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SpaceX’s next astronaut mission for NASA has been pushed to November following an issue with its rocket engines

Shannon Walker, Victor J. Glover, Soichi Noguchi that are standing in the snow: From left: mission specialist Shannon Walker, pilot Victor Glover, Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins, and mission specialist Soichi Noguchi at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, on September 24, 2020. SpaceX

© SpaceX
From left: mission specialist Shannon Walker, pilot Victor Glover, Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins, and mission specialist Soichi Noguchi at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, on September 24, 2020. SpaceX

  • NASA’s next mission with SpaceX will launch “no sooner than early-to-mid November,” the agency announced Saturday.
  • That mission, called Crew-1, will ferry four astronauts to the International Space Station and back.
  • The launch was previously slated for Halloween. The delay allows SpaceX to investigate an issue with its Falcon 9 rocket engines.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

NASA’s four-astronaut team will have to wait a little longer to visit the International Space Station. The agency announced Saturday that Crew-1, its joint mission with SpaceX, won’t take off until at least early-to-mid November.

The mission was previously scheduled for 2:40 a.m. ET on October 31. The latest delay allows SpaceX to evaluate an with its Falcon 9 rocket engines during a recent test launch. The rocket’s gas generators demonstrated abnormal behavior, NASA said in a statement, though it didn’t specify what went wrong.

SpaceX aborted a scheduled launch of its Falcon 9 rocket on October 2 after a gas generator saw an unexpected rise in pressure.

Falcon 9's first stage is powered by nine Merlin engines at the bottom of the rocket. NASA

Falcon 9’s first stage is powered by nine Merlin engines at the bottom of the rocket. NASA

This isn’t the first time SpaceX has delayed Crew-1, the company’s first official, contracted astronaut mission for NASA. The mission was originally slated to launch as early as September. It was pushed back until Halloween to better coordinate with the schedules of other cosmonauts and astronauts going to and from the ISS. 

NASA said it could have more information on the engine problem in a matter of days. 

“The teams are actively working this finding on the engines,” Kathy Lueder, associate administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, said in a statement. “We should be a lot smarter within the coming week.”

a couple of people that are standing in the snow: NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken flew a 63-day mission with SpaceX's Crew Dragon vehicle. SpaceX; Business Insider

© SpaceX; Business Insider
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken flew a 63-day mission with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle. SpaceX; Business Insider

Meet the Crew-1 team

Crew-1 includes NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Mike Hopkins, and Victor Glover, as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Hopkins is slated to be the mission’s commander, Glover the pilot, and Walker and Noguchi mission specialists.


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Of the crew members, Glover is the only one who hasn’t been in space before, but he has logged more than 3,000 hours of flying experience. Noguchi is the most experienced member of the team: He has flown on Russia’s Soyuz capsule and the US Space Shuttle.

Come launch time, nine Merlin engines will lift the Falcon 9 rocket – and SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship — off the launch pad. When the rocket goes beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, its first stage will detach from the spaceship. Its engines will then fire up again to steer the first stage to a predetermined landing site. The rocket’s second stage will ultimately propel the

Portland criminal defense attorney gives up law license, ends decades-long career amid charges of theft

UPDATE OCT. 12: This story has been updated to correctly state that the Oregon State Bar had made accusations against Gary Bertoni for alleged wrongdoing between 2015 to 2019.

Gary Bertoni, who for many years made frequent appearances in Portland courtrooms while representing some of Multnomah County’s high profile defendants, has surrendered his law license in Oregon amid a swirl of criminal and administrative allegations — including that he stole client money.

The Oregon Supreme Court on Sept. 30 accepted Bertoni’s “Form B” resignation, ending a law career that started in Oregon 42 years ago and showed no public signs of trouble until Bertoni had reached his early 60s.

Bertoni, now 69, didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. He is now living in Arizona, according to his resignation letter.

At the height of his law career, Bertoni once had approximately 15 employees at his Portland area law firm. He represented some of Oregon’s youngest defendants who were facing some of the most serious crimes, among others: A 15-year-old boy who bludgeoned a 71-year-old man bloody and unconscious at a Gresham MAX stop; a 16-year-old who shot to death a 17-year-old who was returning home from saying good-bye to his dying mother at OHSU; and a drunken driver with a 22-year history of alcohol-fueled arrests who killed a woman after T-boning her car.

