Senate gets wind of "media hype" re: global warming...
NASA unveiled plans yesterday to set up a small and ultimately self-sustaining settlement of astronauts at the south pole of the moon sometime around 2020 -- the first step in an ambitious plan to resume manned exploration of the solar system.
The long-awaited proposal envisions initial stays of a week by four-person crews, followed by gradually longer visits until power and other supplies are in place to make a permanent presence possible by 2024.
The effort was presented as an unprecedented mission to learn about the moon and places beyond, as well as an integral part of a long-range plan to send astronauts to Mars. The moon settlement would ultimately be a way station for space travelers headed onward, and would provide not only a haven but also hydrogen and oxygen mined from the lunar surface to make water and rocket fuel.
Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican and chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, will hold a full committee hearing tomorrow on "Climate Change and the Media."Iraq to command own forces by spring:
"Senator Inhofe believes that poorly conceived policy decisions will result from the media's nonstop hyping of 'extreme scenarios' and dire climate predictions," said committee Communications Director Marc Morano. "This hearing will serve to advance the interests of sound science and encourage rational policy decisions."
Iraq's government will have command of its own armed forces by the middle of next year, a US general has said, revealing details of a deal between the US president and the Iraqi prime minister.
US military spokesman Major General William Caldwell said Tuesday Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and President George W. Bush had agreed on an "accelerated timetable" for Iraq to take charge of its own security.
"We would expect to see the entire country having reached Iraqi provincial control by the fall of next year," Caldwell told reporters in Baghdad.