Obituary: Igor Volk

Cosmonaut Igor Volk (b.1937) died on January 3. Volk was selected as a cosmonaut in 1977 and flew on the 7th expedition to the Salyut 7 space station. Until its cancellation, he served as head of cosmonaut training for the Buran shuttle.

Obituary: John Glenn

Astronaut John Glenn (b.1921) died on December 8. Glenn was the last surviving member of the Mercury 7 astronauts and the first American to orbit the Earth, flying on the third Mercury mission on February 20, 1962 aboard Friendship 7. Following his flight and status as a national hero, Glenn was grounded by President Kennedy and eventually became a Senator from Ohio and ran unsuccessfully for President. The oldest of the Mercury astronauts, he flew a second time in 1998 about the space shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest man to fly in space.

Astronauts at Worldcon

MidAmeriCon II has announced that US astronauts Jeanette Epps and Stanley G. Love will attend the convention as Special Guests from Friday through Sunday of the convention. Love flew on STS-122 in 2008 and Epps is training for a six month mission in 2018. Both have also participating NASA’s aquatic explorations, Love on NEEMO 16 and Epps on Neemo 18.
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Space Travel Linked to Heart Disease

Research indicated that the Apollo astronauts, who are the only humans to travel beyond the protective magnetic shielding of Earth, have an increased level of death from cardiovascular problems compared to astronauts who have never flown in space or who have only flown in Low Earth Orbit. The study looked at the 24 Apollo astronauts (including those who died of cancer and accidents) and compared them to 70 other astronauts, divided equally between unflown and LEO astronauts.
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Obituary: Edgar Mitchell

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.

Apollo 16 Booster Found

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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Lindgren Leaves for Sasquan

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.

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Obituary: Bernice Steadman

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.

Panelist From Space

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.

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Kelly’s Year in Space

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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