NASA, Boeing Ready To Launch Starliner Spaceship After Delay

It's a do-over following a launch 18 months ago that was derailed by software problems.

NASA, Boeing Ready To Launch Starliner Spaceship After Delay

CHICAGO (CBS) — NASA and Chicago-based Boeing are counting down to a high stakes test flight of Boeing’s new Starliner spaceship.

It’s a do-over following a launch 18 months ago that was derailed by software problems. For Tuesday’s launch, Boeing has to prove its Starliner can fly safely to and from the International Space Station before astronauts are cleared for future trips.

The pressure is on the plane maker, one of two companies awarded multi-billion dollar contracts by NASA in 2014 to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

The other company, SpaceX, has already flown 10 astronauts on three flights over the last year.

Source : CBS Chicago More   

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Senate sends bill to honor Jan. 6 officers to Biden's desk

Sen. Roy Blunt said he hoped it sent a message to law enforcement "that we are united in our appreciation of all they do to keep us safe.”

Senate sends bill to honor Jan. 6 officers to Biden's desk

Legislation that awards the highest congressional honor to all members of law enforcement who served to protect the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack is headed to the White House for President Joe Biden's signature.

The Senate cleared the House-passed bill — which will award four Congressional Gold Medals, including one each to the U.S. Capitol Police force and the Metropolitan Police Department — by unanimous consent Tuesday. Both chambers had previously passed their own resolutions to bestow awards following Jan. 6, but the chambers' initial proposals didn't align.

A third medal will be on display within the Smithsonian Institution complex, with a plaque that lists all the law enforcement agencies that protected and defended the Capitol. A fourth medal will be given to the Architect of the Capitol, "for display in a prominent location in the United States Capitol."

“Those medals, when little kids walk by and see them at the Smithsonian, their parents are going to be able to tell them this happened," said Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on the floor ahead of the bill’s passage. "This attack happened, and there were brave police officers and staff and others in this building that stood up that day and protected our democracy, and we will be forever thankful to them."

Sen. Roy Blunt, the top Republican on the Rules Committee, hoped that the expedited Senate approval signaled to officers that the measure was not controversial. Previously, an effort to set up a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack was blocked when GOP senators and 21 House Republicans voted against awarding the medals in June.

“I hope by passing this congressional gold medal bill by unanimous consent, we send a clear message to law enforcement officers that we are united in our appreciation of all they do to keep us safe,” the Missouri Republican said in a floor speech.

“I urge my colleagues to join not only in supporting the unanimous passage of this bill, but also to be quick in talking about our deep appreciation for those who serve in such a special way as we try to do our work here every day," Blunt added.

The Senate action follows wrenching and emotional testimony last week from four police officers, who faced brutal violence and verbal abuse from attackers while defending the Capitol complex.

The legislation says it aims to recognize and honor “the sacrifices of fallen officers and their families, and the contributions of other law enforcement agencies who answered the call of duty on January 6, 2021."

The death of two Metropolitan Police officers by suicide were announced by the department Monday. Officer Gunther Hashida from the Emergency Response Team was found dead July 29 and Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead on July 10, according to the department. Both responded to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The deaths mark four known suicides by law enforcement officers who responded to the Capitol during the attack. MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith and Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood also responded to the insurrection and later died by suicide.

The U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online. The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support when you dial 741741.

Source : Politico USA More   

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