Gary Bertoni

Gary Bertoni has relinquished his law license in Oregon. (File photo/The Oregonian)

But Bertoni clearly became engulfed in financial problems. In 2012, his license was suspended for 150 days after the Oregon State Bar accused him of taking for his own personal use as much as $44,000 that had been set aside for clients’ defense expenses. He later returned it, the bar said. The bar wasn’t able to prove that Bertoni used the money for personal use, but Bertoni signed an agreement with the bar that referred to the inappropriate movement of money and incomplete record-keeping.

In August 2018, Bertoni was sentenced in federal court to five years of probation, three months of weekend home detention and 500 hours of community service for failing to pay employment taxes. He also was ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $181,000. The government had alleged that Bertoni had used the money for personal enrichment, but Bertoni’s defense attorney argued that Bertoni had made poor investments and disputed any contention that Bertoni had lived extravagantly.

In September 2018, Bertoni again was suspended from practicing law, this time for 18 months after the state Supreme Court cited “a pattern of disregard for the interests of his clients.” That included improperly holding onto client funds and failing to keep clients informed.

This past July, Bertoni acknowledged accusations the Oregon State Bar had made against him for wrongdoing from 2015 to 2019 as part of a signed document agreeing to relinquish his law license. Among those accusations was that Bertoni used $2,500 for his personal use even though a criminal defendant had given the money to him to go

Alphabet’s latest moonshot is a field-roving, plant-inspecting robo-buggy

Alphabet (you know… Google) has taken the wraps off the latest “moonshot” from its X labs: A robotic buggy that cruises over crops, inspecting each plant individually and, perhaps, generating the kind of “big data” that agriculture needs to keep up with the demands of a hungry world.

Mineral is the name of the project, and there’s no hidden meaning there. The team just thinks minerals are really important to agriculture.

Announced with little fanfare in a blog post and site, Mineral is still very much in the experimental phase. It was born when the team saw that efforts to digitize agriculture had not found as much success as expected at a time when sustainable food production is growing in importance every year.

“These new streams of data are either overwhelming or don’t measure up to the complexity of agriculture, so they defer back to things like tradition, instinct or habit,” writes Mineral head Elliott Grant. What’s needed is something both more comprehensive and more accessible.

Much as Google originally began with the idea of indexing the entire web and organizing that information, Grant and the team imagined what might be possible if every plant in a field were to be measured and adjusted for individually.

A robotic plant inspector from Mineral.
A robotic plant inspector from Mineral.

Image Credits: Mineral

The way to do this, they decided, was the “Plant buggy,” a machine that can intelligently and indefatigably navigate fields and do those tedious and repetitive inspections without pause. With reliable data at a plant-to-plant scale, growers can initiate solutions at that scale as well — a dollop of fertilizer here, a spritz of a very specific insecticide there.

They’re not the first to think so. FarmWise raised quite a bit of money last year to expand from autonomous weed-pulling to a full-featured plant intelligence platform.

As with previous X projects at the outset, there’s a lot of talk about what could happen in the future, and how they got where they are, but rather little when it comes to “our robo-buggy lowered waste on a hundred acres of soy by 10 percent” and such like concrete information. No doubt we’ll hear more as the project digs in.

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Garrett Mitchell gets first taste of pros

For first-round Draft pick Garrett Mitchell and some other Brewers Minor Leaguers who lost their season to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s finally time to play ball.
The Brewers’ fall instructional league is underway in Phoenix with a 53-man roster. The Brewers’ squad played against the Giants on Monday in Scottsdale,

For first-round Draft pick Garrett Mitchell and some other Brewers Minor Leaguers who lost their season to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s finally time to play ball.

The Brewers’ fall instructional league is underway in Phoenix with a 53-man roster. The Brewers’ squad played against the Giants on Monday in Scottsdale, Ariz., the first of 25 games against other organizations.

Teams are following many of the same health and safety protocols that guided Major League players through their shortened season. From intake testing earlier this month through the final game on Nov. 12, the program covers about six weeks, an opportunity to make up for lost time.

• What to watch for: Brewers offseason FAQ | 5 key questions

Players range in age from 17 to 25. In addition to games five to six days per week, the Brewers will have work groups each day to ensure that players get individual skill work.

