You probably have a mental image of what NASA's space missions look like — rockets blasting off into the sky, fiery clouds of exhaust after liftoff — but what do they sound like?

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Women of NASA will soon get the Lego treatment.


Lego announced this week that it will make a set featuring five female pioneers from NASA's history.

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire that killed three astronauts during a routine test on the launchpad. The accident shocked NASA as the agency was rushing to meet President Kennedy's 1961 challenge to have men on the moon by the end of the decade.

The test was a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 1 crew — Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. The ultimate goal was to check out the command module, NASA's first three-man spacecraft that would take astronauts to the moon.

The last person to leave footprints on the moon has died. NASA reported that Gene Cernan died Monday at the age of 82, surrounded by his family.

Gene Cernan flew in space three times, including twice to the moon. Cernan was big, brash and gregarious. And if he hadn't been lucky, he could have missed his chance to walk on the moon.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva HIll and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the rocky start for a committee investigating sexual harassment claims against two lawmakers as one of the members walks out refusing to sign a confidentiality agreement and the governor is getting ready to release her executive budget facing a nearly $870 million shortfall as agencies come to the capitol asking members of the House Appropriations Committee for more money.

An announcement about NASA's leadership could come as early as next week. Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a former Navy pilot, has actively sought the position and appears to be the leading candidate.

Updated 1:40 a.m. ET with Juno orbit maneuver

After a nearly five-year journey, NASA's solar-powered Juno spacecraft achieved orbit around Jupiter on Monday night. Juno navigated a tricky maneuver — including slowing by around 1,212 mph — to insert itself into orbit in what NASA calls "the king of our solar system."

At 11:18 p.m. ET, Juno transmitted a radio signal to Earth that meant its main engine had switched on. It stayed on for 35 minutes, placing Juno into exactly the orbit that mission managers had planned for.

NASA called off today's effort to inflate an expandable module attached to the International Space Station after its first attempt fell flat.

Bob Ebeling spent a third of his life consumed with guilt about the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. But at the end of his life, his family says, he was finally able to find peace.

"It was as if he got permission from the world," says his daughter Leslie Ebeling Serna. "He was able to let that part of his life go."

Ebeling died Monday at age 89 in Brigham City, Utah, after a long illness, according to his daughter Kathy Ebeling.

"I have taken a lot of pictures because I've been up here for a long time," NASA astronaut Scott Kelly said during a recent press conference from the International Space Station. "I've definitely taken some good ones and some memorable ones."

When he returns to Earth on Tuesday evening, Kelly will have spent 340 days aboard the ISS. While that's not quite a year, it's still a record for an American astronaut, and one of the longest-lasting spaceflights ever.