Friday, July 22, 2011

On the Radar: New Mars mission, 15 missing boaters, Korea talks


An artist's concept of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.
Three things you need to know today.
Next Mars mission: Where on Mars will we go next year?
NASA and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on Friday will announce the destination for the latest Mars rover, scheduled to land on the Red Planet in August 2012.
The newest rover, called the The Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, is scheduled for liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in November.


Curiosity, two time as long and five times as heavy as previous Mars rovers, will look for conditions that could sustain microscopic life and any evidence of past life on Mars.
NASA's two previous Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, began their planned three-month missions on Mars in 2004. Spirit stopped communicating with Earth in 2010, but Opportunity is still at work, just last week logging its 20th mile on the Martian surface.
Watch Friday's event live and engage in a live chat at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

Missing Pacific boaters: The U.S. Coast Guard is sending one of its ships to Fanano atoll in the South Pacific after a small boat matching the description of a skiff reported missing with 15 people was spotted on the uninhabited atoll aboard 600 miles southeast of Guam.
The crew of a vessel leaving Ruo Island, the intended destination of the missing skiff, reported seeing an overturned boat on the beach of the Fanano atoll, the Coast Guard said in a statement. Several people were also on shore, it said.
 
A long-range Navy search plane flew over the area after the Coast Guard received the report.
"Once on scene, the aircraft reported back that a damaged vessel was overturned on the beach and several crude shelters had been erected on the beach," the statement said.

Korea talks: South Korea's chief envoy to six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program is to meet with a senior North Korean diplomat on the sidelines of the ASEAN regional forum, South Korean officials say.
Wi Sung-lac, the chief negotiator for the South, has proposed holding talks with Ri Yong-ho, who is widely expected to succeed Kim Kye-gwan as the North's top envoy to the multilateral talks, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports.
The agenda of their discussion has not been disclosed.
This is North Korea's first response to South Korea's proposal to hold nuclear talks since the beginning of this year, a South Korean foreign ministry official who did not want to be identified due to sensitivity of the matter told CNN.
North Korea pulled out of the six-party talks on nuclear disarmament in 2008.
Source

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