WATCH: Astronauts prepare for rare splashdown in SpaceX capsule, target is 7:34 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 1

WATCH THE SPLASHDOWN EVENT LIVE HERE, the SpaceX video embed in this post will go live with pre-event content sometime before 7pm EDT on Saturday August 1. Read the rest

WATCH: Virgin Galactic spaceship new cabin design reveal

I'd totally go. Read the rest

WATCH: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Unity completes 2nd flight from Spaceport America (mission recap video)

Definitely book me on the very first flight off this hell-planet 2020, yes please. Read the rest

The SpaceX Dragon docks with Space Station to "Blue Danube"

OK, I really need this. It's the SpaceX Dragon rendezvousing and docking with the International Space Station with "Blue Danube" as the soundtrack. Holy 2001, Batman!

Image: Screengrab Read the rest

Virgin Orbit fails on first rocket launch attempt, 'next big test ASAP' for Richard Branson’s spaceflight firm

Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit failed on its first rocket launch attempt, which took place out of the Mojave Spaceport in Southern California. Read the rest

#FalconHeavy success: SpaceX launches world's biggest rocket

UPDATE: THEY DID IT. It couldn't have gone more perfectly. Read the rest

Virgin Galactic crash blamed on “single human error”

Federal safety officials say the builder of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo is at fault for not anticipating the copilot error that caused the spaceship's disintegration during a test flight nine months ago.

Dark Side of the Pluto revealed in new NASA image from New Horizons mission

Pluto haze! In my brain. Lately, things, they don't seem the same.

How to name an exoplanet, by XKCD

XKCD's hot take on the recent space news around Kepler 452-B and Pluto.

“Nominal” Soyuz launch sends Expedition 44 crew of three to International Space Station

Today's launch was a good one.

ISS crew forced to take shelter from hazardous space junk. Again.

All ISS systems continued to operate normally while the Russian cosmonauts and NASA astronaut sheltered.

NASA spaceflight review concludes agency lacks ability to get humans to Mars

Washington Post: "A sweeping review of NASA’s human spaceflight program has concluded that the agency has an unsustainable and unsafe strategy that will prevent the United States from achieving a human landing on Mars in the foreseeable future. The 286-page National Research Council report, the culmination of an 18-month, $3.2 million investigation mandated by Congress, says that to continue on the present course under budgets that don’t keep pace with inflation 'is to invite failure, disillusionment, and the loss of the longstanding international perception that human spaceflight is something the United States does best.'”

More here.

The report bolsters the case for manned missions to the moon, which President Obama oppose. “I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before,” the president said in a space policy speech in 2010. Read the rest

Atlantis returns to Kennedy: a review of the space shuttle's new permanent exhibit

Space educator Sawyer "@thenasaman" Rosenstein, 19, is a hardcore space fan. His enthusiasm for space flight was captured in a 2011 Boing Boing special feature, and shines weekly in his "Talking Space" podcast. He traveled to Florida for the opening of the new permanent exhibit of Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center, and shared photos with us. All images in this review are Sawyer's. —Xeni Jardin.

Vintage futures: Next Stop Mars, 1952

In the Boing Boing Flickr Pool, reader JMV shares this wonderful scan of a 1952 feature from the Vancouver Sun's "Weekend Picture Magazine" on the coming age of travel to Mars.

Illustration by Edgar Ainsworth.

"It will probably be some 50 years before any safe space flight from Earth to another planet and back is made, but there seems now to be very little doubt that the dreams of Roger Bacon in AD 1249 and Albertus Magnus in 1280 have left the realm of Wellsian imaginings and become a practical proposition."

Here's a larger size. Guess they didn't think of Rovers! Read the rest

Celebrate the first interplanetary holiday!

Tonight is Yuri's Night — a holiday celebrating the first human spaceflight. You can throw a Yuri's Night party yourself, or simply join one of the 340 parties that are already scheduled. Scheduled events range from the ubiquitous "let's drink vodka shots in a Russian restaurant" to more kid-friendly, telescope-centric themes. And this year, you can even virtually join the Mars Curiosity Rover as it throws itself the first Yuri's Night party to be held on another planet. (Which, frankly, sounds a little lonely and sad, so hopefully people turn up for the virtual side of that shindig.) Read the rest

Highlights of the Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos "free-fall from space"

A highlights reel of Felix Baumgartner's spectacular space jump.

Free-fall from stratosphere, live now

Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space that will try to surpass human limits that have existed for more than 50 years.

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