Another leak delays NASA moon launch; Alaskans get sum from investment fund; U.S. Embassy in Cuba to process visas; Rioter to appeal ban from elective office

Another leak is delaying NASA’s moon launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s New Moon rocket suffered another fuel leak Wednesday as engineers tested the pipelines ahead of a launch attempt next week.

The all-day demo had barely begun when, despite new seals and other repairs, dangerous hydrogen fuel leaked at the same place and time as before. Engineers stopped the flow and heated the lines in hopes of plugging the leak, then continued testing. But the leak stayed.

Wednesday’s results will determine whether the 322-foot rocket is ready for its first test flight, a lunar orbiting mission using mannequins instead of astronauts.

Hydrogen leaks spoiled the first two launch attempts as well as earlier countdown tests. So much hydrogen escaped during the countdown earlier this month that NASA’s limit was more than doubled. Wednesday’s leak was close to the limit, but the launch team managed to bring it down to acceptable levels as testing resumed.

After the previous delay, NASA replaced two seals. One had a tiny indentation – one hundredth of an inch.

“Now that doesn’t sound like much, but we’re dealing with hydrogen again,” the smallest element on the periodic table, said mission leader Mike Sarafin.

Alaskans receive sum from mutual funds

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Almost every single Alaskan received a windfall of more than $3,000 on Tuesday as the state began distributing payments from Alaska’s mutual fund seeded with money from the state’s oil wealth.

The payments, known as the Permanent Fund Dividend, or PFD, totaled $2,622 — the highest amount ever. Alaska lawmakers added $662 as a one-time benefit to help residents facing high energy bills.

A total of $1.6 billion in direct deposits began hitting bank accounts Tuesday, and checks will arrive later for those who opted-in.

Residents use the money in a variety of ways, from buying big-screen TVs, vehicles, or vacations to savings or college funds. In rural Alaska, the money can help offset the huge cost of fuel and food, e.g. B. $14 for a 12-pack of soda, $4 for a bunch of celery, and $3 for a small can of Greek yogurt.

“We’re seeing record high inflation not seen since the first PFD was paid in 1982,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in a video. “Alaskans have borne the brunt of this inflation from the gas pump to the grocery store, and this year’s PFD will provide some much-needed relief as we head into winter.”

The controls couldn’t come at a better time for those on the state’s vast west coast, which was devastated by the remnants of Typhoon Merbok last weekend. Damage to homes and infrastructure was widespread along the 1,000 miles of coastline.

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US Embassy in Cuba for processing visas

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said Wednesday that the U.S. Embassy in Cuba will begin processing full immigrant visas early next year, making it easier for Cubans to reunite with family members in the United States.

The Embassy in Havana last processed full immigrant visas in 2017. The US government will also stop requiring Cubans applying for visas in family preference categories to travel to Georgetown, Guyana, for their interviews.

Additional government staff will staff the embassy to process visa applications – part of the commitment resulting from the resumption of Cuba’s probationary family reunification program last month. The 2007 program allows US citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply for their family members in Cuba to come to the US earlier than is conventionally allowed.

Under agreements with Cuba, the US has pledged to ensure the legal immigration of at least 20,000 Cubans per year, not counting the immediate relatives of US citizens.

Rioters want to appeal against electoral ban

SANTA FE, NM – A New Mexico politician and Trump supporter who was removed from office and banned from voting for his role in the U.S. Capitol riots is seeking to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

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Cowboys for Trump co-founder and former county commissioner Couy Griffin told the High Court Tuesday of his intention to appeal.

This month’s judgment against Griffin by a Santa Fe district court was the first to impeach or disqualify an elected official in connection with the attack on the Capitol.

Griffin was previously convicted in federal court of a misdemeanor for entering the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 without entering the building. He was sentenced to 14 days and time served credited.

Griffin has cited free speech safeguards in his defense and says his impeachment disenfranchises his Otero County voters.

He was ousted under the terms of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which states that anyone who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution may be ousted from office for involvement in insurrection or rebellion. The regulations were introduced shortly after the Civil War.

photo Otero County, NM, Commissioner Couy Griffin stands in federal court after receiving a verdict in his trial March 22, 2022 in Washington. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

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