American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
November 16th, 2009
11:33 AM ET

Water found on the moon

After the Apollo missions took man to the face of the moon, we came back with a few conclusions. One conclusion in particular is that it's pretty dry up there.

Recently NASA said it's found significant amounts of water on the moon, calling it a new chapter that could lead to a lunar space station. Jim Garvin, the chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center spoke with John Roberts on CNN's American Morning.

Filed under: Science
November 16th, 2009
10:24 AM ET

Taking a stand by sitting down

Jay Phillips is a 10-year-old boy from Arkansas who is taking a stand, by sitting down. Phillips is refusing to pledge allegiance to the flag in his fifth grade classroom until he says gays and lesbians have equal rights. John Roberts spoke to Phillips on CNN's American Morning Monday.

Filed under: Controversy • Gay Rights
November 16th, 2009
09:44 AM ET

Arctic explorer arrives in Antarctica

Editor’s note: Arctic explorer Eric Larsen is trying to make it to the North and South Poles and the summit of Mount Everest in 365 days as part of an effort to raise awareness about climate change. Larsen joined us on American Morning before he set out on his Save the Poles expedition. Below is an excerpt from his online journal.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The plane Larsen flew in to Antarctica. Courtesy: Eric Larsen, Save the Poles."]

By Eric Larsen

None of us could believe our luck at the warm (relatively) weather and blue skies. So perfect were the conditions that we were more worried about sunburn than frostbite.

Antarctica! The place where my dreams have lived for so long. From our small temporary outpost nestled close to the Patriot Hills themselves all I can see is ice and sky. To feel important here is to simply ignore the vastness and grandure of this place. This is truly one of the last great frozen places left on the planet.

Being here now, I realize, I must double my efforts. This snowscape is so delicate. No longer immutable to change Antarctica, faces a dire fate unless we act now to reduce carbon emissions.

My fate is equally tied to this place for the next two months. What will I learn? How will I change? Right now there is still too much work to do before flying to our starting point at Hercules Inlet to be philosophical. TIA – this is Antarctica.

Read more

Filed under: Environment • Eric Larsen
November 16th, 2009
05:50 AM ET

Militias: Patriots or Extremists?

By Jim Acosta

Out in the woods, 30-minutes from the nearest city, the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia meets for training once a month.

Armed with a small arsenal of semi-automatic weapons, the question that crosses your mind at one of these exercises is: training for what?

That depends on who you ask.

Our visit with the militia is the first installment of our three part series on something called "the Patriot movement."

The members of the militia in Michigan would certainly call themselves patriots. The folks at the civil rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center prefers to use the word "extremists."

Critics of the modern-day militia point out how some of the members of this movement are highly secretive. For example, we contacted nearly a dozen militias for permission to observe their exercises. The militia in Michigan is the only one that said yes.

Watch: Patriots or Extremists? Video

Still, some of its members would not give us their names. Others wore masks.

Then there are the members' constant fears the Obama administration will eventually take away their gun rights.

Another member told us he thinks the president could be "dangerous for the nation."

In nearly the same breath that member said he hopes the militia's training exercises would give some in Washington "pause."

Not to worry, says the group's leader Lee Miracle. A military veteran and postal worker, yes postal worker, Miracle says he urges respect for the president.

He's out to change the way the world views militia groups. We get an up-close look at his family in part two of our series. A family Miracle refers to as "Lee and Kate plus eight plus a gun rack." That's because they have eight kids and 22 guns in the house. And the kids take part in militia day.

In part three of our series, we go to Las Vegas to go behind the scenes with an organization called "Oathkeepers." It's a group of ex-law enforcement officials and military veterans who say they've sworn an oath to the Constitution, not the president. The president they're referring to, of course, is Mr. Obama.

Share your thoughts with us here at amFIX.