For at least eight players, acquired by the Brewers in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be their introduction to Milwaukee’s system. That group includes four of the Brewers’ five 2020 Draft picks — Mitchell, catcher Zavier Warren, outfielder Joey Wiemer and infielder Hayden Cantrelle — plus Evan Reifert, a right-handed pitcher who went undrafted. Also participating are all three of the young pitchers acquired by the Brewers in an Aug. 31 trade with the Phillies: right-handers Juan Geraldo, Israel Puello and Brandon Ramey.

Of the Brewers’ five 2020 Draft picks, only second-rounder Freddy Zamora, isn’t on the roster. He is recovering from right ACL surgery, but he is at the complex with the other players, participating on a limited basis.

Warren, Wiemer and Cantrelle got at-bats over the summer in independent leagues, but Mitchell, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the organization’s top prospect, did not. Instructional league, then, represents a restart for the 22-year-old product of UCLA.

“Mitchell was working out like the other players but doing it from afar and remaining in game shape,” Brewers farm director Tom Flanagan said. “This will be a good opportunity to get him a few games and get him around his future teammates.

“For players who missed out on their season, not having anything this year would have been tough. This allows them at a base level to get to know everybody they’re going to be working with, get to know our complex, but then also to get a little game action and put what they have been working on getting better at on display for us.”

• Brewers prospect report from alternate site

Teams got approval in early September to reopen their complexes for a fall program, according to Flanagan, and the Brewers moved quickly

NASA expert identifies mysterious extraterrestrial object as old Centaur rocket booster

Earth may get a new “mini-moon” soon.

But it’s probably just an old rocket booster from 1966.

The mysterious extraterrestrial object once called “asteroid 2020 SO” now appears to be an old rocket from a failed moon-landing mission 54 years ago, according to NASA’s leading asteroid expert Paul Chodas.

The “asteroid” was on track to get nabbed by Earth’s gravitational pull and become a small moon next month.

The formerly known asteroid may actually be the Centaur upper-rocket stage that successfully propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 lander to the moon in 1966. According to NASA, the lander ended up colliding into the moon after one of its thrusters failed to ignite.

Last month, this mysterious object was detected by a telescope in Hawaii, according to’s Meghan Bartels. The object is roughly estimated to be 26 feet based on its brightness—near the length of the old Centaur, which now would be less than its original 32 feet long, according to NASA.

“I’m pretty jazzed about this,” Chodas told the Associated Press’ Marcia Dunn. “It’s been a hobby of mine to find one of these and draw such a link, and I’ve been doing it for decades now.”

Observation will further help confirm the object’s identity.

NEW MISSION IN LIFE: Astronaut chooses his daughter’s wedding over going to space

The one thing that drew Chodas to debunking the theory that Earth has a new mini-moon was that the mysterious object’s orbit around the sun is similar to the Earth’s, which is unusual for an asteroid, according to

“I suspect this newly discovered object 2020 SO to be an old rocket booster, because it is following an orbit about the sun that is extremely similar to Earth’s, nearly circular, in the same plane, and only slightly farther away from the sun at its farthest point,” Chodas told CNN.

“I could be wrong on this,” Chodas told the Associated Press. “I don’t want to appear overly confident. But it’s the first time, in my view, that all pieces fit together with an actual known launch.”

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Missouri University of Science and Technology gets $300M

Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla announced Monday it has received a gift of $300 million — which it says is the largest single donation to any college in the state.

The gift is from St. Louis businessman Fred Kummer and his wife, June, who are alumni of the school and longtime donors.

The money will start a foundation to support Missouri S&T, establish the Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research and Economic Development, as well as a new school of innovation and entrepreneurship. It also will develop new areas for research, provide numerous scholarships, and fellowships for high-achieving students, university officials said.

Some of the money will go toward expansion, renovation and construction of campus buildings. A new lecture series is to be established, and a shuttle service between S&T and St. Louis is planned to bring students from that metropolitan area to the campus.

“This gift is transformative for S&T, the Rolla region and our state,” Mo Dehghani, Missouri S&T chancellor, said in a statement. “Their gift will position S&T as a recognized leader in innovation and entrepreneurial education, and for that we are truly grateful.”

He said the money also will improve the university’s enrollment numbers. “With this gift, we expect to be able to dramatically increase the size of our student body, recruit outstanding new faculty, establish powerful new centers of research, and engage with the community in new and exciting ways,” Dehghani said.

