NASA plans for future moon missions

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NASA plans for future moon missions

Monday, September 19, 2005

NASA has announced plans for sending humans back to the Moon, as a first step to Mars.

A 2018 lunar mission is proposed, where a crew of four would remain on the Moon for as long as a week. A minimum of two lunar missions a year is planned, with astronauts remaining as long as six months.

Some of the technology had previously been proposed for replacement of the Space Shuttle.

  • Astronauts will be launched in a capsule, similar in concept to that used for the Project Apollo but three times larger. The top part of an Exploration Transportation System (ETS), the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) will be a capsule attached to a service module which contains supplies, power, and propulsion units. The CEV is designed for use in Earth orbit.
  • On lunar missions, crew or cargo versions of a Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM) would be used with a CEV. The LSAM will have design concepts related to the Apollo Lunar Module, with a four-legged landing unit carrying an ascent stage.
  • An Earth Departure Stage (EDS), a powerful propulsion unit, will be used to move CEV and LSAM units out of Earth orbit, such as on lunar missions.
  • Heavy Launcher unmanned cargo rockets will be used for heavy loads of equipment.
  • The launch rockets, Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicles, will use engines developed for the Shuttle program.
    • CEV will be launched atop a Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV), a single solid fuel booster with a second stage using a shuttle main engine. The CLV can carry a payload of 25 metric tons into low Earth orbit.
    • The heavy-lift system uses a pair of longer solid rocket boosters and five shuttle main engines to put up to 125 metric tons in orbit — about one and a half times the weight of a shuttle orbiter.
  • The use of a Launch Escape System (LES) will improve safety. A LES is a top-mounted rocket that can quickly remove the crew capsule away from an exploding or otherwise dangerous rocket.

For a lunar mission, the LSAM and EDS would be placed in orbit by a cargo launcher, then a CEV would dock with the assembly before leaving Earth orbit.

The goal is to begin production of the new spacecraft by 2011.

  • Robotic missions will be sent, probably the first one in 2008.
  • Past experience with lunar dust is being used in designing equipment and spacesuits which may encounter it.
  • Surface mobility with open and pressurized rovers for use in such missions is also being developed.
  • The CEV can be reused up to ten times.
  • Crew capsule, upon return to Earth, will set down on dry land. It can also land on water.
  • The CEV and lunar lander ascent stage use methane as fuel, as methane may be available on Mars.
  • Eventually the designs could be expanded to support six astronauts for a trip to Mars.

The plans are a means to implement President Bush’s “Vision for Space Exploration” program. Goals include:

  • Implement a sustained and affordable human and robotic program to explore the solar system and beyond;
  • Extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations;
  • Develop the innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures both to explore and to support decisions about the destinations for human exploration; and
  • Promote international and commercial participation in exploration to further U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests.

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Stingray kills head diver of Underwater World Singapore

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Stingray kills head diver of Underwater World Singapore

Friday, October 7, 2016

Following an accidental death at the closed Underwater World Singapore (UWS) aquarium in Sentosa on Tuesday, operations to relocate the facility’s animals have been suspended.

Phillip Chan, 62, the head diver of the defunct facility, was moving stingrays in preparation for transfer to another aquarium when one of them stung him in the chest. Singapore newspaper The New Paper reported no prior such stingray incident was known to have occurred in Singapore. Australian conservationist Steve Irwin died in a similar manner in 2006.

Following a call to the Singapore Civil Defense Force at 2:20 pm, Chan was found near the entrance of UWS, where attempts were made to resuscitate him via CPR. He was taken to Singapore General Hospital, where he died from his injuries. While Chan’s colleagues declined to comment to The New Paper, a staff member at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, who witnessed Chan being taken away by ambulance, stated, “It all happened very quickly. The ambulance came and quickly left the premises. I’ve never seen such an incident happening here before.”

