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Jason’s Alticle – A Bit of History Repeating

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Greetings, Prognosticators!

Really, how much of what we do is pattern recognition?

Everything Old Is New Again

Pop quiz: what do you do with Jace, Architect of Thought? The future of this card will be determined by a game of tug-of-war between two diametrically-opposed forces. One is his damn near ubiquity in the decks to beat in Standard. The other is his impending reprint.

kpx3
What's the matter, Jace? Wasn't Nissa available to beat up on?

We have two prevailing theories here. One theory about Jace's price is that reprinting will pull the price's pants completely down. Another is that since he is played in so many decks and the reprint is a few months away demand will keep up with supply and we won't see a huge depression.

Are both of these theories equally valid? If we're evaluating them in terms of their merit as guesses, sure, I guess. However, we don't really have to pretend like we're totally in the dark here, because we have some data to look at. That data is "every duel deck."

Duel deck release date- March 2013
Duel deck release date - March 2013
Hellrider
Duel deck release date - March 2013
Hellrider
Duel deck release date - September 2012

That Doesn't All Seem Relevant

No, indeed not. Comparing a rare like Life from the Loam to a mythic like Jace, Architect of Thought can only tell us so much. However, the downward trends in the prices of Life from the Loam and Hellrider are noticeable as soon as the duel decks are released and the market begins to get saturated.

One more interesting thing to look at is the price of Sorin, Lord of Innistrad. It appears like the price depression began in advance of the actual printing on green's (ABU) graph, and stayed relatively flat on red (SCG) until the printing. Some dealers got cold feet a bit early, but SCG didn't drop its price and it maintained up until the 11th hour.

The yellow is eBay, and eBay is instructive to look at ordinarily, because it's a sum of the individual buying and selling behaviors of a crowd of people. Where one dealer like ABU might get cold feet and one dealer like SCG might say, "No, this is our price," a line of best fit through the wacky-looking mess of eBay's prices shows a downward trend that starts in January, when the deck was announced.

Since Sorin is a mythic that saw play in a popular deck or two around the time of Sorin vs. Tibalt's printing, this is a good analog for Jace.

If you are looking to trade Jace out, they should retain decent trade value if you peg your price to a site like SCG that is less inclined to panic-sell Jace in preparation for the duel deck printing.

If you are looking to sell Jace, I would do so now. eBay prices were all over the place, but they started trending down in January, which means when the deck was announced, which means now. I predict TCG prices will follow suit.

When the deck finally does come out, I expect a decent portion of the demand for Jace to have died down, but that all depends on how he performs in the mean time. Right now he's a powerhouse and doesn't show signs of stopping, but the printing of the duel deck will correlate with an attenuation of Standard play in general, so it's possible there won't be the kind of insane demand for Jace.

In all likelihood, $20 is a hard cap on his price and I expect him to be under that. Until then, expect SCG to try and charge what he is now. It's possible that his price could go up if there is even more demand, but with speculators who bought in at $10ish wanting to cash out now, I expect there is enough supply.

What Else Is (Not) New?

Also announced for an upcoming printing is a series of five Commander decks, one for each Alara block shard. Obviously, the Grixis one is bonkers with the 3/1 merfolk and Baleful Strix, but I can't help but remember the last Commander deck printing.

Last time everyone saw Flusterstorm and lost their minds. Political Puppets was preselling on eBay for far above MSRP because there was no precedent for product like this and people were all about Flusterstorm in Legacy. It took almost a month for a Legacy GP in Indianapolis to roll around for the new Maverick deck to show everyone how bonkers a little card called "Scavenging Ooze" was.

Counterpunches were still gettable for MSRP at a ton of stores, and my drive back from Indianapolis involved going into Target and Walmart stores to grab as many as I could find. I sold all the other singles and made bank on the Oozes. I felt like I was a genius for having a few sealed Counterpunches sitting aside when Ooze first hit and everyone else was all about Flusterstorm.

You know who the real geniuses were? The guys who bought all of the decks and sat on them. I made $50 selling Couterpunches and felt great about it and it feels even better now that Ooze got a reprint and the sealed decks are about that.

The people who bought Heavenly Inferno when the other Keynesian Beauty Contest contestants were fighting over Counterpunches and Political Puppets made the best bang for their buck--Heavenly Inferno routinely sells for over $120 sealed. Could anyone have predicted that? Not when they were busy cannibalizing the sets for singles.

Despite there being few of those two sets left sealed because of speculators popping them for singles, the other sets are all worth more. Why? Because they appeal more to the EDH and collector crowd and ended up better long term investments, especially in the wake of Flusterstorm and Ooze getting reprints.

When you're hitting up Walmart and someone else got there first and cleaned out all the Grixis decks to go home and sell the True-Name Nemeses...

nemeses
Nemeses is the correct plural form.

 

...maybe you take a second look at what's left on the shelf. You never know which one of those decks will have the better long-term growth potential (I would not have pegged Heavenly Inferno) and you should make like a Pokemon trainer and catch 'em all.

More Than Just Diamonds

Antwerp was also the setting of the largest Modern tournament in ever. Over 1,400 players showed up to play Modern, and I know for sure the Top 8 is going to surprise you.

GP Antwerp Coverage

Only one Jund deck in the Top 8? That's how you know it wasn't an American GP!

The biggest question over the weekend was whether it made sense to buy Living End at $8.50. It is trending down on Amazon, but TCG Player shows an inclination to sell a bit above SCG's current $7. Only damaged and played copies are under $7 on TCG Player, and when TCG Player does go above SCG, that's a good indication the market is going to go up.