A native of New York, Kummer, 91, is a 1955 civil engineering graduate of S&T, which was then known as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. It is where the couple met as students. He founded HBE Corp., based in St. Louis, in 1960, and as its chairman built it into a leading design-build firm for health care.

“I owe much of my success to the education I received at Rolla,” said Kummer, who is a past member of the Missouri S&T Board of Trustees and the University of Missouri Board of Curators. “My Rolla experience taught me how to think, how to work hard and how to manage my own career. June and I believe in the mission of this great university, and that’s why we have chosen to invest in S&T’s future success.”

Previously, the couple provided the lead gift for the Kummer Student Design Center, which houses 19 student-run design teams. In the 1990s the Kummers helped fund expansion of Butler-Carlton Civil Engineering Hall and, in the early 2000s, of Toomey Hall, which houses mechanical and aerospace engineering programs.

In recognition of June Kummer’s passion for landscaping and gardening, the couple provided a gift to name the Fred and June Kummer Garden at Hasselmann Alumni House.

Related stories from Kansas City Star

Mará has written on all things education for The Star for 20 years, including issues of school safety, teen suicide, universal pre-K programs, college costs, campus protests and university branding.

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College soccer is in their vision, but pandemic interrupts the recruitment process

The result is countless high school athletes unsure if college coaches will be able to see them play, or if there will even be slot available on college rosters.

Hannibal said it’s good to be able to communicate with coaches, but there’s no substitute for being seen in-game.

“I was really banking on this spring and this fall to get seen and get in front of these college coaches,” said Hannibal, a 5-foot-10-inch forward from Ipswich. “Unfortunately, that hasn’t really been the case. I’ve been home a lot of the time.”

The ban on college coach visits isn’t the only obstacle for collegiate hopefuls. High school coaches say the drastic rule changes meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among players have made it hard for players to showcase their talents on film.

“If college coaches did come see them play, it’s a different game. It’s not soccer,” said St. John’s Prep Dave Crowell, taking note of the MIAA modifications for the Fall I season. “More physical players would definitely not look as good.”

The new rules mandate that players avoid all contact — even laying a hand on an opponent’s back is cause for a free kick. Headers are also banned, and indirect kicks have replaced throw-ins and corner kicks.

“It’s hard to get into it and play real soccer when all these little things were getting called if you’re too close to someone,” said St. John’s Prep midfielder Owen Siewert, another Prep senior who is hoping to play in college. Siewert was slated to attend a number of recruiting camps over the summer, but they were all pushed to 2021.

High school players, not to be defeated, have adapted. Hannibal used a camera he got for his birthday in February to create quarantine highlight tapes to send to coaches — drills in the backyard of his home in Medford, shooting on goal, and lifting in his makeshift home gym.

Lexington coach Dastan Pakyari said now more than ever part of his job is to put his players in a position to showcase their strengths.

“Their online presence has to be a lot greater now,” Pakyari said. “During quarantine I was trying to help players find portions of games to send to coaches to give them that extra nudge.”

He added that while the shortened 10-game season offers less in-game action, it gives him more time in practice to develop skills and “round out” his athletes.

Both Hannibal and Siewert scored goals in Prep’s 3-0 win over Malden Catholic on Friday. Siewert scored on a penalty kick and Hannibal drilled a close-range shot off the crossbar and in. With a short season, every positive play and every goal means that much more.

Even if high school athletes do get identified by college coaches, if their web presence and shortened season go perfectly, that still may not be enough. With the coronavirus spurring the NCAA to offer added eligibility to current athletes, there are far fewer spaces for

Six candidates vying for three seats on the Muskegon Board of Education in the Nov. 3 election

MUSKEGON, MI – Six candidates are vying for three open seats on the Muskegon Board of Education in the Nov. 3 general election.

Muskegon Public Schools is one of the largest districts in the county with 3,514 registered students this fall.

School board trustees serve six-year terms and are tasked with a variety of jobs including, approving an annual budget, hire and evaluate the superintendent, and adopting policies that give the district administration direction to set priorities and achieve its goals.

Three of the candidates – Zachary Anderson, Billie Bruce and Louis Churchwell – are incumbents seeking reelection.

The other three candidate are new challengers – Kwame Kamau James, Nicholas Sima and Jonathan Witmer.