UWS operator Haw Par Corporation described Chan as a “veteran diver, aquarist and animal caregiver who had been caring for the aquatic animals at UWS since its opening in 1991”. Ten staff, including Chan, remained at UWS after its closure on June 27 to facilitate care for its animals until they could be suitably relocated. In addition to assisting the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate with their investigations, Haw Par has pledged Chan’s family “all possible support and assistance”. Due to Chan’s death, MOM has ordered the cessation of animal transfers from UWS while investigations are pending.

In an interview with The New Paper, Dr. Tan Heok Hui, an ichthyologist and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum operations officer, stated, “Stingrays attack when they feel threatened, cornered or alarmed. Sometimes, a stingray might feel threatened when someone accidentally steps on it. Stingrays have backward pointing barbs on the spine that have serrated edges. They don’t just cause physical pain, the toxins in the spine can also cause extreme discomfort. When a spine pierces human flesh, it breaks and releases toxins into the flesh.”

Stingray venom contains serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can induce severe muscle contractions. According to Dr Tan, “If a victim is hit in vital organs like the chest area, it may trigger a cardiac arrest, which could subsequently be fatal”. “Stingrays are not usually aggressive, and choose defensive methods to protect themselves. However, stingrays are still wild animals, and when provoked and left with no choice, they will defend themselves using their sting.”

In an interview with The New Paper at the time of UWS’ closure in June, Chan said of the animals he worked with, whom he described as his “band of friends”, “They are so quietly tame. […] We intend to find them the best homes and environment. The next time I see them, I might not recognise them any more but if I dive, they might recognise me.”

Chan’s work at UWS entailed diving into the tanks and feeding the animals whilst visitors took photos. In an interview at the time with The Straits Times, Chan stated, “I treat [the animals] like my babies.” Chan also related anecdotes where he was bitten by sharks who mistook him for fish, releasing him when they recognised their mistake, describing the animals as “gentle”. “Whenever I get in danger,” said Chan, “I just keep calm. I can overcome any danger by just being calm”.

MOM stated of Chan’s death, “The Ministry of Manpower was informed about an incident that took place at Underwater World Singapore Pte Ltd’s premises at Siloso Road on 4 October 2016. Officers from MOM’s Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate responded to the scene immediately and commenced investigations. Preliminary findings indicate that a worker was pierced in his chest by the barb of a stingray while he was in the midst of transferring the stingray from its tank. He was conveyed to hospital where he subsequently succumbed to this injuries.[sic] MOM has instructed the occupier to stop all activities associated with the transferring of sea animals. Investigations are ongoing.”

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76 dead in plane crash near Medellín, Colombia

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76 dead in plane crash near Medellín, Colombia

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On Monday local time, a chartered flight carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members crashed on the outskirts of the city of Medellín, Colombia. The Colombian police has indicated only five people on board survived the crash.

The British Aerospace 146 was flying from Brazil to Colombia via Bolivia. The plane reported facing electrical problems near La Ceja and La Unión before crashing at roughly 10:15pm local time (0315 Tuesday UTC). The crash site had bad weather, and heavy fog prevented rescue helicopters from landing.

According to initial reports, six passengers were rescued but later one of them died in hospital.

The flight was carrying Brazilian Série A football team Chapecoense’s delegations. Chapecoense was scheduled to play Colombian club Atlético Nacional today in the Copa Sudamericana final; Copa Sudamericana is South America’s second-tier club competition, the winner of which is promoted to the first-tier competition of Copa Libertadores in the next season.

The Chapecó based club were promoted to the first division Série A in 2014. They are currently ninth in the league table and the final league match of the season was scheduled to be played on Sunday against Atlético Mineiro. Reaching the final of Copa Sudamericana was the best outcome in the club’s history.

By varying reports either 21 or 22 Brazilian football journalists where also on the flight. The five survivors include at least two football players, who have been identified as Alan Ruschel and Jakson Follmann.

South America’s governing body of football CONMEBOL has suspended the upcoming fixture. Atlético Nacional were scheduled to play the second leg of the final on December 7.