However, it likely would have happened by now if it were going to. The spread is 45% which doesn't show a ton of confidence in the card from dealers. If it goes below 30% and someone other than a site that charges the most (ABU) is the highest buylist price, pay attention. Otherwise, I think you sit this one out.

European Grands Prix occasionally cause a spike in interest in strategies that seem fringe on the left side of the Atlantic (Death and Taxes springs to mind) but I don't think there will be a Living End Renaissance. It's cool to see it do well here, though.

One of the two Twin decks in the Top 8 won it, piloted by Patrick Dickmann. There were two Living End decks in the Top 8 as well and the rest of the Top 8 was all singletons--Jund, Affinity, Infect (lol, wut) and Tron.

If Living End does nothing, I don't know that there is a ton of financially-relevant info here. People were worried about Jund needing bans to nerf it, but it seems like Antwerp treated it like just another deck and beat it by playing solid Magic. No talk of banning this weekend, just the largest Modern tournament in History and five archetypes in the Top 8. This format could be closer to Legacy than Standard if we let it.

Lots more Jund and all of the Pod decks outside the Top 8. The Living End deck seems like a regional choice and may have been over-represented at the event. It also may be the rise of a credible deck choice in a sea of unimaginative Jund variants and one, monolithic combo deck. It may be at the right price right now, but expect Living End to trade out four at a time if people get the itch to play it.

That's really all I have to say about Modern, except the conspicuous absence of UWR variants may be regional as well. I see no explanation for Magus of the Moon disappearing from the internet over the weekend, also.

Let's move on to Indianapolis.

SCG Invitational Indianapolis Top 8

Both Legacy and Standard are in here, so let's take Standard first. These decks are listed in order of total finish, so let's take the finishes in either portion with a grain of salt.

Obviously the most important thing to talk about is Bard Narson's deck. This masterpiece seems like a quintessential Brad Nelson deck, so I expect it to get copied.

Using big stuff and control cards plus the crushing advantage offered by Assemble the Legion, you can cast your Anger of the Gods with abandon because all it can kill is their stuff and some of your expendable tokens. This deck seems like an Esper killer, shrugging off Supreme Verdict and offering so much inevitability that you have to take it seriously.

I wrote off Stormbreath Dragon initially because it's just a bad Thundermaw Hellkite and people will only jam it in that same deck slot if they lack imagination. It turns out I was absolutely right about everything, except I screwed up when I assumed any of that would matter. A bad Thundermaw Hellkite is just fine right now, and dodging creatures and removal is even better.

I am glad to see decks running Advent of the Wurm because at the beginning of the season it saw play in loads of decks before petering out. The card is too good not to play right now, and it is good against Esper if applied properly. A Naya deck now means you can run eight temples, so what the temples do now will determine the real price of the Born of the Gods temples at prerelease. I think this kind of deck is what you want in the current meta.

The rest of the Top 8 was Esper, Mono-Blue and Mono-Black, which is no surprise. There isn't a ton of financial implication in a format that is getting stale, which is why you want to be on stuff that could go up. Nelson's deck is full of stuff going up, the others full of cards that are staying the same or going down. Don't expect a casual card like Pack Rat to go down, ever, but Theros cards like Hero's Downfall have nowhere to go but down when redemption hits.

Honestly, the Legacy portion of the Invitational wasn't better. You get a bunch of pros playing the consensus best decks. These events aren't very instructive and only serve to reinforce everyone's preconceptions about the format.

You know what's worse than a Sneak and Show mirror match? Everyone acting like it's exciting. It's not. We watched on camera as Huey had nothing but ways to put creatures into play and Nelson had nothing but creatures. How wacky! Being the best topdecker shouldn't determine who wins the invitational. Sneak and Show is a Tier 1 deck, it's not going away, but it's beatable, can be inconsistent and is boring to play in the mirror. Legacy is still wide open, but you wouldn't know it to check the Invitational.

One thing to consider pertains to the first section of the article. What to do about Baleful Strix? Will its inclusion in the Commander deck everyone is already going to buy bring it down or will demand outstrip supply?

I'm inclined to say the price is going down, and you should smoke 'em if you got 'em (smoke means sell) right now. Shardless BUG is a great deck, but expect price divergence from Shardless Agent, a tougher card to reprint, soon. Sell now and buy in later when they're cheaper, or trade them out. They are hot and hard to find right now.

There was an Open, but like 100 people played in it.

SCG Legacy Open Top 16

Reid won with a Bant Maverick variant, which I obviously thought was cool.

I wish Chris Andersen had done better in his "last" event, but Elves is Elves. Ben Weinberg didn't fare any better but both managed Top 8 at least.

Top 8 is better than the Shardless BUG decks managed.

Pet deck of the week? Not where there are a bunch of spikes gathered. Reanimator is the most unconventional deck choice unless you count Reid Duke's Bant deck.

The pod deck was pretty spicy this week. I liked this build. I like Strix in a pod deck, and that's one more reason why you want to get rid of these now while demand is high.

SCG Open Top 16 Standard

This is a little more like it. There was still a ton of Esper in the Top 16, but more than three decks made it up. B/G Devotion should serve as a blueprint for cards to watch as the two colors didn't hurt the devotion at all.

Ryan %&^*ing Archer came a hair's breadth from taking the event down with Scion of Vitu-Ghazi? I told you people that card had legs! You laughed at Ryan! You laughed at me! Can you imagine how much crow you'd eat if he'd won instead of getting third? You'd be all, "who cares, it was an SCG Open, those results don't matter when I don't like them." Yeah... total ownage.

