Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
US president Barack Obama has announced a "bold and historic" American-led mission that will see humans traveling halfway to the planet Mars a decade from now. The NASA mission, set to begin in 2022, will involve astronauts traveling approximately 100 million miles towards the Red Planet before turning around and heading back home.
President Obama hailed the trip as a significant compromise, noting "There were those who argued we should travel all the way to the Red Planet, while others argued that we should not go at all. I rejected these extremes and believe that this compromise will significantly bend the curve towards an ultimate full Mars trip some time in the future."
The spacecraft that is set to carry six astronauts on the one year round trip is currently being designed at NASA. It will be half fueled by a revolutionary ion propulsion system and half fueled by coal. The compromise came after several Republican Senate leaders threatened to filibuster the trip if fossil fuels were not part of the mix.
As for funding, Obama had insisted that the roughly $30 billion trip be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy, who currently enjoy some of the lowest rates in decades. However, after much wrangling in Congress, a "compromise" was hammered out with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell in which half of the costs will come from cuts to welfare programs and half from tax cuts.
Critics have dismissed the "compromise" mission - the first major trip of its kind since the final manned moon mission in 1972 - arguing that President Obama should have fought for a full Mars trip. "What's the point of this?" asked Dan Slammons, a former NASA engineer. "Either you're going to Mars or you're not. To have the astronauts travel half way and then return is just humiliating and, frankly, makes America look ridiculous in the eyes of the world."
Responding to these criticisms in a recent interview on the US network ABC, President Obama stated "This is the deal we got. It is historic because it means that for the first time, humans are going to be heading for Mars. That is something we can all be proud of."
Posted by Footstep at 12:32 AM
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Newsifact recently ran the following pictures under a story entitled "Murdock tries to save Face".
The correct headline should have been "Murdoch tries to save face" and the correct picture is below. We apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused.
Posted by Footstep at 12:57 AM
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
It has been confirmed that former England footballer Paul Gascoigne is in Libya, trying to persuade embattled leader Colonel Gaddafi to step down.
Gascoigne or "Gazza" achieved fame playing for the England national squad in the 1990s, but has been plauged by alcohol and drugs problems in recent years. Last July, the former footballer famously tried to persuade crazed gunman and former nightclub security guard Raoul Moat to surrender himself to police in Northumbria, England. Moat had shot his ex-girlfriend as well as her new partner and after days in hiding, was cornered by police - but the Gascoigne effect had no impact: after a long standoff with police, Moat shot himself.
This time, Gascoigne hopes to have more success. The footballer told reporters yesterday that he flew out to Libya after watching events unfold on television. "Fortunately, the Colonel was a football fan and knew who I was" said Gascoigne, "So I was allowed in to talk to him." Mr Gascoigne is now trying to persuade the Libyan leader to relinquish power and avoid further bloodshed in his country. "He's a good man," said the former footballer, "Just give him some time and he'll do the right thing."
Posted by Footstep at 3:11 AM