Here is some background information provided by each of the candidates:

  • Anderson, 27, attended Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and now works as a consultant. He has served on the Muskegon school board for the past six years and has pushed for transparency and accountability from the administration, he said.
  • Bruce, 77, is a Muskegon Public Schools graduate and earned her degrees from Muskegon Community College and GVSU. She has served as secretary on the Muskegon school board for six years. She is a pediatric Registered Nurse and earned a certificate for Elementary Drug Free School Zones from Concordia University.
  • Churchwell, 62, is a clinician and Group Coordinator with HealthWest Muskegon. He graduated from Muskegon Public Schools in 1977 and currently serves as the school board’s Vice President. He studied at Grand Canyon University and earned two master’s degrees: a Masters of Science in Professional Counseling, and a Masters in the field of Substance Abuse/Addictions. He is a former CEO of West Michigan Therapy, Inc. and founder of Transitional Living Center in Muskegon Heights.
  • James, 45, is self-employed and earned his associate’s degree from Muskegon Community College. He has two sons who attended and graduated from Muskegon Public Schools and was a Big Red Marching Band parent volunteer. He has worked as a youth mentor at Every Woman’s Place, which provides help for victims of domestic violence, a site worker at Site Worker, LA’s BEST After School Program, and a garden facilitator at Growing Goods Summer School Program.
  • Sima, 34, is a Technical Support Technician and has earned his associate’s degree.
  • Witmer, 41, is a real estate appraiser with two students in the Muskegon Public Schools system. He is a graduate of Muskegon Public Schools and earned a bachelor’s degree in geography at GVSU. He also completed graduate coursework in Urban Regeneration at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Witmer is president of the governing board at First Congregational Church UCC in Muskegon, secretary of the Nelson Neighborhood Improvement Association and youth soccer coach for Muskegon Soccer Club.

MLive Media Group has partnered with the League of Women Voters of Michigan to provide candidate information for readers. Each candidate was asked to outline their stances on a variety of public policy issues.

Information on all state and federal races and many of Michigan’s county and local races

What’s The Difference Between A Glacier And An Iceberg?

I am grateful for this platform because it allows me to provide little science lessons periodically. Many people rarely think much about basic science once school days have passed. While watching the the game show America Says on Game Show Network recently, a contestant said something that inspired this article. I believe the question asked the team to name things that you might see in Alaska. The team captain said something along the lines of, “We all love the movie Titanic so we are going to go with a glacier.” That was the correct answer, however, it was actually an iceberg that sank the Titanic. What’s the difference between a glacier and an iceberg?

As an atmospheric scientist and meteorologist, I am familiar with little things like this. People routinely ask me about meteors (I don’t study them) or tsunamis (an ocean process not an atmospheric one). However, I had not consider that some people may not think about or know the difference between an iceberg and a glacier. Let’s start with formal definitions and then dig a bit deeper.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) website, a glacier is, “a large, perennial accumulation of crystalline ice, snow, rock, sediment, and often liquid water that originates on land and moves down slope under the influence of its own weight and gravity.” One of my favorite family trips was to Glacier National Park a few years ago in Montana. We went to catch a glimpse of a glacier since most of them in the park have disappeared over the past century.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website points out that an iceberg is “ice that broke off from glaciers or shelf ice and is floating in open water.” While it is likely that any chunk of ice floating in the ocean might be called an iceberg, the NOAA website explains that to be considered an iceberg, the height must exceed 16 feet above sea level, have a thickness between 98 and 164 feet, and cover an area greater than 5,382 square feet. Icebergs can also take on many

Ravens’ Patrick Queen: Dominates college teammate

Queen registered nine tackles, one sack, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown during Sunday’s 27-3 win against the Bengals.

Joe Burrow’s LSU teammate was a nightmare for the rookie signal-caller Sunday, beginning his prolific afternoon with a combo strip-sack, fumble recovery at the 9:40 mark of the second quarter. Queen would also scoop up a fumble forced by Marcus Peters on rookie wideout Tee Higgins, collecting the loose ball and streaking 53 yards down the field to provide Baltimore with a prohibitive 27-0 lead with 8:21 to play in regulation. Queen now has nine or more tackles in three of his past four games, as he heads into a Week 6 matchup against a Philadelphia offense that is tied with Dallas for an NFL-high 11 giveaways.

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