I think if Esper is the deck to beat, or one of them, this isn't a bad place to be. Populate gives aggro decks fits and Rootborn Defenses is GG because keeping all of your dudes and time-walking against Esper gets there.

In other "people I know" news, my buddy Josh Glantzman drew into 9th, which is literally more tragic than the movie Schindler's List. Not bad for a guy who took some time off. He's back and he's ready to crush it again. We'll be seeing more of him for sure.

I think you can pretty much play what you want right now. I think Mono-Blue and Mono-Black are beatable and anyone calling them the best decks in the format lack vision. People who call Esper the best deck lack originality. Unfortunately, people who want to play anything else lack results.

There was a bit more Magic played this weekend, but you get the idea. I think we know what the new "Jund" decks are, so keep an eye on what's up-and-coming.

I'd watch the G/W list Ryan Archer played for cards that could spike, I'd keep an eye on G/B Devotion, and obviously, everyone is keeping an eye on "Joraga" Bard Narson's Naya control build. Assemble the Legion has implications in so many decks, and running that color combo gives you Chained to the Rocks and a temple. Can't beat that with a lucky topdeck.

That's all for me this week. Join me next time where I'll write a longer article.

96 thoughts on “Jason’s Alticle – A Bit of History Repeating

  1. “In other “people I know” news, my buddy Josh Glantzman drew into 9th, which is literally more tragic than the movie Schindler’s List”

    My friend and local ringer Ben Ragan got 9th in the invitational….. and he’s 14….how’s that for Tragic.

  2. the naya deck seem to have a bad matchup in the esper control matchup game 1… chain and anger are pretty dead game 1? mizzium is ok against the singleton blood baron of esper… but the game one, you have alot of dead cards. the deck seem strong vs the TONS of midrange devotion deck. and ironically vs GRx midrange deck like that! before thinking is the best thing since sliced bread you have to remember who was playing it!!!

    As for financial advice on that deck, not much money to be done here IMO exept maybe a bit on smither, wurm, anger, and may be the scry land. i cant see the PWs goes much higher. Chain is not that played and/or high. Dragon is already superhigh.

    with scion being played, it might get to 1-2$… let’s see 😛

    i like your take on JAOT. the funny thing right now is people UNLOADING them right now. the dual deck goes out only in spring 2014!! i think the card can rebound before Christmas and the release of the dual deck.

    people on twitter were all crying for ban-hammer for Show and Tell… do you think its possible in a future if we see other top 8 like that? should we unload the few extra we have right now?

    1. Legacy isn’t Modern. Wizards isn’t going to ban a card just because it does well consistently. It has to be oppressive and actually harm the format’s diversity, like Mental Misstep or Survival of the Fittest did. As much as I hate Show & Tell (I prefer to pay the full 15 for Emrakul and get my free Time Walk, thank you very much), it’s not warping the format (yet). Give it a few more cards like Omniscience and we can talk banhammer…

      1. I couldn’t agree more. WoTC is smart enough to leave Legacy alone until the format actually develops an oppressive deck that stifles most other decks. Show and Tell is a really good deck that can just accidently win..it can also durdle about doing nothing and just lose…

    2. Show and Tell is just another deck in Legacy. The fact that the deck has been around as long as Emrakul has been around but we didn\’t see a mirror match in the finals until now means it\’s not that oppressive. There are plenty of other Legacy decks being played and S&T is beatable. The fact that it was Pros playing those decks matters as much as the deck choice does in the Top 8.

  3. I’m actually very surprised that the Naya control deck has any chance against Esper. It plays 12 dead cards against Esper, no card draw and 26 lands, meaning even a slight mana flood would end it. Imagine drawing four lands, Chained to the Rocks, Assemble the Legion and Elspeth (or Smiter or Dragon or something)! It’s a pretty average draw for the deck that is horrible against Esper control. The deck, with the amount of removal however, crushes any aggro or devotion decks, so I could only imagine that’s how it made the Top 8, and perhaps it lucked out in the finals.

  4. Man what do I have to do to get people to notice Scion of Vitu Ghazi. For the record I had at least five people tell me my deck was awesome and that they were going to build it. Thanks for the shout out as always.

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  49. “So we think we’re coming to a decision point here in the not very? distant future to make final decisions about those modifications, which we are going to start putting on the tank that will fly early next year,” he said. “So the question is, are we missing something, is there something in a requirement which we are not thinking about that says that we should stay with the lighted launch requirement?

