Star Letter 003: Will Smith & Aliens Like It’s 1997

We’re not going to lie to you. It’s been a relatively slow news week in the world of space exploration. Elon Musk didn’t even tweet that much.

Regardless, there’s been some good space journalism this week and a fun surprise from your favorite alien-punching movie star, Will Smith. And While SpaceX’s founder may not have generated headlines with his usual series of unhinged tweets, the company’s esteemed President, Gwynne Shotwell, gave a pretty cool Ted Talk.

SpaceX’s next launch is Monday, when they will loft a planet-searching satellite for NASA that will aid in the search for habitable worlds.

Oh and one more thing: The industry is celebrating Yuri’s Night! Our only holiday. Star Letters is honored to join space luminaries at Kennedy Space Center to celebrate the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to achieve spaceflight.

We’ll have photos from the event on our social media…stay tuned!

Yuri Gagarin + Handle of Vodka + Bravery
= Greatest Moment in History

“When he set off for space, Gagarin was dressed in a bright orange spacesuit and a helmet inscribed with ‘CCCP’ painted in red. The painted letters were a last minute addition, marking Gagarin as a Soviet citizen so that he would be recognized after parachuting to safety following ejection from the spacecraft”

Read: BBC

Dude is brave.

SpaceX Sets Preliminary Dates For Human Launches. Get Excited But Don’t Bother Remembering the Dates.

“In a year that should see both SpaceX and Boeing conduct the uncrewed test flights of their respective crew launch vehicles, Space Exploration Technologies, SpaceX, is making good progress toward its commercial crew goals.  With specific launch target dates to be reevaluated next month at a standard quarterly review, SpaceX is currently aiming to conduct their uncrewed demo flight test of Crew Dragon followed by an in-flight abort test before the all-important crew flight test in the second half of this year.”

Read: NASASpaceflight

The Human-Rated Dragon Sound Super Sci-fi

SpaceX & NASA Launch Mission to Search for New Worlds Because This One is Getting Pretty Weird.

“Next week, NASA is launching its new exoplanet hunter: a satellite that will stare out at the cosmos searching for never-before-seen worlds. Dubbed TESS, the spacecraft is tasked with looking for planets circling around stars outside of our Solar System to help scientists figure out what these planets are made of and if any might be able to support life.”

                                                            Read: The Verge

Find us a new home, TESS!

“Now That’s What I Call A Close Encounter!”

“Actor Will Smith is known for sci-fi movie ventures like Independence Day and Men in Black, but he’s also doing some nonfiction duty as the narrator and host of National Geographic’s One Strange Rock documentary series about Earth, which features astronauts sharing their perspectives on our planet. “

“Smith chatted — from Earth — with NASA astronaut Drew Feustel. Smith’s announcement of the event hinted he’d be asking Feustel about how bathrooms work in space. They also have a love of music in common. Feustel is a guitar player.”

Read: CNET

Will, What Are You Wearing???

This ‘Seamstress of the Stars’ Kept NASA’s Space Shuttle Safe and Stylish

“Well let’s just say, since being a seamstress is traditionally a female profession, there was some “lack of respect”. That it was an “easy” job, though we had to know certain mathematical calculations to fill our parts with batting. Not to mention our stitch lines were pretty exact! Engineers would actually ask us to “hem their pants” or to “sew buttons on them!”

“Occasionally, we would get asked why the Ladies Room were in such obscure locations in the older buildings. Sometimes, an older staff member would say,”That’s because you weren’t supposed to be here!” Meaning women!”

Read: Star Letters

There’s Jean doing her thing at Kennedy Space Center!

Until next week, friends!

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