Astronaut Chris Hadfield with our moustache patches

We attended the Chris Hadfield book signing event in Cardiff on Tuesday 17th December. We happily queued with a few hundred happy others. It got cold but kept dry. A great bunch of interested and interesting people, old and young with Chris Hadfield as the inspiration for being there.

A brief encounter but well worth the wait, Chris signed with inscriptions if required. We presented Chris with some of the moustache patches, he offered to sign one for me, but me at 55 years (and still tongue tied, astronauts my boyhood heroes) I politely refused and regretted it ever since. Ah well there is always next time.

Photos courtesy of Bryar.

Chris Hadfield Moustache Patches Waterstones Chris Hadfield signs

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Ken Willoughby – Space Lectures Announces Latest Apollo Astronaut Guest

Ken Willoughby – Space Lectures announces the Next Guest in a fantastic line up of Apollo Astronauts

None other than Apollo 16 Command Module Pilot Thomas ‘Ken’ Mattingly

Space Lectures website for details

Apollo 13 era astronaut thomas k. mattingly

Great News for Shuttle Fans too as Ken Mattingly  was the Commander on Missions STS-4 and STS-51C

Thomas K. Mattingly II (Rear Admiral, USN, Ret.) NASA Astronaut (former)

PERSONAL DATA: Born in Chicago, Illinois, March 17, 1936. One grown son.

EDUCATION: Attended Florida elementary and secondary schools and is a graduate of Miami Edison High School, Miami, Florida; received a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Auburn University in 1958.

ORGANIZATIONS: Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Fellow, American Astronautical Society; and Member, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and the U.S. Naval Institute.

SPECIAL HONORS: Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (1982); NASA Distinguished Service Medals (2); JSC Certificate of Commendation (1970); JSC Group Achievement Award (1972); Navy Distinguished Service Medal; Navy Astronaut Wings; SETP Ivan C. Kincheloe Award (1972); Delta Tau Delta Achievement Award (1972); Auburn Alumni Engineers Council Outstanding Achievement Award (1972); AAS Flight Achievement Award for 1972; AIAA Haley Astronautics Award for 1973; Federation Aeronautique Internationale’s V. M. Komarov Diploma in 1973.

EXPERIENCE: Prior to reporting for duty at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, he was a student at the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School.

Mattingly began his Naval career as an Ensign in 1958 and received his wings in 1960. He was then assigned to VA-35 and flew A1H aircraft aboard the USS SARATOGA from 1960 to 1963. In July 1963, he served in VAH-11 deployed aboard the USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT where he flew the A3B aircraft for two years.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Mattingly is one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966.

He served as a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 8 and 11 missions and was the astronaut representative in development and testing of the Apollo spacesuit and backpack (EMU).

He was designated command module pilot for the Apollo 13 flight but was removed from flight status 72 hours prior to the scheduled launch due to exposure to the German measles.

He has logged 7,200 hours of flight time — 5,000 hours in jet aircraft.

From January 1973 to March 1978, Mattingly worked as head of astronaut office support to the STS (Shuttle Transportation System) program. He was next assigned as technical assistant for flight test to the Manager of the Orbital Flight Test Program. From December 1979 to April 1981, he headed the astronaut office ascent/entry group. He subsequently served as backup commander for STS-2 and STS-3, Columbia’s second and third orbital test flights. From June 1983 through May 1984, Mattingly served as Head of the Astronaut Office DOD Support Group.

A veteran of three space flights, Mattingly has logged 504 hours in space, including 1 hour and 13 minutes of EVA (extravehicular activity) during his Apollo 16 flight. He was the command module pilot on Apollo 16 (April 16-27, 1972), was the spacecraft commander on STS-4 (June 26 to July 4, 1982) and STS 51-C (January 24-27, 1985).

Captain Mattingly resigned from NASA in 1985.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Apollo 16 (April 16-27, 1972) was the fifth manned lunar landing mission. The crew included John W. Young (spacecraft commander), Ken Mattingly (command module pilot), and Charles M. Duke, Jr. (lunar module pilot). The mission assigned to Apollo 16 was to collect samples from the lunar highlands at a location near the crater Descartes. While in lunar orbit the scientific instruments aboard the command and service module “Casper” extended the photographic and geochemical mapping of a belt around the lunar equator. Twenty-six separate scientific experiments were conducted both in lunar orbit and during cislunar coast. Major emphasis was placed on using man as an orbital observer capitalizing on the human eye’s unique capabilities and man’s inherent curiosity. Although the mission of Apollo 16 was terminated one day early, due to concern over several spacecraft malfunctions, all major objectives were accomplished through the ceaseless efforts of the mission support team and were made possible by the most rigorous preflight planning yet associated with an Apollo mission.

apollo 16 ken mattingly portrait

STS-4, the fourth and final orbital test flight of the Shuttle Columbia, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 27,1982. Mattingly was the spacecraft commander and Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., was the pilot. This 7-day mission was designed to: further verify ascent and entry phases of shuttle missions; perform continued studies of the effects of long-term thermal extremes on the Orbiter subsystems; and conduct a survey of Orbiter-induced contamination on the Orbiter payload bay. Additionally, the crew operated several scientific experiments located in the Orbiter’s cabin and in the payload bay. These experiments included the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System experiment designed to investigate the separation of biological materials in a fluid according to their surface electrical charge. This experiment was a pathfinder for the first commercial venture to capitalize on the unique characteristics of space. The crew is also credited with effecting an in-flight repair which enabled them to activate the first operational “Getaway Special” (composed of nine experiments that ranged from algae and duckweed growth in space to fruit fly and brine shrimp genetic studies). STS-4 completed 112 orbits of the Earth before landing on a concrete runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on July 4, 1982.

thomas k mattingly space shuttle commander

STS-51C Discovery, the first Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on January 24, 1985. The crew included Ken Mattingly (spacecraft commander), Loren Shriver (pilot), Jim Buchli and Ellison Onizuka (mission specialists), and Gary Payton (DOD payload specialist). STS-51C performed its DOD mission which included deployment of a modified Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) vehicle from the Space Shuttle Discovery. Landing occurred on January 27, 1985.