  50. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 10, 2007Concern about possible re-entry heat damage to the underlying structure of the shuttle Atlantis’ left-side maneuvering rocket pod under a pulled-up insulation blanket may prompt a simple spacewalk repair job, the chairman of NASA’s Mission Management Team said today. This view of the blanket was taken by the shuttle inspection boom. Credit: NASAThe front edge of the blanket in question apparently pulled away from adjacent heat-shield tiles by the swift flow of air passing over it during the early stages of launch Friday.John Shannon told reporters that engineers studying the protruding triangular 4-inch by 6-inch blanket are concerned about the possible effects of re-entry heating on the graphite epoxy honeycomb structure of the shuttle’s left Orbital Maneuvering System pod.Shuttles have safely returned to Earth on several occasions with broken or lost tiles and lost blankets on the OMS pods. But in some cases, the underlying structure was damaged and required repairs.”We have actually damaged that on several of those flights where you had some heat effects,” Shannon said. “When we talked to the engineering guys and the structural team, they were a little bit uncomfortable today. And the reason they were uncomfortable was because if you get down to that honeycomb, that structural area, you’re losing some margin, you’re not exactly in the flight parameters you expect to go fly.”He said it was difficult to accurately predict what sort of damage might occur because engineers cannot tell how much underlying insulation might have pulled away with the blanket.”Because we do not want to damage flight hardware, we sent off a (team of engineers) to work with the EVA, the spacewalk team, to go assess some options. The simplest is we would just tuck that blanket back down and fill that cavity back up. And they’re talking about different ways to maybe secure it.”We did not judge what the right answer was, we’re going to let that spacewalk team go off and assess that and they’ll come back to me tomorrow and lay out options, pros and cons, and then we’ll decide A) if we want to do anything with this blanket and then if we do want to do something, what is the right course of action.” This graphic shows previous shuttle flights with OMS pod damage. Credit: NASADuring the region of peak heating, the upper surfaces of the OMS pods experience 700 to 1,000 degree Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. During that period, the shuttle is at such high altitudes that very little aerodynamic pressure is present.”You have the heating of the vehicle in this area that goes up and is significant for 15- to 20-minute period of time but you really don’t have any aerodynamic loads on it at that time, it’s very, very low dynamic pressure on that blanket area,” Shannon said. “So after you get through the high heating area, then you start to pick up aerodynamic loads.”What does that mean to you? Well, what it means is whatever condition you start re-entry in with that cavity, or that blanket, it’s going to pretty much stay in that configuration throughout the high-heating time frame. Then it might change, it might pull up more, whatever, in a time when you don’t really care very much.”Shannon said he was not leaning one way or the other toward ordering a repair, saying “tomorrow I’ll have a better idea of what the different options are.”But a few minutes later he said, “I think after seeing the effect on the graphite epoxy honeycomb on some (past flights) I’m leaning may be a little bit toward doing it, but we have to hear what the options are.”Because engineers don’t know exactly what sort of heat damage to expect, “I would just like to kind of avoid that whole scenario altogether and tuck that blanket back down. And I’m expecting the team to come in and give me some ideas of how to do that and then we’ll see where it fits in the timeline. If we can accommodate it, I think that’s probably what we’ll do.”The Atlantis astronauts plan spacewalks Monday, Wednesday and Friday to activate and configure a new solar array and to carry out a variety of other tasks. If a repair job is added, it likely would occur during the third spacewalk, after the high-priority work to complete the activation of the new solar arrays.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION VIDEO:ATLANTIS DOCKS WITH THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:WATCH THE RENDEZVOUS BACKFLIP MANUEVER VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SATURDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: VIEW FROM COMPLEX 41 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: THE VAB ROOF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: THE PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA AT THE BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH OF ATLANTIS! VIDEO:FULL LENGTH MOVIE OF ASCENT TO ORBIT VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ONBOARD VIDEO CAMERA VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR THE PAD VIDEO:PAD’S ROTATING SERVICE STRUCTURE RETRACTED VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS FROM ATLANTIS’ LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAYLOAD’S LAUNCH CAMPAIGN MORE:Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Shuttle Atlantis arrives back home after cross-country ferry flight tripSpace shuttle Atlantis returned home to the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, completing a two-day coast-to-coast piggyback ride atop a modified Boeing 747 ferrying jet that included rare stops in America’s heartland.The smooth touchdown on Runway 15 came at 8:27 a.m. EDT (1227 GMT), delivering Atlantis back to its homeport 25 days after blasting off with seven astronauts and a 36,000-pound power-generating module for the International Space Station.Photo credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight Now Photo credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight NowAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:CROSS-COUNTRY FLIGHT ENDS WITH FLORIDA LANDING