Let's talk Lucy -- in the sky with diamonds? Or at least in space. Isaac Shultz (GIZMODO) reports:
NASA engineers installed a time capsule on the Lucy spacecraft late last week, intended for future astro-archaeologists to retrieve and interpret. The time capsule is a plaque that includes messages from Nobel Laureates and musicians, among others, as well as a depiction of the solar system’s configuration on October 16, 2021, the date the spacecraft is expected to launch.
Like the Pioneer and Voyager probes, Lucy will carry a message to whoever may eventually intercept the craft. But while the previous probes have messages meant for aliens, as they were shot toward interstellar space, Lucy will stay within the solar system. Its time capsule will presumably be for future humans to retrieve, hence the inclusion of words from Nobel Laureates, Poet Laureates, and musicians, according to a NASA release detailing the plaque’s inclusion. The plaque was installed on Lucy in Colorado on July 9, where the craft is undergoing final preparations before its slated autumn launch.
The plaque includes quotes from civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., authors and poets including Orhan Pamuk, Louise Glück, Amanda Gorman, Joy Harjo, and Rita Dove, scientists Albert Einstein and Carl Sagan, and musicians including all four Beatles and Queen guitarist and astronomer Brian May. The messages discuss hope, love, the heavens, cultural memory, and eternity.
NASA Lucy Mission’s Message to the Future
In the 1970s four spacecraft began their one-way trips out of our Solar System. As the first human-built objects to ever venture into interstellar space, NASA chose to place plaques on Pioneer 10 and 11 and golden records on Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft to serve as messages to any alien spacefarers that may someday encounter these spacecraft. Continuing this legacy, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will carry a similar plaque. However, because Lucy will not be venturing outside of our Solar System, Lucy’s plaque is a time-capsule featuring messages to our descendants.
As the first-ever mission to the Trojan asteroids, Lucy will survey this enigmatic population of small bodies that orbit the Sun beyond the main asteroid belt - trapped by Jupiter and the Sun so that they have led and followed Jupiter in its orbit. As these never before explored asteroids are in many ways “fossils” from the formation and evolution of the planets, the Lucy spacecraft is named in honor of the fossilized human ancestor discovered the year after Pioneer 11 began its journey out of the Solar System. Lucy’s name was inspired by the Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
After Lucy finishes visiting a record number of asteroids for a single mission in 2033 (8 asteroids on 6 independent orbits around the Sun) the Lucy spacecraft will continue to travel between the Trojan asteroids and the orbit of the Earth for at least hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years. It is easy to imagine that someday in the distant future our descendants will find Lucy floating among the planets. Therefore, the Lucy team chose to put a time-capsule aboard the Lucy spacecraft in the form of a plaque, messages this time not for unknown aliens, but for those that will come after us. The plaque was installed on the spacecraft in a ceremony at Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado, on July 9, 2021.
This time-capsule contains messages from prominent members of our society; individuals who have asked us to contemplate the state of the human condition as well as our place in the universe. These thoughtful leaders were asked to provide words of advice, words of wisdom, words of joy, and words of inspiration to those who may read this plaque in the distant future. These messages were solicited from Nobel Laureates in Literature, United States Poet Laureates, and other inspirational figures including the members of the band that indirectly inspired the Lucy mission’s name.
To date this time-capsule, the plaque also includes a depiction of the Solar System on the day of Lucy’s anticipated launch of October 16, 2021. The original trajectory of the Lucy spacecraft, traveling between the Trojan swarms and the Earth’s orbit, is shown as well.
NASA places this plaque with the hope that space exploration continues and someday astro-archeologists may travel among the planets and retrieve this spacecraft as an artifact of the early days when humanity took its first steps to explore our Solar System.
Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado is the principal investigator institution. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland provides overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance. Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado is building the spacecraft. Lucy is the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Discovery Program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.
For more information on the Lucy mission visit: https://www.nasa.gov/lucy
For more information about the plaque participants visit: http://lucy.swri.edu/lucy-plaque
By Katherine Kretke
Southwest Research Institute
And let me include this video because I'm not sure if it's showing in the NASA press release above.
So Lucy is our time capsule for the future.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Death toll in hospital fire continues to rise, Moqtada al-Sadr is mad for reals, and much more.