JANUARY 1987

This is the only version available from NASA. Updates must be sought from the above named individual.

Apollo 13 era portrait

Apollo 16 era portrait

Shuttle era portrait

Astronaut Helmet with Moustache

Grab yourself a space themed collectable and make a donation to the Movember charity at the same time.

This limited edition patch (100 only) is the first in a series of space themed collectables that assist good causes too. Recent space station commander Chris Hadfield, sporting a fine moustache, raised the profile of space exploration around the world with his musical abilities and a series of ‘life in space’ videos broadcast from the International Space Station (ISS).

About Movember

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches around the world. With their “Mo’s” men raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. As an independent global charity, Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.

Fifty pence from the sale of each patch will be donated to the Movember charity. Find out more about Movember here!

Limited Edition Astronaut Helmet Patch

Order your patch today!

Apollo 17 Commemorative Medallion Contains Metal Flown the Lunar Surface

Apollo 17 Medallion Minted With Flown To Lunar Surface Metal

 

To celebrate 10 Years of trading Moonpans.com have commissioned their first ever Medallion. They measure 1.75 inch diameter and contain metal that spent 3 days on the Lunar Surface inside Lunar Module, Challenger. The front depicts the Apollo 17 Emblem in a beautiful three dimensional render, with the rear showing the famous Gene Cernan ‘John Wayne’ pose again in three dimensions. Both sides have a black enamel ring behind the text.


The Medallions were minted by space medallion specialists, Winco International. A limited edition of 2000 medallions worldwide.
Each order comes with a protective circular plastic case, and a Moonpans COA card.

Available now from the Spaceboosters Online Store.

apollo-17-medallion-minted-with-flown-to-lunar-surface-metal-[3]-2444-p Apollo 17 limited edition medallion minted with lunar flown metal

Apollo Lunar Bootprint Embroidered Patch

With all of the fortieth Anniversaries of the Apollo Missions already behind us we have produced a commemorative Apollo Lunar Boot print Embroidered Patch.

Apollo Missions Lunar Bootprint Embroidered Patch Celebrating the Apollo Monlandings

Apollo Lunar Bootprint Embroidered Patch available now from the Spaceboosters Online Store.

Commemorative André Kuipers Embroidered Patches

Commemorative André Kuipers Embroidered Patches (Dutch and English language versions)

From the Sea to the Stars – De ‘Ruimte’ Flying Dutchman (The ‘Space’ Flying Dutchman) 

 

Limited edition embroidered commemorative patches. Each patch is based on the national flag of the Netherlands. The motif ‘van de zee…naar de sterren (From the Sea to the Stars) and De ‘Ruimte’ Flying Dutchman (the Space Flying Dutchman) is an integral feature. 

The spirit of exploration and the inspiring nature of spaceflight is captured by the galleon riding the sea with stars rising up to the International Space Station.

Available separately or as a pair.

dutch-english versions of andre kuipers embroidered patch lr

ESA astronaut André Kuipers returns to Earth

ESA astronaut André Kuipers
 
Touchdown
 
 
1 July 2012
 
PR 19 2012 – ESA astronaut André Kuipers, together with his Russian Commander Oleg Kononenko and NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, has landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 08:14 GMT (10:14 CEST) in Soyuz TMA-03M.
 

During his six-month PromISSe mission on the International Space Station, André conducted over 50 scientific experiments in the world’s only permanent microgravity laboratory.

Now that the orbital outpost is fully assembled, astronauts on the Space Station can devote more time to research.
 
 

Andre Kuipers completing ROALD-2
   
André freezing blood samples
 
A medical doctor by training, André conducted biophysics experiments that could offer insights into fighting osteoporosis, migraines and immune cell death. He also performed experiments in other domains such as biology or looking at improving computer models of fluids. Some experiments might serve to prepare for further exploration of space.
 
 
ESA astronaut André Kuipers
 
Welcome back André
 
 
In addition to his scientific workload, André carried out maintenance and operational tasks. Highlights included receiving ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle Edoardo Amaldi cargo ferry and docking the first commercial spacecraft, Dragon.

André has been sharing the privilege of living in space with the world via social media. His photographs, blogs and tweets have been followed closely by millions worldwide bringing spaceflight closer for people on Earth.
 
 

ESA astronaut André Kuipers
   
Soyuz
 
The crew will now fly to Houston, Texas, where they will undergo medical checks before meeting the media on Friday 6 July at 13:00 GMT (15:00 CEST).

European media are welcome to follow the event and ask questions via a live video link at ESA’s ESTEC science centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. Media can address André in English, Dutch and German.

The next ESA astronaut to board the Space Station is Luca Parmitano of Italy, who will fly on Soyuz TMA-09M in 2013 as member of Expedition 36/37.
 
 

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency is Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 19 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 17 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with nine other States of the EU and is negotiating an Agreement with the one remaining (Bulgaria). Poland is in the process of becoming ESA’s 20th Member State. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System, and cooperates in the human exploration of space.