Astronaut Edgar Mitchell (b.1930) died on February 4. Mitchell was the last surviving member of the Apollo 14 lunar mission and died the day before the 45th anniversary of his lunar landing. Mitchell was also involved with paranormal research and conducted some ESP experiments while on his flight back to Earth. He also believed that UFOs had visited Earth.
In April, 1972, John Young and Charles Duke landed on the moon in the Lunar Module Orion. NASA scientists also arranged to have the third stage booster of the Saturn V rocket that propelled them to the moon to crash into the moon so measurements could be taken of the reverberations. Although the impact of the rocket could be measured, its location was never found until Jeff Plescia of Johns Hopkins University discovered its location.
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Sasquan Special Guest Kjell Lindgren left for Sasquan yesterday aboard a Soyuz capsule which will carry him to the International Space Station, from which he will participate in Sasquan programming. Once Lindgren’s flight had cleared the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Sasquan arranged to cancel a contingency hotel room for Lindgren, apparently being the first time the Spokane Convention Visitor’s Bureau had ever received the reason “He’s in space” for a room cancellation, according to Sasquan Vice Chair Glenn Glazer.
Mercury 13 member Bernice Steadman (b.Bernice Trimble, c.1925 ) died on March 18. Steadman was one of the thirteen women who volunteered, and successfully passed all of the physiological tests performed on the Mercury 7 astronauts. Steadman met her future husband, Robert Steadman, in 1957, when he took flying lessons from her at a flight school she owned. She was the first woman to receive an Airline Transport Rating, and was briefly considered as a candidate to be an astronaut before NASA abandoned the idea of women astronauts.
Sasquan, this year’s Worldcon, has announced the participation of astronaut Kjell Lindgren as a special guest. Dr. Lindgren will be serving on ISS missions 44 and 45 this summer and taking part in Sasquan while on board the International Space Station. While other astronauts have participating in Worldcons (and been Guests of Honor), this is the first time an astronaut has participated remotely from orbit.
NASA has announced that astronaut Scott Kelly will spend a year aboard the International Space Station, the longest any American has spent in space at a single time. Kelly has already spent 180 days in space spread out over 2 shuttle missions and a stint on the ISS which was cut short when his sister-in-law Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Kelly will participate in a study of the effects of space travel on twins with his twin brother, Mark Kelly, also an astronaut, who will remain on Earth. Kelly will join an elite club of four cosmonauts who have spent a year or more in space on a single mission.
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A possible ammonia leak on the International Space Station caused astronauts to evacuate the American section of the space station. All station personnel successfully made it to the Russian section and the American section was sealed off while a plan to deal with the leak from a cooling system was formulated. Currently there are three Russians, two Americans, and one Italian aboard the station.
Cosmonaut Anatoly Berezovoy (b.1942) died on September 20. Berezovoy served as the first Commander of the Salyut 7, the Soviet Unions last space station, spending more than 200 days in space. He retired as a cosmonaust in 1992 after suffering injuries during an armed robbery, and served as a Deputy President of Russian Space Federation until 1999.
Author Guy Gavriel Kay and astronaut Chris Hadfield are among those listed as recipients of the Order of Canada Honour. Kay is being named a Member of the Order of Canada and Hadfield is being named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Director David Cronenberg, already a member, has been named a Companion to the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada was created in 1967 to celebrate the country’s 100th anniversary and is considered one of the country’s highest civilian honours.
Astronaut Wubbo Ockels (b.1946) died on May 18. Ockels was the first Dutch astronaut, flying on STS-61-A in 1985, the last successful mission of the Challenger. He was seconded to NASA by the European Space Agency for the flight. Ockels served on the SpaceLab 1 crew and has an asteroid named in his honor.