2200 GMT) E(instein)=ATV4: In a demonstration of how energy can equal accelerating mass, ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 (ATV-4) lifted off Wednesday on an Ariane 5 rocket for the International Space Station. The cargo craft, named "Albert Einstein" for the famous scientist, launched with Europe's largest-ever dry load for the orbiting outpost, including a 3D printed toolbox, space food delicacies from Italy, and copies of Einstein's original paper explaining the foundation for the theory of relativity. ATV-4 will dock with the International Space Station after 10 days on June 15.
June 6, 2013 / 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT) Build NASA's future: NASA and the LEGO Group are working together to inspire a new generation of aerospace engineers through a new design competition. The contest spurs teenage and older LEGO fans to use the toy bricks in building models of future air- and spacecraft. The "NASA's Missions: Imagine and Build" competition opened Wednesday with an entry deadline of July 31. Winners will be selected by a panel of NASA and LEGO officials.
Atlantis enters final countdown: There are just 22 days remaining before the opening of the new $100 million home for space shuttle Atlantis on June 29. The newest and largest project ever undertaken by NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the five-story exhibit offers the unique view of a shuttle in flight, as well as 60 displays related to the 30-year program and its accomplishments in space. On Friday, collectSPACE got a first look at Atlantis with its payload bay is open, ready for its public display.
June 11, 2013 / 4:45 a.m. CT (0945 GMT) China launches Shenzhou 10: China's fifth manned spaceflight, Shenzhou 10, launched on Tuesday with a three-person crew for the prototype Tiangong-1 space module. The 15 day mission, commanded by Nie Haisheng, who previously flew on Shenzhou 6, with Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping, the latter China's second woman to fly in space, will test rendezvous and docking methods, take part in medical and technical tests, and deliver lessons to Chinese students about the physics of microgravity.
June 11, 2013 / 3:30 p.m. CT (2030 GMT) – UPDATED Off and running no more: Progress M-19M on Tuesday undocked from the International Space Station packed with refuse no longer needed aboard the orbiting outpost. Headed for a destructive return into the atmosphere, the unmanned cargo craft's discarded contents include the space station's original treadmill, as used by 34 expedition crews for more than 12 years. Referred to as the Treadmill Vibration Isolation System, or TVIS, the exercise machine was replaced by a Russian-built unit and a treadmill named after American television comedian Stephen Colbert. UPDATE: ISS's first treadmill hasn't yet run its course.
June 13, 2013 / 11:25 a.m. CT (1625 GMT) Space tourists' passport: Planning to visit a NASA center or two this summer? Maybe see a retired space shuttle on display? Don't forget your passport. Newly introduced, the "Passport to Explore Space" now offered by the 14 official NASA visitor centers and orbiter museum homes invites guests to collect commemorative stamps at each location they visit, qualifying them for discounts.
Tereshkova's hidden mission patch: Fifty years ago on Sunday (June 16), cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova launched on Vostok 6 and became the world's first woman to fly in space. Climbing aboard her capsule, photos showed Tereshkova wearing a bright orange spacesuit with no other markings than the "CCCP" (USSR) printed on her white helmet. But underneath her pressure garment, sewn to her thermal suit, was a large emblem — the world's first mission patch for a manned crewed spaceflight. Only three of the original patches were created and the emblem was never produced as a commemorative souvenir, until now.
June 15, 2013 / 1:25 a.m. CT (0625 GMT) LEGO to roll out Mars rover: A fan-created model of the Mars rover Curiosity will be the next product in LEGO's CUUSOO line of toy building brick sets. Ten months after getting 10,000 votes on LEGO's CUUSOO website, mechanical engineer Stephen Pakbaz's version of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory was chosen by LEGO for release to "'inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow,' including those who will build our future in outer space."
June 17, 2013 / 9:55 a.m. CT (1455 GMT) Gagarin's cause of death clarified: Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space, has gone public with new details surrounding the MiG-15 jet crash that took Yuri Gagarin's life in March 1968. Long clouded by rumors and theories, the first man in space and Vladimir Seryogin, his flight instructor, were killed when an unauthorized Su-15 jet went supersonic too close to them, sending their jet into a tailspin, which ended in their crashing outside a small town near Moscow. Leonov, whose own theory was bolstered by the newly declassified documents, disclosed the details in an interview with the television network Russia Today.
