Category Archives: February

By @ 02/01/11 in February

0-0_USPS00STA005LFebruary 1, 2003

Just seventeen years after the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, NASA faced another devastating destruction when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart after reentering the earth’s atmosphere in February of 2003.  Launched on January 16th after a two-year delay, the Columbia suffered a damaged wing from its take-off when a piece of foam insulation broke off the shuttle’s propellant tank and crashed into the left wing.  Unsure of what could be done, NASA allowed the mission to continue in space and closely monitored the ship’s reentry back onto Earth two weeks later.  During the return, however, with many heat tiles missing or damaged, the shuttle began breaking apart early in the morning over California, and all seven crew members aboard were killed.  That day, American fags flew half-staff as President George Bush addressed the nation.  It would be another two and a half years before NASA put another space shuttle (the Discovery) in flight. The Space Shuttle Program formally ended on August 31, 2011.

Why do you think space travel is so dangerous?  What do you think are some of NASA’s top priorities before they launch space shuttles?  How do you think America honors victims of disasters like the Columbia disintegration?



By @ 02/01/11 in February

supremecourtFebruary 1, 1790

Article 3 of the US Constitution calls for a Supreme Court, or a body of judges that would have ultimate authority over American laws.  Supreme Court judges rule on high-profile cases, and have the power to change laws based on their interpretation of the Constitution and what they believe is ethical (for example, see Brown vs. Board of Education).  The Judiciary Act of 1798 called for six judges who would serve on the Court for life – a precedent that is still observed today (though now, nine judges serve the Supreme Court).  Setting further standards, President George Washington personally appointed the judges, with John Jay serving as Chief Justice, and had them all approved by the Senate.  Their first session was held at the Royal Exchange Building on Broad Street in New York, but in a few years the Court moved down to the new capital with the rest of the US government.  In time, the Supreme Court became the mot powerful judiciary body in the world, particularly because of its central role in lawmaking, unquestionable authority, and power to resolve the most important issues of the time. 

Why do we need a Supreme Court?