by: Aaron S. Lee
FILE – In this April 30, 2021, file image taken by the Mars Perseverance rover and made available by NASA, the Mars Ingenuity helicopter, right, flies over the surface of the planet. Japanese space agency scientists said Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 they planned to bring soil samples from the Mars region back to Earth ahead of the U.S. Perseverance and Chinese missions now operating on the planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS via AP, File)
CHALMETTE, La. (WGNO) — NASA flight director Lieutenant Colonel Paul Konyha paid a visit to Chalmette High school to speak with cadets involved in the school’s Junior RTOC program.
The retired United States Air Force officer made a special presentation to students in the Cultural Arts Center sharing some of the history, accomplishments, and vision for the space program.
Konyha offered insight into NASA’s Artemis Missions which includes a return to the moon in preparation for its ultimate goal – a human mission to Mars.
As a flight director, Konyha said his job centers on problem-solving and decision-making with two goals in mind — protecting the crew and the spacecraft while accomplishing the mission.
Lt. Col. David Farley, who leads the JROTC program at CHS, served with Konyha at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California during their initial space operations training in 1996.
Chalmette High Principal Wayne Warner said he appreciated the visit. “Lieutenant Colonel Konyha’s presentation was impressive and eye opening,” he said. “I think our students got a lot out of it and left feeling inspired.”
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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — After years in Israel’s political wilderness, small dovish parties that support Palestinian statehood and oppose Jewish settlements are back in government. But they are finding their influence is limited, with pro-settler coalition partners showing little appetite for compromise and the country’s decades-long occupation churning on.
The parties are having to rein themselves in as hopes for a Palestinian state slip further away under their watch, with settlement construction booming and peace talks a distant memory. Nonetheless, the left-leaning lawmakers say their presence in the coalition is important and that the alternative is worse.
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A bus carrying North Macedonians home from a tourist trip to Istanbul crashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria early Tuesday, killing at least 45 people, authorities and local media said.
The accident happened around 2 a.m. and there were children among the victims, authorities said. Seven people were taken to hospitals for treatment.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden opened the holiday season at the White House by breaking off a sprig from the official Blue Room tree and giving it — and a big smooch — to her toddler grandson.
“Look how beautiful this is,” the first lady said of the 18 1/2-foot (5.6 meter) Fraser fir that was delivered by wagon to her Pennsylvania Avenue doorstep by Clydesdale horses named Ben and Winston.