In Iraq, the people are still reeling from a fire that appears to be caused due to a lack of government oversight and regulation probably due to corruption. Ruth Sherlock (NPR) notes, ''Flames swept through outbuildings of the al-Hussein Teaching Hospital in the southern city of Nasiryah on Monday that had been set up to isolate those sick with COVID-19. Patients became trapped inside, with rescue teams struggling to reach them in time." From yesterday's snapshot:
The death toll continues to rise. It was 66 when I started dictating this snapshot a few minutes ago and it's already increased again. Rafid Jaboori Tweets:
And the death toll has continued to rise since yesterday's snapshot. Aqeel Najim and Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) explain, "The death toll in a fire at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in southeastern Iraq has risen to at least 92, according to health officials." BBC NEWS adds:
Arrest warrants have been issued against 13 people, local media report.
Privately owned news site Shafaq News reports that the list, issued by the Dhi Qar Integrity Investigation Court, includes the province's health chief Saddam Sahib al-Taweel.
PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi earlier ordered the arrest of the head of the hospital, and said the fire was "a deep wound in the conscience of all Iraqis".
Stopping for something else. The Rendon Group. Remember them? They lied and sold the Iraq War. People pay money for their 'help.' They're a bunch of idiots. I say that not just because I am and remain opposed to the Iraq War, I say that because they make themselves a laughingstock. Less than 40 minutes ago, they Tweeted the following:
By this morning it was already 92 at some outlets (others are saying "over 100") and Rendon is Tweeting 50. 50. It was over 60 when I dictated yesterday morning's Iraq snapshot. You'd have to be an idiot to pay them -- sorry, Pentagon.
The previous fire in April resulted in no real change -- obviously. It should have led to inspections on every hospital in Iraq. It should have led to increased oversight. Hospitals should have been forced to install fire sprinkler systems and fire alarms (Neither were at al-Hussein Teaching Hospital.) It should have led to public trials. But nothing really happened and many believe that will be the case again. This frustration is why some family members turned on the police the night of the fire.
Angry residents in the city of Nasireyah torched two police vehicles and demanded accountability for family members who had died in the fire on Monday at the Al-Hussein teaching hospital. Iraq’s president, Barham Salih, claimed that corruption at the hospital, which was ravaged by flames, had also been a factor.
Failures of Iraq’s bloated and often inefficient public sector have often been highlighted by citizens who claim the state delivers little despite reaping huge revenues from oil production. Scenes of flames and smoke belching from the sanctuary of hospitals – twice in three months – have been a particularly visceral symbol of the government’s shortcomings.
Overnight, firefighters and rescuers — many holding flashlights and using blankets to smother small fires — searched through the ward. As dawn broke, bodies covered with sheets could be seen laid out on the ground outside the hospital. Distraught relatives searched for traces of their loved ones amid charred blankets and belongings.
Ali Khalid, 20, a volunteer who dashed to the scene, said he found the bodies of two young girls locked in embrace.
"How terrified they must have been, they died hugging each other," he said.
Khazaal Ghaleem witnessed the blaze.
"The front door was burning and the back door was closed so people couldn't get out. But before the fire broke out, some of them managed to get out and afterwards people were stuck inside and the ceiling fell on them. We managed to take out some people but they were suffering and the rest of them burnt and died. There are families who are still searching for their relatives."
A21 MIDDLE EAST NEWS Tweets:
While some bodies were collected for burial, with mourners weeping and praying over the coffins, the remains of more than 20 badly charred corpses required DNA tests to identify them.
Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed, reporting from Nasiriya, said that forensic teams have identified around 39 bodies, while dozens others are still under a “recognition process”.
“We met victims’ families here who cannot find their loved ones. Dozens of body parts cannot be easily identified,” Abdelwahed said.
“Another man we met lost five of his family members – three [were] COVID-19 patients and the others were either visitors or those who rushed to try to save their relatives.”
UNICEF's representative in Iraq Sheema Sun Gupta stated:
UNICEF expresses its sincere condolences and extends its sympathy to the victims and families affected by the fire that broke out in the Imam Hussein Teaching Hospital ward for treatment of patients with COVID-19 in Nasiriyah on Monday night.
We acknowledge with sadness the dramatic number of deaths and people wounded.
UNICEF conveys its respect to the families and friends of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.
UNICEF will continue supporting the health sector in Iraq and calls for all parties to ensure safety in health facilities, especially during a time in which the COVID-19 pandemic is already causing pain and concern to many families.
One potential fatality not yet noted? Mustafa al-Kadhimi's hope for a second term as prime minister. The do-nothing official has been in office for over a year now (he became prime minister May 7, 2020) and he's done nothing. He was supposed to end corruption, remember? He was supposed to hold early elections, remember? He was supposed to serve one brief term and leave, remember?
