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Curiosity to make wide detour to check out something ‘cool’

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WASHINGTON — The US space agency NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity will make a wide detour to explore a geographical hot spot on Mars because “it looks cool,” scientists said Friday.

Before driving to its destination at Mount Sharp, which may contain traces of water, Curiosity will head in the opposite direction, to a spot NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has dubbed Glenelg.

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In a statement, the Pasadena lab said Glenelg marks the intersection of three kinds of terrain 1,640 feet (500 meters) from the rover’s landing site.

A light-colored patch of terrain in the region indicates to scientists “a kind of bedrock suitable for eventual drilling by Curiosity.”

A cluster of small craters may represent “an older or harder surface” and another spot features a patch of land resembling the rover’s landing site, before the nuclear-powered apparatus “scoured away some of the surface.”

The scientists feel the name Glenelg is “appropriate,” because it is a palindrome — a word read the same way backward and forward — and the rover will need to travel back in the same direction to head toward Mount Sharp.

The Glenelg trek will be the rover’s first long drive, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist John Grotzinger told reporters, explaining the decision to risk travelling off the planned route.

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“It looks cool,” he said.

Grotzinger estimates it will take three to four weeks for the rover to arrive at Glenelg, where the rover would stay for roughly a month, before heading to the base of Mount Sharp.

Analysts have said it may be a full year before the remote-controlled rover gets to the base of the peak, which is believed to be within a dozen miles (20 kilometers) of the rover’s landing site.

A photo of the lower reaches of Mount Sharp, taken from Curiosity’s landing site, shows “hills, buttes, mesas and canyons on the scale of one-to-three story buildings.”

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Scientists hope the hydrated minerals thought to be concentrated in the bottom half of the photographed lower reaches will “reveal the area’s geological history.”

The Mars Science Laboratory is expected to travel as far as halfway up Mount Sharp, a towering three-mile Martian mountain with sediment layers that may be up to a billion years old.

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NASA plans to obtain photos of the summit “in a week or two.”

The $2.5 billion craft arrived on Mars at 0531 GMT on August 6.

Photo taken by the Mars rover Curiosity via AFP/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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Trump supporter complains about being socially toxic: ‘People unfriend you’

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Fox News anchor Jeanine Pirro on Saturday complained about being judged by the content of her character.

"People unfriend you!' Pirro complained. "They don't want you to be a -- they don't want to communicate with you."

"People I've had at my wedding don't talk -- my children's weddings actually, they don't talk to me anymore," she explained.

"It's not usually the right or the left, I mean, the intolerance is on the left," she argued.

The longtime Trump friend was harshly criticized for her complaints. Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1282132522332282880

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Trump disappointed conservative media isn’t praising him enough for letting Roger Stone walk: report

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President Donald Trump has been disappointed in right-wing media for not giving him more credit for pardoning longtime advisor Roger Stone.

"A senior administration official said there were serious divisions among Trump’s aides and allies over Stone’s case, with some cautioning that keeping him out of prison could be politically risky. Among those opposed was Attorney General William P. Barr, who called the prosecution 'righteous' in an interview Wednesday with ABC News, the official said, adding that those pushing Trump to show loyalty to Stone included Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is close to the president," The Washington Post reported Saturday.

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2020 Election

Lincoln Project takes on the ‘Trump crime spree’ in new ad: ‘It’s a billion-dollar criminal enterprise’

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Disgruntled former top Republican strategists took on President Donald Trump's "law and order" message in a new 2020 video posted on Saturday.

The ad, by the Lincoln Project, recounts how many top former Trump officials have been convicted of felonies.

"It's not a campaign, it's a billion-dollar criminal enterprise," the narrator begins.

The ad noted the criminal convictions of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Mike Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone.

"Nixon was bad, Trump is worse," the narrator declares.

"Trump is the most corrupt president in U.S. history. There's only one way to end the Trump crime spree -- throw him and his crooks out of office," the ad concludes.

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