Cassini-Huygens nearing Saturn
The Cassini-Huygens probe is on final approach to its rendezvous with Saturn at the end of this month. Next week, it’s scheduled to pass by one of Saturn’s moons, Phoebe. Read about the approach here and about the mission in detail here.
“Oil-for-Food” scandal investigation not fast enough, say Iraqis
Seems the mood in Iraq (from the locals, that is) is that the investigation into the blatant graft and rampant fraud that was the UN’s “Oil for Food” program isn’t moving fast enough. I’m with them on this one. It’s amazing how our vaunted media has managed to drag out the abuse of prisoners into nearly 8 weeks of outraged stories but has managed to forget all about probably the largest scam of our time. This story from Fox News is the 1st I’ve heard about it since the publishing of that lovely list of names by an Iraqi newspaper back in February. The list showed a very interesting collection of people who were benefitting quite nicely from gifts of oil from then-dictator Saddam Hussein. Lots of French officials, lots of Russian officials, the UN administrator of the project, etc. Now if that list had contained Dick Cheney’s name, we’d have been hearing about this 24×7.
What’s the holdup?
Private spacecraft set to launch
SpaceShipOne, carried aloft by the White Knight launch aircraft, will make an attempt at the X-Prize on June 21. The ship is a project by Scaled Composites under the direction of Burt Rutan to answer the challenge of the Ansari X-Prize which will award $10 million USD to the team that puts a privately funded ship into space.
The team has already completed a record-breaking test flight where SpaceShipOne reached 40 miles. The June 21 flight will attempt a suborbital space flight to an altitude of 62 miles.
Which part of “cease fire” are they not getting?
CNN reports that the US military is, once again, fighting with Al-Sadr’s militia in Sadr City. This after the cleric once again agreed to a cease fire. I understand the need to play things carefully but I worry that letting them continuously break agreed-upon cease fires without really coming down hard on them – and I mean big-time hard – is giving them the idea that we’re not ready to get the job done. Of course, the military may be doing exactly that, and effectively too, and I’m just not seeing stories on it. Wouldn’t be the 1st time.