Enjoy good journalism?
… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has slashed advertising rates, and we need your help. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.
Raw Story is independent. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.
We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.
Value Raw Story?
… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has slashed advertising rates, and we need your help. Like you, we believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We need your support to do what we do.
Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.
NASA is hoping to make history early Monday when the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter attempts the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.
The space agency had originally planned the flight for April 11 but postponed it over a software issue that was identified during a planned high-speed test of the aircraft's rotors.
The issue has since been resolved, and the four-pound (1.8 kilograms) drone could achieve its feat by around 3:30 am Eastern Time (0730 GMT).
Data, however, won't arrive until several hours later, and NASA will begin a livestream at 6:15 am (1015 GMT).
"Each world gets only one first flight," MiMi Aung, the Ingenuity project manager, said before the first attempt.
The first powered flight on Earth was achieved by the Wright brothers in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A piece of fabric from that plane has been tucked inside Ingenuity in honor of that feat.
The helicopter traveled to Mars attached to the underside of the rover Perseverance, which touched down on the planet on February 18 on a mission to search for signs of extraterrestrial life.
Ingenuity's goal, by contrast, is to demonstrate its technology works, and it won't contribute to Perseverance's science goals.
But it is hoped that Ingenuity can pave the way for future flyers that revolutionize our exploration of celestial bodies because they can reach areas that rovers can't go, and travel much faster.
The timing of the helicopter flight is chosen with the weather on Mars in mind. Wind is the big unknown and could jeopardize the mission.
The flight is challenging because the air on Mars is so thin -- less than one percent of the pressure of Earth's atmosphere.
That makes it much harder to achieve lift, even though it will be partly aided by a gravitational pull that is a third of Earth's.
The helicopter will rise for about six seconds, hover and rotate for about 30 seconds, then go back down.
The flight will be autonomous, pre-programmed into the aircraft because of the 15 minutes it takes for signals to travel from Earth to Mars.
Ingenuity itself will analyze its position with respect to the Martian surface.
After the flight, Ingenuity will send Perseverance technical data on what it has done, and that information will be transmitted back to Earth.
This will include a black and white photo of the Martian surface that Ingenuity is programmed to snap while flying.
Later, once its batteries have charged up again, Ingenuity is to transmit another photo -- in color, of the Martian horizon, taken with a different camera.
But the most spectacular images are supposed to come from the rover Perseverance, which will film the flight from a few meters away.
Shortly after this filming, six videos of 2.5 seconds each will be sent to Earth. NASA hopes at least one of them will show the helicopter in flight.
The entire video will be sent over the following few days.
"There will be surprises, and you will be learning about them right at the same time that we will. So let's all get the popcorn," said Elsa Jensen, who oversees the cameras on the rover.
Four outcomes are possible, said Aung: full success, partial success, insufficient or no data coming back, or failure.
If the flight is a success, NASA plans another no more than four days later. It plans as many as five altogether, each successively more difficult, over the course of a month.
NASA hopes to make the helicopter rise five meters (16 feet) and then move laterally.
Ingenuity's "lifetime will be determined by how well it lands" each time, said Aung -- meaning whether it crashes.
"Once we get to the fourth and fifth flight, we'll have fun," she said. "We are going to take very bold flights and take high risk."
A US federal agency has urged people with children and pets at home to stop using a treadmill made by Peloton, citing injuries and one death linked to the machines.
In an urgent warning, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Saturday that the Tread+ treadmill poses serious risks to children, including abrasions, fractures and even death.
The regulator said it was aware of 39 incidents involving the treadmill, including "multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled" beneath the roller. One pet was also reportedly sucked under the machine.
A video uploaded by the CPSC to YouTube showed a small child become trapped head-first under a running treadmill before eventually wriggling free.
In its own statement, New York-based Peloton called the safety commission's warning "inaccurate and misleading."
While it acknowledged that one child had died in March while using the Tread+ and that another had suffered a brain injury, the company said there was no reason to stop using the machine so long as safety instructions were followed.
Peloton said that its members had been reminded that "children, pets, and objects should be kept clear of the Tread+ at all times." The company also advised storing the safety key out of children's reach.
According to the safety commission, in at least one incident a child was injured while a parent was running on the treadmill "suggesting that the hazard cannot be avoided simply by locking the device when not in use."
For those who continue to use the Tread+, the commission advised keeping the machine in a locked room to prevent children or pets from accessing it at any time.
The CPSC and the fitness company appear to be at loggerheads over what to do with the Tread+.
According to the Washington Post, the company has not initiated a product recall to repair or replace it, as desired by the commission.
Peloton, primarily known for its stationary exercise bike, sells the Tread+ treadmill for upwards of $4,300.
Sales of Peloton equipment have soared during the pandemic as people seek to maintain a fitness regimen in the absence of an open gym.
Footage of cops tackling grandma with dementia is a reminder of what AOC really means by 'defund the police'
The Loveland Police Department in Colorado is facing heightened backlash amid the release of body cam footage showing one of its officers tackling a 73-year-old grandmother with dementia. The harrowing footage also serves as a reminder of what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez means when advocating for police to be defunded.
According to VICE, a federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against the Loveland Police Department and three of its officers on behalf of a 73-year-old grandmother named Karen Garner. The lawsuit which details Garner's disturbing arrest also offers a breakdown of her medical condition noting that she suffers from "dementia and sensory aphasia," and has "an inability to understand spoken and written speech."
The bodycam footage shows Garner being approached by Loveland Police Officer Austin Hopp after she was accused of shoplifting from a local Walmart. When Hopp asked Garner why she did not stop walking when he turned on his patrol siren and lights, she only offered a blank stare and an inaudible response.
Loveland Officer Assault on Elderly Lady With Dementia (Complete - Unedited) www.youtube.com
As she attempted to walk away, the bodycam footage shows Hopp grabbing the 80-pound woman, throwing her down to the ground as he twisted both arms behind her back in what the lawsuit describes as a "painfully upward" position.
Hopp and the officers who assisted him are also said to have "hog-tied her on the side of the road." The tactic is seen as a controversial restraining method that some law enforcement agencies have banned officers from using.
Loveland Officer Assault on Elderly Lady With Dementia (Complete - Unedited) youtu.be
According to the lawsuit, as a result of the officers' handling, Garner suffered a number of injuries including "a dislocated shoulder, a fractured humerus bone, and a sprained wrist." The lawsuit also notes that Garner "was covered with bruises by the time she arrived at a hospital" and was not taken to receive medical treatment until several hours after her encounter with the officers.
"What little freedom and happiness Ms. Garner enjoyed in her life as an elderly adult with declining mental health was, on June 26, 2020, recklessly and deliberately obliterated by the Loveland Police Department," the lawsuit states.
Garner's disturbing interaction with police officers serves as another reminder of why social workers may be better suited than police officers when it comes to certain people. Last summer, Ocasio-Cortez sounded off about the need for law enforcement budgets, funding, and resources to be reallocated to other areas of social service where they could be more beneficial.
In response to the lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department, Tom Hacker, a spokesperson for the law enforcement agency released a statement saying, "There's no record associated with this event, no frame of video, no shred of any evidence that won't be looked at pretty thoroughly."
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month