Another NASA space telescope shuts down
Cape Canaveral, Fla. – Another NASA space telescope has shut down and halted science observations.
Less than a week after the Hubble Space Telescope went offline, the Chandra X-ray Observatory did the same thing. NASA said Friday that Chandra’s automatically went into so-called safe mode Wednesday, possibly because of a gyroscope problem.
Hubble went into hibernation last Friday due to a gyroscope failure.
Both orbiting observatories are old and in well-extended missions: Hubble is 28, while Chandra is 19. Flight controllers are working to resume operations with both.
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Slight increase in Medicare’s outpatient ‘Part B’ premium: Medicare says its “Part B” premium for outpatient care will rise by just $1.50 a month next year. That means retirees should be able to keep more of their recently-announced Social Security cost-of-living increase.
Medicare officials said Friday the standard premium will be $135.50 a month for 2019. “Part B” of Medicare covers doctor visits and outpatient care, while “Part A” covers hospitalization. The annual outpatient deductible will increase by only $2, to $185 next year. That’s the amount beneficiaries are responsible for before Medicare starts paying. The inpatient deductible will increase by $24, to $1,364 in 2019.
Juicy returns: Florida orange harvest up after long decline: Florida’s orange crop is expected to increase for the first time in seven years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that 79 million boxes of oranges are expected during the coming season, a 76 percent increase from the 45 million produced last season. That crop was ravaged by Hurricane Irma and the industry is still suffering from citrus greening, a disease that kills trees. A box of oranges is 90 pounds.
Sexual history survey sent to fifthgraders gets complaints: A survey that asked fifth-grade students in Vermont about their sexual history, preference and gender identity has drawn complaints from parents. WPTZ-TV reports the survey sent to Windsor Elementary School students was conducted by WISE, a nonprofit domestic violence prevention and advocacy group.
Turkish court convicts, frees pastor
IZMIR, Turkey – A Turkish court on Friday convicted an American pastor of terror links but released him from house arrest and allowed him to leave the country, a move that’s likely to ease tensions between Turkey and the United States.
The court near the western city of Izmir sentenced North Carolina native Andrew Brunson to three years, one month and 15 days in prison for allegedly helping terror groups. But since the 50-year-old evangelical pastor had already spent nearly two years in detention, Turkish law allowed him to remain free with time served.
An earlier charge of espionage against him was dropped.
Brunson, a native of North Carolina whose detention had sparked a diplomatic dispute between the two NATO allies, had rejected the espionage and terror-related charges and strongly maintained his innocence. The 50-year-old had faced up to 35 years in jail if convicted of all the charges. With tears in his eyes, he hugged his wife Norine Lyn as he awaited the decision Friday.
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Princess Eugenie weds her beau at Windsor Castle: Britain’s Princess Eugenie married tequila brand ambassador Jack Brooksbank in a star-studded royal wedding Friday at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The 28-year-old bride, the queen’s granddaughter, is ninth in line to the British throne.
The Chandra X-ray Observatory automatically went into so-called safe mode on Wednesday, possibly because of a gyroscope problem.