by Edwina Rogers
New Horizons will continue traveling out into the Kuiper Belt, a region scientists think is filled with thousands of other small, icy worlds. Scientists say the probe will continue sending back data about Pluto for several months. ┬áNew Horizons was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Jan. 19, 2006, and traveled more than 3 billion miles to reach Pluto. It’s the first mission to Pluto and its five moons.
The mission completes what NASA calls its initial reconnaissance of the classical solar system: The space agency has now sent probes to Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
Critical Thinking And Education┬á- ┬áOver the past several weeks the the SPI has contacted every senate office with a research paper and amendment request for SPI member organization Foundation For Critical Thinking. ┬áWe are seeking language that makes it more clear that professional development funds to states can also be used for training teachers in critical thinking.
Faith-Based Charities Want To Expand Discrimination With Taxpayer Funds┬á- SPI and other organizations through Americans United are signing a letter to the Obama Administration to review and repeal the Bush-era OLC memo that asserts that┬áthe┬áReligious┬áFreedom┬áRestoration┬áAct (RFRA)┬áprovides a blanket override of statutory┬áprohibitions on┬áhiring discrimination. ┬áThe Obama Administration┬árecently cited this memo┬áto allow┬áreligiously affiliated┬áVAWA┬ágrantees┬áto ignore VAWAÔÇÖs ban on religious hiring discrimination┬áin its funded programs. ┬áAnd the┬áNational Association of Evangelicals, U.S. Conference of┬áCatholic Bishops, and others are seeking to extend the memoÔÇÖs reach and have just┬ácited┬áit┬áto claim that they can refuse to perform services required by a federal grant┬áor contract┬áif they have religious objections. For more information about faith-based abuse, please read this comprehensive report by SPI.