September 4, 2007 / 12:01 a.m. CT (0501 GMT) Live from Cape Canaveral: Veteran NBC TV correspondent Jay Barbree is the only journalist to have covered all 150 manned spaceflights launched from Florida to date. Barbree writes about the first 50 years of space exploration "from Sputnik to today," in "Live From Cape Canaveral." To celebrate its release, Barbree will sign and inscribe copies of his book pre-ordered through collectSPACE's buySPACE. In addition to personalizing the book, Barbree will date each copy for either the 50th anniversary of the Soviet's Sputnik I or U.S.'s Explorer I.
September 4, 2007 / 6:41 p.m. CT (2341 GMT) Space for Humanity: The United Nations Postal Authority has revealed the designs for its six-stamp commemorative marking the 50th anniversary of the space age. To be issued October 25, the six stamps will be offered in three currencies: U.S. dollars, Swiss francs and euros as six mini-sheets of six stamps each. UNPA will also offer three souvenir sheets and a New York-only personalized sheet to commemorate World Space Week.
September 6, 2007 / 3:26 p.m. CT (2026 GMT) Round trip: For the second time in nearly 400 years, a colonial cargo tag has arrived at the site of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. The small metal plate, which first made the trip to the New World in the 17th century, logged an additional six million miles earlier this year when it was launched aboard STS-117 to the space station. On Thursday, the tag, along with two sets of gold and silver coins honoring Jamestown's 400th anniversary, were presented by mission specialist Patrick Forrester to representatives from the Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne and Colonial National Historical Park. Flown inside shuttle Atlantis as part of the Official Flight Kit, the tag will return to APVA Preservation Virginia's permanent collection, while the flown coins were for museum display.
September 7, 2007 / 1:14 a.m. CT (0614 GMT) Let's talk about space: The Space Show, a radio talk show/podcast that focuses on topics related to space commerce, space tourism, exploration and development, will feature collectSPACE.com's founder/editor Robert Pearlman on their September 7 broadcast. David Livingston, host, will chat with Pearlman about the Glenn Research Center's third annual space memorabilia show, as well as the upcoming 50th anniversary of Sputnik, the world's first satellite. Listeners to the live broadcast may call-in, instant message or e-mail questions for the show.
September 7, 2007 / 1:35 a.m. CT (0635 GMT) Astronomical Asian art auction: Imagine a single canvas on which Picasso, Pollock, Dali and Monet had original paintings. Now imagine if that same canvas accompanied astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and John Glenn on "their historic space mission[s]" with each autographing the entire body of work upon return to Earth. Still imagining? Would you bid at least $9.6 million for the canvas? That was the proposition put forth by auctioneer Shaoning Li in a press release promoting an exhibit in Los Angeles of the Chinese equivalent of such a canvas that flew in space aboard China's second manned space flight Shenzhou VI. The creation of 168 master Chinese artists, the paintings are divided among three 90-foot scrolls that embody the themes: figures, landscape, and flowers and birds. China's first three taikonauts signed the scrolls. Mr. Li predicts that in 10 years, the scrolls' value will be $130 million. Bidding on the scrolls will begin on September 30.
September 8, 2007 / 9:56 a.m. CT (1456 GMT) Shadow screens: "In The Shadow Of The Moon," David Sington's documentary about the Apollo moon landings, opened in New York and Los Angeles theaters Friday. The film, which features interviews with Apollo astronauts and high definition transfers of NASA archival footage, opens in other U.S. cities in limited release over the next couple of weeks. After its theatrical run, Shadow is scheduled to air in mid-2008 on the Discovery Channel as part of their programming for NASA's 50th anniversary.
September 11, 2007 / 1:24 a.m. CT (0624 GMT) Mickey and Morgan: On Monday, Barbara Morgan and her STS-118 crewmates were the guests of honor at Walt Disney World's Epcot and Magic Kingdom theme parks. A glass plaque bearing an inspirational quote by the teacher-turned-astronaut was added to the Wall of Honor at Mission: SPACE, just beside another like it that honors teacher in space Christa McAuliffe. The crew also took part in an educational live webcast and walked down Main Street U.S.A. as grand marshals of Disney's parade.
September 13, 2007 / 2:29 p.m. CT (1929 GMT) Moon 2.0: The X PRIZE Foundation today announced the target and title sponsor for its next prize: the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE challenges companies worldwide to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images, and data back to the earth. Promoted as the start of Moon 2.0, the second era of lunar exploration, the GLXP expires at the end of seven years and the prize money is reduced by $5 million in just five years. Secondary and bonus prizes are also to be awarded, such as for photos of Apollo artifacts.
