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Releases July 22 Update: Buzz Aldrin Sells Moon Souvenirs

Electronic auctions are already underway – and a live auction is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. UTC) on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 in New York City – for Buzz Aldrin’s personal moon memorabilia. Aldrin and Neil Armstrong formed the team that landed the Eagle lunar module at Tranquility Base 53 years ago this week (July 20, 2022) – during the Apollo 11 mission. Among the items for sale is the flight jacket carried by Aldrin during Apollo 11, the pen he and Armstrong used to repair a switch on the lunar surface (saving the mission and their lives), pieces of the Apollo 11 command module Colombia, as well as charts, maps, and mission checklists. Additionally, there are also artifacts from the Gemini XII mission.

Brokerage firm Sotheby’s, which is handling the sale, described the otherworldly auction like this:

Sotheby’s is delighted to announce Buzz Aldrin: American Icon, the largest space exploration collection ever released. The collection, entrusted directly by Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, who has carefully preserved materials since his missions, includes the most important artifacts from the Gemini XII and Apollo 11 missions.

Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong snapped this photo of Buzz Aldrin – the 2nd man on the moon – on July 20, 1969. Today, Aldrin is auctioning off personal memorabilia from the moon at Sotheby’s. Image via NASA.

July 22 update: Record Friday for SpaceX!

A Falcon 9 took off today (July 22, 2022) carrying a payload of even more Starlink satellites into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. This is the 32nd time SpaceX has sent a vehicle into space in 2022. This milestone is a high point for the company, which in 2021 completed 31 successful launches.

This liftoff also marks the 30th flight of a private company booster in 2022. Wow!

With nearly half of the calendar year remaining, SpaceX is rapidly closing in on CEO Elon Musk’s target revealed in March. In a tweet on March 21, 2022it announced its goal of moving more than two-thirds of all the world’s space cargo into orbit in a series of about 50 flights.

In mid-July, the company simply said on Twitter he is well on his way to destroying that objective.

Update July 20: Artemis 1 launches August 29?

NASA officials told a press conference earlier today that the Artemis 1 mission – our first step in a human return to the moon – could launch as early as Monday, August 29, 2022. The announcement comes on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the first human steps. on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Jim Free, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC, later said via Twitter that his team is was preparing for the historic flight:

Although we have quite a bit of work to do on Artemis 1 before launch, we have put some placeholders on the lineup starting August 29th.

The two other possible launch dates discussed today are:

Friday, September 2, 2022
Monday, September 5, 2022

Free said the team is “focused” as it continues to work through a host of procedures and processes in preparation for the first flight test of NASA’s new heavy-lift vehicle – the Mighty Space Launch System, or SLS – and the Orion crew capsule. , which the crew back to the moon will eventually roll into.

Artemis 1 will serve as a test flight for SLS. The SLS will send the Orion (uncrewed) crew capsule on a trip around the moon and back.

If the currently preferred launch dates don’t work out, NASA mission planners have other possible windows planned for Artemis 1 extending through the end of 2022.

Want more details on the challenges before launch? Here is a great article by Alan Boyle on Geekwire

Learn more about EarthSky: SLS vs. Starship: It’s a Mini Space Race!

Standing rocket with many tight platforms around it.
Crews retracted the first two of 20 platforms surrounding the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft that enable work on the embedded system in High Bay 3 inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. As of this writing (July 20, 2022), SLS is in the VAB preparing for the launch of the Artemis 1 mission. Potential launch dates include August 29 and September 2 or 5, 2022. Image via NASA/Kim Shiflett.
Launches: Large rocket with an orange stage and thrusters on each side launching into the atmosphere on a tail of flame.
Artist’s concept of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. It is powerful and fast, but its price is high. Image via NASA.

July 18 Update: A Pop Band Goes To Space

American pop duo The Chainsmokers will give whole new meaning to their hit song High as they venture to the far reaches of space. The Associated Press reported today, July 18, 2022, that a new space tourism company called World View has selected The Chainsmokers for their first crewed flight in 2024. The duo will enter a pressurized capsule attached to a balloon stratospheric and will travel approximately 20 miles (30 km) above the Earth. Commercial airliners fly about 6–8 miles (9–13 km).

The Chainsmokers said in the statement:

We have always dreamed of going into space and are delighted to collaborate with World View to live this adventure and this experience. We know the sights of Earth and space are going to be amazing and inspiring, and we hope to leverage this flight for creativity on future projects.

Two young men gesturing towards the camera and looking cool.
The Chainsmokers. One of the duo’s latest hits is High. The pair will enter a pressurized capsule attached to a stratospheric balloon and fly approximately 20 miles (30 km) above Earth. Image via DJMag.

Conclusion: EarthSky blog launches July 23, 2022. Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, is auctioning off personal memorabilia from the Apollo 11 and Gemini XII missions.