NASA aims to look for closer, Earth-like worlds Trump unfit for office: Comey
Values matter. This president does not reflect the values of this country.
TAMPA NASA is poised to launch a US$337 million washing machine-sized spacecraft that aims to vastly expand mankinds search for planets beyond our solar system, particularly closer, Earth-sized ones that might harbour life.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, was scheduled to launch yesterday at 6:32pm local time atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Its main goal over the next two years is to scan more than 200,000 of the brightest stars for signs of planets circling them and causing a dip in brightness known as a transit.
NASA predicts that TESS will discover 20,000 exoplanets or planets outside the solar system including more than 50 Earth-sized planets and up to 500 planets less than twice the size of Earth.
They are going to be orbiting the nearest, brightest stars, Elisa Quintana, TESS scientist at NASAs Goddard Spaceflight Centre, told reporters on Sunday.
We might even find planets that orbit stars that we can even see with the naked eye, she added.
So in the next few years we might even be able to walk outside and point at a star and know that it has a planet. This is the future.
Just a couple of decades ago, the notion of finding habitable planets or any planets at all was a mere fantasy, said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA.
Humans have wondered forever whether we were alone in the universe, and until 25 years ago the only planets we knew about were the eight in our own solar system, he told reporters on the eve of the TESS launch.
But since then, we have found thousands of planets orbiting others stars and we think all the stars in our galaxy must have their own family of planets.
TESS is designed as a followon to the US space agencys Kepler spacecraft, which was the first of its kind and launched in 2009. The aging spacecraft is currently low on fuel and near the end of its life.
Kepler found a massive trove of exoplanets by focusing on one patch of sky, which contained about 150,000 stars like the Sun.
The Kepler mission found 2,300 confirmed exoplanets, and thousands more candidate planets. But many were too distant and dim to study further. AFP WASHINGTON Fired former FBI chief James Comey lashed out at Donald Trump in an interview with ABC broadcast on Sunday, calling him morally unfit to be president and describing him as a serial liar who will stain everyone around him.
Comeys remarks are the latest salvo in a war of words with Trump, who excoriated the former FBI director on Twitter earlier in the day, again calling him a slimeball and suggesting he should be jailed.
The wide-ranging interview with ABC News also came ahead of todays release of Comeys memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, in which he details his interactions with the Republican president.
I think hes morally unfit to be president, Comey said, in his first televised interview since being fired in May last year.
The former federal prosecutor pointed to how Trump talks about and treats women like theyre pieces of meat and lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it.
Values matter, Comey said. This president does not reflect the values of this country.
Comey also said that serving in Trumps administration poses a serious ethical dilemma.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR
The challenge of this president is that he will stain everyone around him, he told ABC, which aired an edited version of the interview but published a full transcript.
And the question is, how much stain is too much stain and how much stain eventually makes you unable to accomplish your goal of protecting the country and serving the country?
But while Comey sharply criticised Trump, he said he hopes the president is not impeached.
I hope not because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe theyre duty bound to do directly.
In his book, Comey likens Trump to a dishonest, ego-driven mob boss and says he demanded the then FBI chiefs personal pledge of loyalty a damning account that has infuriated the president at a moment of intensifying legal pressure on other fronts.
I never asked Comey for Personal Loyalty. I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies. His memos are self serving and FAKE! Trump said in one of a series of tweets fired off Sunday before the interview.
The president said Comey stupidly handled a probe into Trumps 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton and how she used a private email server during her time as secretary of state.
In another tweet, Trump offered a mini-review of Comeys memoir.
The big questions in Comeys badly reviewed book arent answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didnt they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabes $700,000 & more?
The jumble of references appeared to allude to unsubstantiated accusations Trump has previously made claiming Comey lied in Senate testimony last May in denying he had served as an anonymous news source. AFP