September 13, 2007 / 2:30 p.m. CT (1930 GMT) Half-century symbol: Shana Dale, NASA Deputy Administrator, unveiled the space agency's 50th anniversary logo today from WIRED Magazine's NextFest in California. The United States' aeronautics and space administration still has more than a year before reaching the half-century milestone on October 1, 2008, but NASA has chosen to begin the celebration 12-months early like the 2002 to 2003 Centennial of Flight. NASA's "50 Years" logo invokes the appearance of a solar eclipse at totality.
September 14, 2007 / 12:57 a.m. CT (0557 GMT) Every single launch... ever! (assuming of course, 'ever' ends June 15, 2007). Popular Mechanics, working with a launch database by space historian Jonathan McDowell, has done what even NASA has yet to do: graph all 6,038 lift-offs since Sputnik, for an interactive time line chronicling the past 50 years of space flight. Lines on the graph are color coded for the nation from where the rocket departed, and the lines' lengths note the apogees attained.
September 14, 2007 / 10:13 a.m. CT (1513 GMT) Leave your Lunar Legacy: Just before he climbed back inside the lunar module Orion for the third and last time during Apollo 16, Charlie Duke placed a portrait of his family on the lunar surface and then took a photo of that photograph. Thirty-five years later, Duke's actions inspired the X PRIZE Foundation to reserve room on the spacecraft competing for the Google Lunar X PRIZE for a digital stash of personal photos and messages. For a $10 donation, the public an upload their own Lunar Legacy for a one way journey to the Moon on a DVD or memory chip.
September 18, 2007 / 1:22 a.m. CT (0622 GMT) Bang Bond, zoom, straight to the moon! Baseballs in space are not a new thing, but Marc Ecko's proposed 'out-of-this-world' hit might destroy a record. A fashion designer and entrepreneur, Ecko bid on and won the 756th home-run ball hit by Barry Bonds, which surpassed Hank Aaron's long-standing career record. Surrounded by controversy due to Bonds' alleged steroid use, Ecko bid a winning $752,467 specifically to "democratize" the debate over what to do with the ball. Since claiming its ownership on Saturday, Ecko has started a website where the public can vote for one of three choices: bestow it to the Hall of Fame; brand it with an permanent asterisk and then send the ball to Cooperstown; or banish it to space on a rocket. Of the third option, Ecko provides few details, but offers it as the "moon shot for the ages. Out of sight, out of mind."
September 18, 2007 / 5:38 p.m. CT (2238 GMT) Help wanted, some travel required: The 20th group of astronaut candidates will be chosen in early 2009, NASA announced on Tuesday. Applications are being accepted through July 1, 2008 to fill positions on the international space station and for missions to the Moon. Per a schedule posted on NASA's website, the selection will come just one month after the 50 year anniversary of the announcement of NASA's original Mercury astronauts.
September 19, 2007 / 12:31 a.m. CT (0531 GMT) Anniversary art: For many who remember seeing it, the world's first satellite, Sputnik was a point of light moving across the sky. Of course, images and replicas released by Russia after its launch have since created an icon from the spiked silver sphere. Still, no one knows for certain how Sputnik must have appeared as it orbited, as it was alone and there were no cameras on-board. The upcoming 50th anniversary of the start of the space age and its related celebratory events have inspired artists to imagine the sight from Sputnik's point of view. Among the designs are SAIC's Pat Rawlings' for World Space Week and Detlev van Ravenswaay's poster for the Space50 film series at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
September 20, 2007 / 4:01 a.m. CT (0901 GMT) Space Heritage: Heritage Auction galleries in Dallas, Texas holds its first Air & Space sale this evening offering for bid nearly 400 aerospace history artifacts and collectibles. Of note, the auction highlights lots from the collections of flight surgeon D.O. Coons, NASA astronaut trainer Joe Garino and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, the latter consigning the handwritten prayer notes that he desired, but was not allowed to read aloud from inside the lunar module, among other paraphernalia he carried to the Moon. The auction, which begins today and continues on Friday, is open to in-person, phone and eBay Live bidders.