June 17, 2013 / 1:30 p.m. CT (1830 GMT) NASA's 2013 astronaut class: After a year and a half search, NASA has a new group of astronaut candidates (ascans) who will help the space agency "push the boundaries of exploration and travel to new destinations in the solar system." Eight candidates have been selected to be NASA's 2013 astronaut class, the 21st group chosen in the agency's human spaceflight program history.
June 18, 2013 / 9:25 a.m. CT (1425 GMT) Astronaut 'I scream': NASA's 2013 class of astronaut candidates, or "ascans" for short, were all very excited to be selected from the more than 6,000 applications received to be the space agency's 21st group of astronaut trainees. At least one of the eight new ascans admitted to letting out a scream at the news, as did her mom. Beyond their being chosen though, the candidates said they were excited by the opportunity to contribute to exploration.
June 20, 2013 / 2:15 a.m. CT (0715 GMT) Million-dollar milestone: The crowdfunding campaign to launch the world's first asteroid (and maybe exoplanet) finding, space selfie-snapping, public space telescope topped its $1 million goal Wednesday evening and still has 10 days to go before ending. Planetary Resources will use the money to launch its first Arkyd-100 telescope and create the public interface to control it. The asteroid mining company has now turned attention to its "stretch goals;" if $2 million is raised, the Arkyd will be upgraded to enable it joining the search for planets outside our solar system.
June 23, 2013 / 7:25 p.m. CT (0025 GMT June 24) A 'living reminder' of Neil Armstrong: The first man to walk on the moon was buried at sea a month after his death in 2012, leaving the world without a place to remember him. Johnson Space Center corrected for that on Thursday (June 20), dedicating a tree to Armstrong in its Astronaut Memorial Grove. "The tree we dedicate not only keeps our memories of [Armstrong] alive, it keeps his and our dreams alive," said Ellen Ochoa, JSC director. "It's not only a living reminder of what we have accomplished, but it's also a reminder of what we must do."
Meet a legend. Encounters start June 29: This Saturday (June 29), after more than a year in the making, NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will open the doors to "Space Shuttle Atlantis." The $100 million exhibit showcases the retired orbiter and through state-of-the-art visuals and interactive simulators, brings to life the 30-year history and legacy of the space shuttle program. collectSPACE presents a narrative preview and visual look at what awaits guests inside Space Shuttle Atlantis.
June 26, 2013 / 8:10 a.m. CT (1310 GMT) Shenzhou 10 lands: Three astronauts who achieved China's longest manned mission to date have returned to Earth, completing the final scheduled trip to China's first prototype space station. Shenzhou 10 crewmates Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping worked for 15 days in space, including 12 days aboard the Tiangong-1 orbital module. The three performed medical and technical tests, including twice docking with Tiangong-1. Wang, who was China's second woman in space, also led a live video lesson about the physics of microgravity for students.
June 26, 2013 / 10:35 a.m. CT (1535 GMT) Missing mooncraft: The moon has become the final resting ground for scads of landed and crashed spacecraft, many pinpointed by sleuthing scientists. Using sharp-eyed moon orbiters, researchers have seen Apollo lunar landing leftovers and Soviet-era spacecraft. But the search is ongoing to find the sites of several pioneering probes.
June 27, 2013 / 2:00 p.m. CT (1900 GMT) Star Trek scribe to pen space race series: Screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, who wrote and directed "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" is now penning a TV pilot about the real space race between the United States and former Soviet Union. Primeridian Entertainment said Wednesday (June 26) it had hired Meyer for the still-untitled series and optioned the rights to the book "Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age" by Matthew Brzezinski. The TV series, which will highlight the competition between the superpowers, will begin "with the scramble to capture the remains of the Nazi V-2 program."
June 29, 2013 / 2:10 a.m. CT (0710 GMT) Space shuttle Atlantis souvenir shop: The newest retail shop at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Shuttle Express in the new "Space Shuttle Atlantis" exhibit, offers 4000 sq.ft. of space shuttle and related souvenirs displayed amid youth artwork depicting their visions for the future of spaceflight. The store, which guests pass through when exiting the $100 million orbiter showcase, also offers the means for Atlantis' display – as the exhibit uses no tax or appropriated funds for its operation or maintenance.
'Space Shuttle Atlantis' launches: NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex held an opening ceremony on Saturday (June 29) for the $100 million "Space Shuttle Atlantis" exhibit. Astronauts from each of Atlantis' 33 flights joined officials to launch the retired orbiter's display, which uniquely has it mounted to appear as if in flight. The exhibit also highlights the 30-year history of NASA's space shuttle program, with full-size models of the Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station modules.