Brazilian president Michel Temer tweeted, “I express my solidarity at this sad time when dozens of Brazilian families have been affected by tragedy.” ((pt))Portuguese language: ?Nesta hora triste que a tragédia se abate sobre dezenas de famílias brasileiras, expresso minha solidariedade. Temer has also called three-day mourning in Brazil.

Atlético Nacional requested CONMEBOL award the Copa Sudamericana to Chapecoense. Several Brazilian clubs said they would loan players to Chapecoense for the upcoming season for free. They also requested Chapecoense be granted three seasons’ immunity from relegation to a lower division.

Posted: March 26th, 2019 by MbEe89

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Wikinews interviews Brian Moore, Socialist Party USA presidential candidate

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Wikinews interviews Brian Moore, Socialist Party USA presidential candidate

Sunday, March 30, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, who are looking to become the 43rd person elected to serve their nation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Wikinews’ own Patrick Mannion corresponded with the Socialist Party USA nominee and candidate, Brian Moore via e-mail.

Posted: March 25th, 2019 by MbEe89

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Posted: March 25th, 2019 by MbEe89

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UK company “seriously considering” GPS tracking devices in school uniforms

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UK company “seriously considering” GPS tracking devices in school uniforms

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The leading supplier of school uniforms in the United Kingdom, Lancashire-based manufacturer Trutex, has announced it is “seriously considering” including GPS tracking devices in future ranges of its uniform products after conducting an online survey of both parents and children.

“As a direct result of the survey, we are now seriously considering incorporating a [tracking] device into future ranges” said Trutex marketing director Clare Rix.

The survey questioned 809 parents and 444 children aged nine to 16. It showed that 44% of parents were worried about the safety of pre-teen children, and 59% wanted tracking devices installed in school apparel. 39% of children aged nine to 12 were prepared to wear clothing with tracking devices in them, while teenagers were notably less enthusiastic and more wary of what Trutex has admitted they see as a “big brother” concept.

However, Trutex has claimed the tracking devices would bring about worthwhile benefits, including being a valuable resource for parents who wanted to keep a close eye on where their children were at all times.

“As well as being a safety net for parents, there could be real benefits for schools who could keep a closer track on the whereabouts of their pupils, potentially reducing truancy levels” says Rix.

Each year, Trutex supplies 1 million blouses, 1.1 million shirts, 250,000 pairs of trousers, 20,000 blazers, 60,000 skirts and 110,000 pieces of knitwear to the UK.

It is not the first company to manufacture school uniforms with a central focus on child safety; last week Essex firm BladeRunner revealed it was selling stab-proof school blazers to parents concerned about violence against their children. The blazers were outfitted with Kevlar, a synthetic fibre used in body armour. It has already received orders internationally, including Australia.

If the Trutex tracking devices go ahead, it is unclear where in the uniform they will be located.

Posted: March 24th, 2019 by MbEe89

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Former Trump advisor, Paul Manafort, receives second sentence in U.S. Federal Court

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Former Trump advisor, Paul Manafort, receives second sentence in U.S. Federal Court

Friday, March 15, 2019

A former advisor for U.S. President Donald Trump was sentenced in U.S. Federal Court on Wednesday. Paul Manafort was sentenced by Judge Amy Berman Jackson to 73 months in federal prison and to also pay financial restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of US$6.16 million.

Manafort’s charges involved unregistered foreign lobbying and witness tampering. Judge Jackson clarified in the proceedings that her sentencing decisions were not connected to or impacted by the sentence Manafort received in a separate case for which Manafort was sentenced last week. However, as part of her admonition, Judge Jackson stated, “Saying I’m sorry I got caught is not an inspiring plea for leniency.”

In last week’s action, another federal judge sentenced Manafort to a 47 month prison term. After his conviction in that case last summer, Manafort agreed to help with Robert Mueller’s investigation. However, some months later, the judge in that case determined Manafort had lied and violated that deal. That conviction was related to Manafort’s lobbying business.

