Daily Archives: November 28, 2011

MSL Launches to the Red Planet


MSL Launches to the Red Planet
NASA – The Atlantic Ocean provides a backdrop as the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket clears the tower at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Sealed inside the rocket’s protective payload fairing is NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft, beginning a 9-month interplanetary cruise to Mars. Liftoff was at 10:02 a.m. EST Nov. 26. MSL’s components include a car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for signs of life, including methane, and help determine if the gas is from a biological or geological source. Image Credit: NASA/Darrell L. McCall

Mars Science Laboratory Inspection
In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians inspect under NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission aeroshell, where the wheels of the rover Curiosity can be seen. MSL’s components include a car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life. The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gases so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 26 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Image credit: NASA and Glenn Benson

Wheels Installed On Curiosity
Originally taken in July 2010, this photo shows NASA engineers installing six wheels on the Curiosity rover. NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Project will launch Curiosity on Friday, Nov. 26. Curiosity is scheduled for arrival at Mars in August 2012. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Administrator Bolden Speaks at MSL Launch
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks to attendees at the Banana Creek viewing area prior to the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

NASA began a historic voyage to Mars with the launch of the car-sized rover which lifted off at 10:02 a.m. EST. The mission will pioneer precision landing technology and a sky-crane touchdown to place Curiosity near the foot of a mountain inside Gale Crater on Aug. 6, 2012. Photo Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers


Today’s currency war may be tomorrow’s global crisis

Currency Wars, Author: James Rickards.

By Steven C. Johnson – The book reads in places more like a post-apocalyptic nightmare story than a book on international finance. In Rickards’ worst case scenario, “a person’s net worth would consist of those things she can carry on her back.”

In the book, he recounts how he conducted a war game for the Pentagon in which the Russia team moves all its gold to a bank in Switzerland and decides to only accept payment for oil and gas in a new gold-backed currency, not in dollars.

“The Fed thinks they are playing with a thermostat – the house is too cool so we dial it up a little bit, now it’s too warm, so we dial it down,” Rickards said. “In reality, they are playing with a nuclear reactor. If you get it wrong, you’re going to have a meltdown.” more> http://is.gd/5q8Rn5

Germany, France press coercive euro zone debt rules

By Stephen Brown and Jan Strupczewski – Germany and France stepped up a drive on Monday for coercive powers to reject national budgets in the euro zone that breach EU rules.

“We are working intensively for the creation of a Stability Union,” the German Finance Ministry said in a statement. “That is what we want to secure through treaty changes, in which we propose that the budgets of member states must observe debt limits.”

“We don’t find this type of system good and I am not too sure if it will get wider support. The disadvantage of this proposal is that it would bypass the EU, the Commission would have a very small role,” Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen told reporters. more> http://is.gd/UvMExF

Judge in NY strikes down $285 million Citigroup settlement with SEC over mortgage investment

Associated Press – A federal judge in New York has struck down a $285 million settlement that Citigroup reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the settlement Monday (11/28/11), and wrote that there is an overriding public interest in knowing the truth about the financial markets. more> http://is.gd/lie1ky

FCC deals serious blow to AT&T and T-Mobile deal

By Jia Lynn Yang – AT&T, with its powerful army of lobbyists and years of experience navigating Washington, thought it could easily persuade the government to approve its merger with T-Mobile. But regulators aren’t buying it, and the $39 billion deal is facing its biggest threat yet.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Gena­chow­ski dealt a serious blow to the merger Tuesday (11/22/11), moving to block the deal on the basis of findings that it would cause job losses and higher prices for consumers, officials said. It was an unusual move for the FCC, which has not tried to block a deal since 2002. more> http://is.gd/z7cFk2