VIDEO:ATLANTIS’ FERRY FLIGHT TAKES OFF SUNDAY MORNING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CARRIER AIRCRAFT ROLLS TO THE RUNWAY VIDEO:LANDING AT EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE VIDEO:LANDING REPLAY: SHUTTLE ONBOARD CAMERA VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 12 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 11 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:LAUNCH OF ATLANTIS! VIDEO:FULL LENGTH MOVIE OF ASCENT TO ORBIT VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ONBOARD VIDEO CAMERA VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER ONBOARD LAUNCH CAMERAS MORE: | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Shuttle Atlantis fuel tank damaged by hail impacts Posted: February 27, 2007 Credit: NASA-KSCDownload larger image version Credit: NASA-KSCDownload larger image version Credit: NASA-KSCDownload larger image version Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Shuttle Atlantis rolls off launch pad for repairs SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: March 4, 2007Battered by an intense hail storm six days earlier, space shuttle Atlantis retreated off launch pad 39A and returned to the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building on Sunday to undergo thorough inspections and repairs. Atlantis rolls back from pad 39A. Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowPerched atop a mobile launching platform, the shuttle was hauled three-and-a-half miles back to the 52-story building by an Apollo-era transporter. The trip began at 8:47 a.m. and was considered complete at 5:49 p.m. EST when the platform was placed on pedestals in the VAB.Crews immediately began work to place access platforms around the shuttle for an upclose examination of the hail strikes. The methods for fixing the pitted insulating foam on the external fuel tank and the time needed to carry out such work will be determined in the coming days.A severe storm swept over pad 39A around 5 p.m. Monday and dropped hail the size of golf balls, causing thousands of chips and divots in the orange foam covering the tank.The heatshield on the orbiter’s left wing also experienced wind-blown hail impacts. Initial examinations at the pad revealed more than two dozen of the ship’s black tiles sustained surface damage.”This constitutes, in our evaluation, the worst damage that we have ever seen from hail on the external tank foam,” said Wayne Hale, the shuttle program manager. “We have had hail a number of times in the past, hail is not unusual in Florida. … But usually the hail is quite small and rarely causes damage. “This was large, wind-driven, damaging hail. It is very clear a number of these areas need to be repaired.”The lack of adequate access to the widespread damage at the launch pad meant NASA had no choice but return the shuttle to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Atlantis heads into the VAB. Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowAtlantis had been slated for launch just before sunrise March 15 to deliver and install a 17.5-ton power truss module at the International Space Station. But the trip back to the VAB will cause the shuttle to miss its window to fly before previously-scheduled Russian Soyuz spacecraft traffic at the station.A Russian Soyuz capsule with the Expedition 15 long-duration resident crew is scheduled for blastoff from Kazakhstan on April 7. The outgoing Expedition 14 crew returns to Earth aboard its Soyuz on April 19. Since station controllers require at least a few days between the departure of one craft and the arrival of the next, Atlantis won’t launch before late April. An official target launch date has not been established.Rollbacks have been relatively rare occurrences over the life of the shuttle program. NASA said that Sunday’s move was the 18th since 1983, with the majority caused by technical problems. A handful were prompted due to the threat of tropical weather and hurricanes.Two previous rollbacks were required to repair external tank foam. Woodpeckers drilled nearly 200 holes on the tank for shuttle Discovery’s STS-70 mission in 1995 and hail caused damage before Discovery’s STS-96 flight in 1999.A complete list of rollbacks is available .Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE MOVIE FROM SUNDAY’S ROLLBACK VIDEO:NASA BRIEFING ON LAUNCH DELAY AND ROLLBACK PLANS John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Shuttle blanket repair work goes smoothly BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  51. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: December 18, 2006Astronauts Robert Curbeam and Christer Fuglesang, Sweden’s first man in space, are preparing for a fourth spacewalk today to help coax a recalcitrant solar array to fully retract. The astronauts are running a few minutes ahead of schedule and the spacewalk, the 77th devoted to station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998, is expected to begin around 2 p.m.This will be Curbeam’s fourth spacewalk during this mission – a space shuttle record – and his seventh overall. He currently ranks 13th on the list of most experienced spacewalkers with 38 hours and 56 minutes of EVA time.”This is the first time that one crew member has been asked to do four spaceswalks in one (shuttle) mission,” said lead EVA planner Tricia Mack at the Johnson Space Center. “And really, if anyone can do it, it’s Beamer. He is rock solid. … he’s calm under pressure, he is just a machine, he is an EVA machine. He does everything right, he says all the steps and he can do other people’s tasks, he works quickly and effectively, he reacts well to change.”Curbeam, call sign EV-1, will be wearing a suit with red stripes around the legs. Fuglesang, call sign EV-2, will wear an unmarked suit. Here is a timeline of today’s activity (in EST and mission elapsed time; includes items from rev. F of the NASA TV schedule):EST……..DD…HH…MM…EVENT09:17 AM…08…12…30…STS crew wakeup09:47 AM…08…13…00…ISS crew wakeup09:52 AM…08…13…05…EVA-4: 14.7 airlock repress10:12 AM…08…13…25…EVA-4: Hygiene break10:37 AM…08…13…50…EVA-4: 