September 20, 2007 / 4:40 a.m. CT (0940 GMT) Expedition enthusiast: Now open at San Francisco's Magic Theatre, "Expedition 6" was written and directed by Bill Pullman to explore the personal and political 'crisis' of the crew of the international space station, "stranded in space" after shuttle Columbia, their planned ride home, was lost. To do so, he employs a company of eight actors, live music, low flying trapeze and otherwise minimal staging, delivering "genuine and affecting drama" praised the San Francisco Chronicle. Pullman spoke with collectSPACE about his play, the results he hopes it has and the impact it has already had on his interest in space.
September 24, 2007 / 6:29 p.m. CT (2329 GMT) Space Station Telescope 3D: When the final Hubble servicing mission launches in late 2008, the shuttle will bring new and replacement instruments for the STS-125 crew to install. The orbiter will also carry a 3D IMAX camera, the first large-format camera to fly in space since 2001, which Commander Scott Altman and his crew will use to capture scenes for a movie about the orbiting observatory's life story, to be directed by IMAX's Toni Myers and distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures.
September 25, 2007 / 2:34 a.m. CT (0734 GMT) Top 10 Sputniks: To celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the launch of the world's first satellite Sputnik, collectSPACE is counting down the Top 10 Sputnik backups, replicas and other exhibits of the iconic sphere. The list launches with the world's most popular Sputnik replica.
September 25, 2007 / 11:01 a.m. CT (0401 GMT) Well-traveled movers: Were they to have traveled the same distance in the manner they were originally intended to, they would have completed 4.8 billion trips around the board. Instead, they only orbited the Earth 219 times. Flown on-board shuttle Atlantis on the 14-day STS-117 mission last June, the eight "movers" from the Here & Now Edition of Monopoly were delivered Tuesday to the Massachusetts global headquarters of Hasbro Inc. Two sets of the metal tokens, miniature versions of items relevant in the "here and now," made the 5.8 million mile journey. Space Center Houston representatives gave one framed set of game pieces to Mr. Monopoly. The second set was to be divided among the companies in the game, including McDonalds, Toyota, New Balance and Motorola. NASA flew the tokens after the American public voted to add the Johnson Space Center as a property in Monopoly.
September 27, 2007 / 7:46 a.m. CT (1246 GMT) By Dawn's early light: Delayed by several months due to booster and weather issues, NASA today launched the Dawn spacecraft at 6:34 a.m. CDT on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The first mission into the "heart of our asteroid belt," Dawn will also be the first spacecraft to enter into orbit around two different celestial bodies as it studies the asteroid Vesta beginning in 2011, and then four years later explores the dwarf planet Ceres. To accomplish its tour of the two largest members of the asteroid belt, Dawn relies on three ion engines as well as the largest set of solar arrays ever sent into interplanetary space. The goal of Dawn's mission is to learn more about the solar system's formation and the forces that shaped it.
September 27, 2007 / 2:02 p.m. CT (1902 GMT) Sputnik stamp: In yet another example of the Sputnik(s) You Can Own, the Australia Post will introduce six postage stamps and associated philatelic products on Oct. 2 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the world's first satellite. The six stamps depict Sputnik and the craft that followed it into space, including Voyager, the Hubble Telescope and the International Space Station, as well as two stamps that illustrate the first space and moon walks.
September 28, 2007 / 10:41 a.m. CT (1541 GMT) Second gen explorers: Space Adventures announced today that Richard Garriott, son of Skylab and shuttle U.S. astronaut Owen Garriott, is preparing for his own spaceflight to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in October 2008. A successful computer game developer, Garriott is dedicating his flight to conducting science and has identified his first research partner as ExtremoZyme, Inc., a biotechnology company co-founded by his father. Garriott will be the first offspring of an American astronaut to fly in space. Upon arriving at the space station, Garriott will be met by ISS commander Sergei Volkov, whose father, Alexander Volkov flew three flights as a cosmonaut, once to Salyut 7 and twice to Mir. Garriott and Volkov will return to Earth in the same Soyuz.
September 29, 2007 / 3:13 p.m. CT (2013 GMT) National (astronauts') Treasures: A flight vest belonging to STS-113 astronaut John Herrington and a moon rock posthumously awarded to Gus Grissom were unveiled on Friday as among a new Americana exhibit now open at Walt Disney World Resort's Epcot in Florida. "National Treasures," located in The American Adventure pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase, gathers together for the first time artifacts from museums and foundations all over the nation, including NASA's Johnson Space Center. The space artifacts, along with the other items on display such as one of Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hats, will be rotated periodically with other Americana artifacts to keep National Treasures new to guests. The moon rock, which was presented to Disney by Grissom's widow, belongs to NASA but was loaned for display in Gus Grissom's honor.