Filed under: Controversy • Patriots or Extremists
November 16th, 2009
01:59 AM ET

Counting Down Cady: Meet Cady, astronaut mom

Catherine "Cady" Coleman, Ph.D. is a NASA astronaut – a veteran of two space missions, who has logged over 500 hours in space. She is assigned to the Expedition 26 crew and is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz 25 in late 2010. Below is a blog written by Cady exclusively for CNN via NASA's Astronaut Office.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="NASA astronaut "Cady" Coleman has logged over 500 hours in space."]

By Cady Coleman
Special to CNN

Here’s how I look at it: The space program belongs to all of us – I just happen to be one of the lucky ones who will be sitting on top of the rocket when it launches! My name is Cady Coleman. I’ve flown twice on the space shuttle, but over the next year or so, I’ll be getting ready for a 6 month mission aboard the International Space Station. I'd like to invite you to come along with me as I get ready to launch to the ISS – on a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan in late 2010!

I think that an important part of a space mission is to share it with people around the world, and that includes sharing the training that leads up to the mission. It is easy to think that astronauts just wake up one day, throw on a space suit, climb into the nearest rocket and launch off into space. I’d like for you to understand some of the nuts and bolts of what it takes to get ready for a mission, and to know what it is like for me and my family on the personal front as well.

Watch Cady talk about life as an astronaut Video

The folks at CNN were having similar thoughts as they contemplated the changing face of the space program with the upcoming retirement of the space shuttle. Until the replacement vehicle is built, astronauts bound for the space station will be launching on the Russian Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. That’s a journey that few have seen, and I’m excited to be working with CNN to make it real for you. They are planning a series of monthly updates on my training and I’ll be trying to add my perspective through blogs, photos, and video.

Through our stories on CNN and the Web site, I hope you’ll get to know my husband Josh Simpson, our 9-year-old son Jamey and my stepson Josiah. You’ll also meet a host of others that make up the village that keeps my head above water as I make my way toward the launch.

November was the formal start of my training for Expedition 26 to the ISS. I’ve already trained as Nicole Stott’s backup for Expedition 20, but now that she is safely on orbit, it is time for my crew and I to start preparing for our own mission in late 2010. I’ll be flying to the ISS in a Soyuz with Dimitri Kondratyev from Russia, and Paolo Nespoli from Italy. Dima (short for Dimitri) is the commander of our Soyuz vehicle and Paolo is flying in the left seat as the primary flight engineer. My training for the right seat of the Soyuz is significantly less than theirs, but still involves a lot of time in Star City, Russia. We have all known each other as hallway acquaintances for a few years, but now we’re a crew – and we will spend 6 months together aboard the station.

Behind the scenes: Cady's home video and a glimpse of Star City Video

I’m looking forward to showing you what it is like to train in Star City, where spaceflight is a way of life for most of the people that live there. I’ll also be taking you along to Japan and Germany, where we learn how to operate the modules of the space station that were built there. In addition, I’ve traveled to Canada to learn how to fly Canadarm2. This is the robotic arm that enabled us to build the international space station and that we will use to ‘catch’ our supply vehicles and attach them to the space station.

Dima, Paolo and I will join the crew of Expedition 25 to make a crew of 6 people total on the space station. Then, a few months into our mission, the Expedition 25 crew flies home, Expedition 27 comes aboard, and we have a crew of 6 again. There is a lot to learn in the next year, about the space station, the Soyuz – and about each other!

November 30, 2010 may seem like a long way away, but for me and my family – it is just around the corner! I’m hoping you will come along on this special journey. Over the next year, I’ll try to cover the things that I think are important and interesting, both technical and personal. Until launch, we’ll talk about how I get ready and then once I’m up there – we can talk about what it is really like to live in space!

‘Til next time!

Program Note: Watch CNN's American Morning as we follow Cady on her year-long mission to space, and check back here for blogs, photos and video updates from Cady as she documents the behind-the-scenes life of an astronaut.

Filed under: Counting Down Cady