10.2 airlock depress11:02 AM…08…14…15…EVA-4: Campout preps12:32 PM…08…15…45…EVA-4: Spacesuit purge12:47 PM…08…16…00…EVA-4: Spacesuit oxygen pre-breathe01:37 PM…08…16…50…EVA-4: Airlock depress02:12 PM…08…17…25…EVA-4: Spacesuits to battery power02:17 PM…08…17…30…EVA-4: Airlock egress02:42 PM…08…18…00…EVA-4: P6-4B troubleshooting/retraction05:42 PM…08…21…30…EVA-4: Payload bay cleanup06:12 PM…08…23…25…EVA-4: Airlock ingress06:37 PM…08…23…50…EVA-4: Airlock repress08:47 PM…09…00…00…Rendezvous tools checkout10:30 PM…09…01…43…Mission status briefing on NASA TV12:47 AM…09…04…00…STS/ISS crew sleep begins01:00 AM…09…04…13…Daily video highlights reel on NASA TV08:47 AM…09…12…00…STS crew wakeupThe P6 solar array, made up of two wings known as 2B and 4B, was attached to the station six years ago to provide interim power during the initial stages of assembly. Construction has now reached the point where the arrays need to be moved to the station’s main solar array truss and wired into the lab’s permanent power system.To do that, the two wings are being folded up one at a time, with 4B scheduled for retraction during Discovery’s mission and the still fully extended 2B wing during a shuttle mission next March. In September, another crew plans to move the stowed arrays to the left end of the main truss and re-extend both wings.The Discovery astronauts attempted to retract the 4B wing on Wednesday but they were only able to pull it in about half way. Several of the slats in the folding blankets, held in alignment by guide wires similar to the cords in pleated blinds, failed to fold evenly, stopping the process in its tracks. Repeated attempts to free a presumably jammed grommet and guide wire were unsuccessful.On Saturday, during a spacewalk by Curbeam and Sunita “Suni” Williams to finish the Discovery crew’s goal of re-wiring the space station, NASA’s Mission Management Team approved a fourth spacewalk to help get the P6-4B wing retracted. Curbeam and Williams, meanwhile, finished their electrical work early and ventured up to the stalled array for an up-close inspection.The spacewalkers then repeatedly shook the solar array storage box, setting up ripples in the hinged slats of the solar cell blankets, freeing up stuck grommets and permitting their crewmates inside to retract the central mast an additional six bays. But they eventually ran out of time and had to call it a day, leaving 11 of the mast’s 31 open-framework bays still extended.For today’s spacewalk, Curbeam and Fuglesang will be equipped with a variety of tools, all insulated with non-conducting tape, to free grommets and guide wires as needed. The solar array will be shunted to lower its electrical potential. In addition, Curbeam will work from the end of the station’s robot arm, allowing him to access possible trouble spots that otherwise might be beyond his reach.NASA has budgeted three hours for the repair work, but the spacewalk can be extended several hours if necessary.Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:WIDESCREEN VIEW FROM PLAYALINDA BEACH TRACKER VIDEO:DISCOVERY’S LAUNCH THROUGH FUEL TANK SEPARATION VIDEO:SHORT CLIP OF DISCOVERY BLASTING OFF VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR PAD VIDEO:CREW FINISHES DONNING SPACESUITS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS IN DINING ROOM VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF PAD GANTRY ROLLBACK VIDEO:LONGER LENGTH MOVIE OF THE SCRUB VIDEO:SCRUB CALLED DUE TO LOW CLOUDS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR PAD VIDEO:CREW FINISHES DONNING SPACESUITS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS IN DINING ROOM THURSDAY VIDEO:PAD’S ROTATING SERVICE STRUCTURE ROLLED BACK VIDEO:POST-ARRIVAL COMMENTS FROM THE CREW VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE IN WAVE OF T-38 JETS VIDEO:BIOGRAPHIES OF THE DISCOVERY ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:NARRATED STS-116 MISSION PREVIEW MOVIE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY’S SHUTTLE BRIEFING IN ITS ENTIRETY BRIEFING SOUNDBITES:VIDEO:THE ISSUES DISCUSSED AT FRR VIDEO:NOT YOUR FATHER’S FRR VIDEO:READY TO RESUME NIGHT LAUNCHES VIDEO:LAUNCH PREPS PROCEEDING WELL VIDEO:YEAR-END ROLLOVER CONCERNS VIDEO:REASSESSING TANK FOAM RISK VIDEO:STATION SOLAR ARRAY DRIVE SYSTEM PROBLEM VIDEO:PRESSURIZATION PRECAUTIONS AT THE PAD VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF STS-116 MISSION VIDEO:SHUTTLE/ISS PROGRAM PERSPECTIVE VIDEO:PREVIEW OF MISSION’S SPACEWALKS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS’ PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:COVERAGE OF PRACTICE COUNTDOWN ACTIVITIES VIDEO:DISCOVERY ROLLS TO THE PAD VIDEO:DISCOVERY MATED TO TANK AND BOOSTERS VIDEO:SHUTTLE HOISTED VERTICALLY INSIDE VAB VIDEO:DISCOVERY HAULED FROM HANGAR TO VAB VIDEO:PORT 5 TRUSS PAYLOAD PACKED UP VIDEO:CREW VISITS KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VIDEO:EXTERNAL FUEL TANK MATED TO BOOSTERS MORE: Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Crew set for spacewalk to install truss segment BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  52. Synoptic Discussion: “Currently, the Bermuda high pressure ridge is located over the Florida Straits resulting in southwesterly flow over Central Florida. This pattern causes afternoon thunderstorms to migrate toward the east coast of Florida; therefore, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) will continue to have afternoon thunderstorms for the next two days. By launch day, the ridge will migrate to the north, causing easterly flow to set in over Central Florida. Morning coastal showers will affect KSC, and afternoon thunderstorms will migrate inland. Still, trough of low pressure over Central Florida could enhance offshore showers and thunderstorms, and upper-level winds from the east may cause anvils from thunderstorms offshore over the Gulf Stream to advect west toward the coast.”Our primary concerns for launch are anvil clouds from thunderstorms offshore and showers and thunderstorms within 20NM of the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF).”

