San Ysidro, Brexit, Mars: 3 Stories You Should Read 11/26/2018
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In the category of: News NOT about Trump.
At 3 p.m. ET on Monday, November 26, a group of researchers will be really sweating. The NASA InSight spacecraft will try to land on Mars.
After six months of flight, the lander component of the probe will detach itself from the cruise stage and head into the atmosphere. The lander component initially looks a fair bit like the re-entry capsule used in the 1960s and 1970s for the Apollo moon missions — sort of conical, with a smooth and flat bottom. That bottom is a crucial heat shield that is designed to protect the probe as it passes through the thin Martian atmosphere.
The landing is a devilishly difficult feat. The landing capsule has to batter its way through the atmosphere. It will fly through the Martian air at an initial speed of 12,300 mph, and it must hit the atmosphere at an angle of precisely 12 degrees. Any shallower, and the probe will bounce off into deep space. Any steeper, and the probe will burn itself up in a spectacular and fiery death. The probe will first touch the atmosphere six minutes and 45 seconds before landing. During this phase, it will experience acceleration 12 times that of the Earth’s gravity. Were the probe a 150-pound human, during the flaming descent, it would weigh nearly a ton.
In the category of: This might be more about Trump than we think…
The many possible Brexit outcomes explained.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union have a Brexit deal, a historic agreement that lays out the terms of the United Kingdom’s breakup with the bloc.
The other 27 EU member-states finalized and approved the withdrawal agreement at a summit in Brussels this Sunday. But the process is far from over: May must now get a deeply divided UK Parliament to approve the plan.
Hostility for the deal has been building for nearly two weeks, ever since May first unveiled the proposed agreement.
The most vocal resistance comes from the prime minister’s own Conservative Party, a fractured mess of loyalists and hardline “Brexiteers” who want a more decisive break with the European Union. The opposition Labour Party has also said it will resist the deal. Right now, at least, the withdrawal agreement doesn’t seem to have the votes.
In the category of: Borders that can hold us in can close.
The Mexican border was closed for hours Sunday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry after a group of migrants in Tijuana stormed the area, prompting the U.S. Border Patrol to fire tear gas at the group.
The incident marks a serious escalation in the tensions that have roiled Tijuana in recent weeks as thousands of migrants from Central America have amassed there with hopes for entering the United States. President Trump has vowed to seal off the Mexican border in recent days and pushed to keep any migrants in Mexico as they await the immigration process.
Board Patrol officials said they used the tear gas after migrants threw objects at them. The gas was used to “dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety. Several agents were hit by the projectiles,” the agency said in a statement.
The dramatic images of the clash were already being used by the various sides of the immigration debate. Backers of Trump’s crackdown said the events showed the need to secure the border, while some critics said they were disturbed to see tear gas used on the group, which included some children.
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