None of that happened. Elections are (finally) scheduled to take place -- this October. He's accomplished nothing but photo ops. Photo op with the family of an assassinated activist. No justice for the family. No one goes to prison for the assassination. Hell, they don't even stand trial for carrying out an assassination. He can visit kidnapped activist Ali al-Mikdam when Ali's in the hospital.
He can even claim that Ali was rescued from the kidnappers (see Monday's "") by Iraqi security forces when that isn't what happened. Ali was released by his kidnappers (again, see Monday's snapshot -- and on social media, many are saying Ali was let go when ransom was paid) and Ali walked to a police check point to ask for medical assistance -- walked on his own.
He may very well end up with a second term -- when the US government overturned the results of the 2010 election with The Erbil Agreement, they showed that elections don't matter -- but no incumbent has ever been in a weaker position that Mustafa is in right now. Even Adil Abdul-Mahdi wasn't in that weak of a position when he resigned paving the way for Mustafa to become prime minister.
All of the issues that forced Adil's resignation remain. And many other issues have been added in. Mustafa is an abject failure.
And while his friends in the press (Mustafa spent pre-prime minister years being a journalist) have covered for him and offered excuses (he's only been prime minister for a short time!) or acted as though they'd birthed him (look! babys first photo-op! We're so proud!), the realities are harder and harder to avoid. Especially with regards to the fire. This happened on Mustafa's watch. Not just that, but the April one did as well -- and that was when he was weeks away from one year as prime minister. Now a second fire?
There are no more excuses.
Leave it to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to suss that out. ASHARQ AL_AWSAT reports:
Iraq Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has warned he will hold the Iraqi government responsible if it fails to action over a devastating fire that killed at least 60 people in a COVID isolation unit.
The warning comes just months before Iraq is scheduled to go to the polls in October for an early parliamentary election that was demanded by a protest movement backed by Sadr's supporters.
"It is incumbent on the government to work immediately to firmly and seriously punish those to blame for hospital fires, whether in Nasiriyah or other provinces, no matter their (political) affiliation," Sadr tweeted late Tuesday, AFP reported.
"Otherwise, this government will be held responsible from its lowest to its highest (official)."
The devastating blaze, which swept through the Covid isolation unit of Al-Hussein Hospital in the southern city of Nasiriyah on Monday evening, was the second such fire in Iraq in three months.
An April fire at a Baghdad Covid hospital killed 82 people and was also blamed on the explosion of badly stored oxygen bottles.
Tubby, rotund Moqtada surfaces for a statement -- guess he's not dead yet? Remember his drama last week about how he was about to be killed? His gift of prophecy is about as strong as his gift of leadership.
So Moqtada says this is unacceptable and must be dealt with. Now. Apparently, when it was just the one hospital in April, he wasn't overly concerned. That's useless Moqtada.
He fails to note that his coalition pretty much dominates the federal government in Iraq at this point. So, grasp, Moqtada is the government.
It's like his laughable stance defending his cult in Sadr City all these years -- 'defending.' Their lives aren't any better. The press has always referred to Sadr City as a "slum." It's where people live so we usually try to avoid that term. But Moqtada's been their leader for how many years now and yet they still live in a slum?
Again, leadership is something he struggles with -- possibly because he got his position because Daddy died and never did a thing to earn it.
Leadership would also require defending Iraq's sovereignty and Mustafa's not up for that either. That's why foreign troops remain on the ground in Iraq. It's why Turkey gets away with bombing the Kurdistan Region, with terrorizing villagers there, with sending ground troops in.
Christos G. Failadis Tweets:
Winding down . . .
Cindy Sheehan is interviewed above. By Tavis Smiley on TAVIS SMILEY. I tried to note that he was running KBLA a few weeks ago but just couldn't find the time. I will put his program link on the side links tonight.
Anyone who wants to waste their time e-mailing to grip (email@example.com) please know your e-mails will not make a difference. I've known Tavis for years. Since he was first on with Tom Joyner. Yes, I know what he was said to have done -- by public broadcasting desperate to not honor his contract. I also know that if he'd actually done what was whispered he would have faced criminal charges. But smear campaigns aren't enough in a criminal court. I do not walk away from Tavis. I've never taken his old link down from our links on the side. Tavis is innocent as far as I'm concerned.
I don't trust smear campaigns. And they carried out one. An 'internal' investigation. But none on ____? When we all know that he harasses and that PBS management is well aware of it having settled out of court -- does the pbulic know that? Do they know that US tax dollars have been used for that?
PBS has a million problems. Tavis was never one of them.