  53. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 20, 2007Keeping tabs on threatening weather, the Atlantis astronauts faced a busy day in space today, packing up equipment, setting up a recumbent seat for returning space station flier Sunita Williams and testing the shuttle’s control systems to make sure they’re ready for re-entry and landing Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center.Commander Rick Sturckow and pilot Lee Archambault also plan to get in a bit of practice with a laptop computer flight simulator to rehearse landing procedures. A final round of media interviews is scheduled for 3:03 p.m. and the shuttle’s KU-band antenna will be stowed for entry at 6:58 p.m., ending routine television from the orbiter.Deorbit ignition is planned for 12:50 p.m. Thursday with landing on tap at 1:55 p.m.There are no technical problems with the space shuttle and the only question mark is the weather. As of late Tuesday, the KSC forecast called for scattered clouds at 3,000 feet, a broken deck at 5,000 feet, overcast at 12,000 feet, winds gusting to 13 knots from 210 degrees and thunderstorms within 30 nautical miles. The low ceilings and lightning activity both violate NASA’s landing flight rules.At Edwards Air Force Base in California, the outlook is favorable for the first of two Thursday opportunities, but high winds are expected to build up as the day wears on. At White Sands, N.M., forecasters are expecting a slight chance of thunderstorms within 30 nautical miles.The outlook in Florida remains questionable Friday and into the weekend. An updated forecast will be available later today and entry flight director Norm Knight plans to brief reporters on his entry strategy during a 5 p.m. news conference.In the meantime, here is an updated schedule of today’s activities (in EDT and mission elapsed time; includes rev. P of the NASA television schedule:DAY,..EDT……..DD…HH…MM…EVENT06/20/07Wed…09:08 AM…11…13…30…Cabin stowWed…09:58 AM…11…14…20…Flight control system checkoutWed…11:08 AM…11…15…30…Reaction control system hotfireWed…11:33 AM…11…15…55…PILOT landing practiceWed…12:00 PM…11…16…22…NASA Video File on NTVWed…12:28 PM…11…16…50…Deorbit reviewWed…01:03 PM…11…17…25…Crew mealWed…02:03 PM…11…18…25…Cabin stow resumesWed…02:03 PM…11…18…25…Entry video setupWed…02:43 PM…11…19…05…L-1 communications checkWed…03:03 PM…11…19…25…Media interviewsWed…04:23 PM…11…20…45…Launch-entry suit checkoutWed…05:00 PM…11…21…22…Mission status briefing on NTVWed…05:53 PM…11…22…15…Wing leading edge sensor system deactivationWed…06:43 PM…11…23…05…Laptop computer stow (part 1)Wed…06:58 PM…11…23…20…KU-band antenna stowWed…07:08 PM…11…23…30…Ergometer stowWed…07:38 PM…12…00…00…Recumbent seat setup (for Williams)Wed…09:38 PM…12…02…00…Crew sleep beginsWed…10:00 PM…12…02…22…Daily video highlights reel on NTV06/21/07Thu…05:38 AM…12…10…00…Crew wakeupThu…07:53 AM…12…12…15…Group B computer powerupThu…08:08 AM…12…12…30…IMU alignmentThu…08:33 AM…12…12…55…Laptop computer stow (part 2)Thu…08:38 AM…12…13…00…GIRA stow, PGSC stowThu…08:53 AM…12…13…15…Deorbit prep timeline beginsThu…12:50 PM…12…17…12…Deorbit ignition (orbit 202)Thu…01:41 PM…12…18…03…C-band radar acquisitionThu…01:55 PM…12…18…17…KSC LandingShould landing be delayed by the weather or any technical issues, Atlantis has enough fuel, air, water, electrical power and other supplies to remain in orbit until Sunday in a worst-case scenario. Friday and Saturday are available as weather waveoff days while Sunday would be held in reserve in case of technical problems. Here is a list of landing opportunities through Saturday (in EDT; times may change by a few minutes depending on orbit analysis updates):BACKUP LANDING OPPORTUNITIESDAY,..EDT……..DD…HH…MM…EVENT06/21/07Thu…02:28 PM…12…18…50…KSC: Deorbit on rev 203Thu…03:29 PM…12…19…51…KSC: LandingThu…03:57 PM…12…20…19…EDW: Deorbit on rev 204Thu…04:59 PM…12…21…21…EDW: LandingThu…05:33 PM…12…21…55…EDW: Deorbit on rev 205Thu…06:34 PM…12…22…56…EDW: Landing06/22/07Fri…01:13 PM…13…17…35…KSC: Deorbit on rev 218Fri…02:15 PM…13…18…37…KSC: LandingFri…02:49 PM…13…19…11…KSC: Deorbit on rev 219Fri…03:50 PM…13…20…12…KSC: LandingFri…04:18 PM…13…20…40…EDW: Deorbit on rev 220Fri…05:20 PM…13…21…42…EDW: LandingFri…05:54 PM…13…22…16…EDW: Deorbit on rev 221Fri…06:55 PM…13…23…17…EDW: Landing06/23/07Sat…11:58 AM…14…16…20…KSC: Deorbit on rev 233Sat…01:00 PM…14…17…22…KSC: LandingSat…01:30 PM…14…17…52…NOR: Deorbit on rev. 234Sat…02:32 PM…14…18…54…NOR: LandingSat…01:34 PM…14…17…56…KSC: Deorbit on rev 234Sat…02:35 PM…14…18…57…KSC: LandingSat…03:03 PM…14…19…25…EDW: Deorbit on rev 235Sat…04:05 PM…14…20…27…EDW: LandingSat…03:05 PM…14…19…27…NOR: Deorbit on rev 235Sat…04:07 PM…14…20…29…NOR: LandingSat…04:39 PM…14…21…01…EDW: Deorbit on rev 236Sat…05:40 PM…14…22…02…EDW: LandingSat…04:41 PM…14…21…03…NOR: Deorbit on rev 236Sat…05:42 PM…14…22…04…NOR: LandingAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:UNIQUE VIEW OF STATION OVER TAIL OF ATLANTIS VIDEO:ATLANTIS AS SEEN FROM STATION DURING FLYAROUND VIDEO:FOOTAGE OF THE STATION DURING SHUTTLE FLYAROUND VIDEO:SPACECRAFT FLY INTO SUNRISE DURING SEPARATION VIDEO:STATION’S VIEW OF SHUTTLE ATLANTIS UNDOCKING VIDEO:HATCHES CLOSED BETWEEN SHUTTLE AND STATION VIDEO:SUNI WILLIAMS’ TEARFUL FAREWELL MESSAGE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 11 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:MONDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:TWO CREWS’ FAREWELL CEREMONY VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:POST-SPACEWALK STATUS UPDATE VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH LEAD EVA OFFICER VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:IN-FLIGHT CREW NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:SATURDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FRIDAY NIGHT MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FRIDAY MID-DAY COMPUTER UPDATE VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER ONBOARD LAUNCH CAMERAS VIDEO:SECOND SOLAR WING FULLY DEPLOYED VIDEO:SECOND SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING FULLY DEPLOYED VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:POST-SPACEWALK STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:BRIEFING ON MISSION EXTENSION PLANS VIDEO:SPACEWALK No. 1 BEGINS VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF THE SPACEWALKS VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SUNDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION VIDEO:ATLANTIS DOCKS WITH THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:WATCH THE RENDEZVOUS BACKFLIP MANUEVER VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SATURDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: VIEW FROM COMPLEX 41 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: THE VAB ROOF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: THE PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA AT THE BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH OF ATLANTIS! VIDEO:FULL LENGTH MOVIE OF ASCENT TO ORBIT VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ONBOARD VIDEO CAMERA VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR THE PAD VIDEO:PAD’S ROTATING SERVICE STRUCTURE RETRACTED VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS FROM ATLANTIS’ LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAYLOAD’S LAUNCH CAMPAIGN MORE:STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Astronauts prepare for fourth and final spacewalk BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  54. In the wake of the 2003 Columbia disaster, NASA managers said the first two return-to-flight missions would be launched in daylight to ensure good photo documentation of the heat shield and external tank insulation. After a large piece of foam insulation fell off the shuttle Discovery’s tank during the first post-Columbia mission, Hale extended the daylight launch requirement to one additional mission – STS-115 aboard Atlantis.