In 2018, while preparing for his first trial, Manafort was kept in solitary confinement at least 23 hours per day. In that trial, he faced 18 counts of fraud pertaining to his financial reporting for his pay while working on a foreign campaign in Ukraine.

Posted: March 23rd, 2019 by MbEe89

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6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Chile

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6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Chile

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Another earthquake hit Chile on late Monday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has reported. It occurred at 19:09:43 local time (23:09:43 UTC). The epicenter was located 110 kilometers northwest of Temuco; 132 kilometers southwest of Concepción; 203 kilometers north of Valdivia and 558 kilometers southwest of Santiago.

The USGS later determined that the earthquake had a depth of 20.6 kilometers, and the epicenter was located 55 kilometers to the south of Lebu.

The University of Chile Geological Survey reported that the earthquake took place 71 kilometers at the west of Tirúa in the Bío Bío Region and had a depth of 22.9 kilometers.

Wikinews’ Diego Grez reported that the earthquake was clearly felt in Pichilemu, almost 300 kilometers to the north of the epicenter. ONEMI reported no casualties. The area is being monitored by the organization. It has been reported that some telephone lines have collapsed after the earthquake. More than two months after the major 8.8 earthquake, many people continue to live in tents or temporary huts.

Posted: March 23rd, 2019 by MbEe89

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Parents arrested after putting baby on Craigslist

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Parents arrested after putting baby on Craigslist

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A couple from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has been arrested on charges of public mischief after listing their seven day old baby girl on the popular Internet classified ads website Craigslist.

The listing claimed that the baby was unexpected, “healthy and very cute”. It asked CAN 10 000 for the baby. It also listed a phone number belonging to a stolen cellphone, which was used to find the couple.

It was first noticed by a 62-year old grandmother browsing the website for furniture, who said “I was shaking, and I thought, ‘Come on, how did this even get through?'” The couple claimed that the listing, which has since been removed, was a hoax.

The father, Jeremy Pete, had a history of car thefts and evasion of police, while the mother, 23-year-old Bethany Granholm, had convictions of property theft, fraud and impersonation. The parents have now been released, but charges are still being considered. The baby has been placed in provincial care.

A suspected copycat incident occurred just four days later, also offering a seven-day-old baby girl for CAN 10 000 on Craigslist. This incident turned out to be a hoax, and no child was in danger.

Last week saw a similar incident in Germany, where a couple listed a seven month old baby on eBay. In this case the police have launched a child trafficking investigation, despite the parents’ assertion that the listing was a joke.

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 by MbEe89

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New Icelandic government to take office today

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New Icelandic government to take office today

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The newly formed Icelandic coalition interim government will take office today, according to a coalition leader. The new government will also include a new prime minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the country’s and the world’s first openly gay prime minister.

“If everything goes as planned now a new government will take over [this] afternoon,” said Steingrimur Sigfusson, who heads the Left-Green Movement.

On January 27, it was announced that the nation’s coalition government had collapsed and dissolved following a banking financial crisis. In October of 2008, Iceland’s banking sector collapsed and was largely nationalised. Iceland’s interest rate is now 18%, with GDP expected to fall 9.6% this year. Inflation has reached 13.1%. Just before the announcement of the government taking office, nearly 1,500 people were protesting outside the parliament building over the collapsed government and the recent financial crisis, but protesters seemed happy about the change.

“The demands of the people have been met. Therefore today is a celebration,” said protest organizer Hordur Torfason to the crowd who were cheering about hearing the news.

The new minority coalition will consist of Jóhanna’s Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Green Movement with backing from the Progressive Party. Jóhanna will be replacing the current prime minister, Geir Haarde who resigned on January 26, and is the chairmen of the nation’s independent party and a critic of Jóhanna. He criticizes her appointment because he believes she will not help the economic crisis, resulting in more government spending.

The quick appointment of the new government also means an early election, which is scheduled to take place on April 25.

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 by MbEe89

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