Astronaut rolls out red carpet for Mars
Meanwhile, Israel reopened the holy site after it was closed following Friday’s attack, but Muslim worshippers were refusing to enter due to new security measures including metal detectors and cameras.
The site includes the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
A call to prayer rang out from al-Aqsa, but Muslim worshippers held midday prayers outside the site in protest at the new security measures.
Dozens of worshippers gathered to pray at an entrance to the compound next to the Lions’ Gate entry to the Old City.
“We reject the changes imposed by the Israeli government,” said Sheikh Omar Kiswani, al-Aqsa director.
“We will not enter through these metal detectors.”
Israel took the highly unusual decision of closing the al-Aqsa mosque compound for Friday prayers, triggering anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site’s custodian.
The site remained closed on Saturday, while parts of Jerusalem’s Old City were also under lockdown.
Israeli authorities said the closure was necessary to carry out security checks.
Police said on Sunday that so far two gates leading to the holy site had been opened, equipped with metal detectors, adding that more than 200 people had entered.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of the security measures late on Saturday before departing for a trip to Paris, saying they were vital in establishing “complete control over what goes on there”.
The Haram al-Sharif/ Temple Mount is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians fearing Israel may one day seek to assert further control over it.
It is considered the third holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews.
Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — Forty-eight years after he landed on the moon, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin on Saturday rolled out a red carpet for the red planet at a starstudded gala at the Kennedy Space Center.
Aldrin, 87, commemorated the upcoming anniversary of the 1969 mission to the moon under a historic Saturn V rocket and raised more than $190,000 for his nonprofit space education foundation, ShareSpace Foundation.
Aldrin believes people will be able to land on Mars by 2040, a goal that NASA shares. The space agency is developing the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft to send people to deep space.
Apollo astronauts Walt Cunningham, Michael Collins and Harrison “Jack” Schmitt joined Aldrin, one of 12 people to walk on the moon, at the sold-out fundraiser.
“I like to think of myself as an innovative futurist,” Aldrin told a crowd of nearly 400 people in the Apollo/Saturn V Center. “The programs we have right now are eating up every piece of the budget and it has to be reduced if we’re ever going to get anywhere.”
During the gala, the ShareSpace Foundation presented Jeff Bezos with the first Buzz Aldrin Space Innovation Award.
Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com and the spaceflight company Blue Origin, is trying to bring the cost of space travel down by reusing rockets.
“We can have a trillion humans in the solar system. What’s holding us back from making that next step is that space travel is just too darned expensive,” Bezos said. “I’m taking my Amazon lottery winnings and dedicating it to (reusable rockets). I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do that.”
The foundation also honored former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison, the first AfricanAmerican woman to travel in space, with the Buzz Aldrin Space Pioneering Award.
Space memorabilia was auctioned at the gala, including an autographed first day insurance cover that flew to the surface of the moon that went for $42,500.
The gala is the first part of a three-year campaign leading up to the 50 th anniversary of the moon landing to help fund advancements that will lead to the future habitation of Mars.
We reject the changes imposed by the Israeli government.” Sheikh Omar Kiswani, director of al-Aqsa mosque
Brazilian Air Force pilots in Super Tucano planes perform aerobatics during the F-Air Colombia 2017 air festival in Rionegro, Colombia, on Saturday.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin speaks at the gala for his non-profit space education foundation at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, on Saturday.