  55. In an email to congressional investigators dated Oct. 1, Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom said he sent similar lists of security incidents to superiors as a “significant part of (diplomatic post’s) and my argument for maintaining” Diplomatic Security and Defense Department assets in Libya through October because the Libyan government “was overwhelmed and could not guarantee our protection.”

  56. The Sequoia was named the world’s fastest by , who do rankings of the fastest computers on Earth every six months.WASHINGTON The White House, under political pressure to respond forcefully to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, is readying strike forces and drones but first has to find a target.

  57. John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.”For people who do not smoke, excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity may be among the most important risk factors for cancer.”

  58. In a conference call this afternoon, the Obama administration’s Ben Rhodes told reporters that “they’re not going to finalize that decision” in this discussion, but rather attempt to “reach a common understanding of how we can achieve” mutual objectives for the post-2014 relationship. Then, he says, negotiators in Washington “will be able to take that guidance and be able to finalize an agreement.”

  59. Abdulmutallab had spoken freely to the FBI about his wish to commit martyrdom for his Islamic faith.CHICAGO United Airlines is making it a little harder to get a higher frequent-flier status.

  60. Maldonado’s arrest has prompted outrage in the U.S. among politicians and her family members, who say she was framed when her bus was stopped at a military checkpoint last week and authorities found nearly 12 pounds of marijuana under her seat.

  61. Kirsch, who serves as co-director of the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at Hopkins, has consulted on disaster-related health issues for the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the American Red Cross. He has responded to disasters ranging from superstorm Sandy to recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Mexico and New Zealand.

  62. As a performer, he has toured 30 countries around the world and made more than 70 recordings — including three Gold Records. These recordings feature his trademark swinging style and inclusive approach to jazz. A passionate admirer of classical music, Marsalis has also recorded a number of classical works as a trumpet soloist and has performed with a variety of orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and London’s Royal Philharmonic.

  63. Schieffer spilled coffee on Shriver on-air. Check out the clip above to see the memorable moment in all its embarrassing glory!Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill has sold more than 26 million albums, won 20 Grammys and 18 CMA Awards. He’s back at his craft again with more tunes that will pull at your heartstrings, and yet surprise longtime fans with some powerful and unexpected guitar riffs – a new side of Gill that he and fellow musicians are embracing.

  64. The White House is “aiming for a small pop, a flash in the pan, so as to be able to say, ‘Hey, we’re doing something about it,”‘ said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rudy Attalah, the former Africa counterterrorism director for Defense Department under President George W. Bush.

  65. With that, I hope you’re having a great first day of summer, have a spectacular upcoming weekend, andOmari is a 25-year-old rebel from Maidan Wardak. He claimed insecurity in Company was being fueled by figures loyal to Abdul Rabb Rasul Sayyaf, a powerful lawmaker and key former Northern Alliance member who is one of Afghanistan’s most notorious warlords.

  66. West Nile virus usually occurs in North America from the summer through the fall, according to the CDC. It spreads mostly through infected mosquitoes (which become infected from feeding off birds) but in rare cases can spread through transfusions, transplants, breastfeeding and during pregnancy from mother through baby.

  67. Watch Major Garrett’s full analysis in the video above.The $1.2 trillion sequester cuts, which were initially set to kick in on Jan. 1, emerged out of Congress’ 2011 budget negotiations. Congress agreed that if a congressional “supercommittee” couldn’t come up with an acceptable deficit reduction plan, Congress would just slash $1.2 trillion from the budget over 10 years — half coming from defense spending and half from non-defense. Nearly everyone in Washington agrees that indiscriminately slashing $1.2 trillion would damage the economy, but lawmakers can’t agree on a deficit reduction package with which to replace the cuts.

  68. Its function is to convert fat stored in the mother’s fat cells into
    energy for the growing fetus. Most do not experience hunger, fatigue, headaches, dizziness
    and weakness although there are a relative few that
    do. And, as the fat cells melt away and are flushed out of the system, your body becomes more taut and sculpted.
    It requires that the individual take an injection of 125 IU (International Units) of h – CG daily (except during
    menstruation) until 23 injections have been given. Pregnancy is the only time
    HCG is found in the body.

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