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May 14th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Astronaut watches shuttle launch with family

(CNN) – The all-veteran, six-astronaut crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis is slated to blast off today for a 12-day mission. NASA says the weather looks good for the 2:20 p.m. ET launch. There are three spacewalks planned during this trip to the International Space Station (ISS).

One person who will be watching as Atlantis takes off is our very own astronaut, Cady Coleman. We've been "counting down Cady" ahead of her mission to the ISS later this year. Cady was there, in-person, when the shuttle Discovery went up last month. Our John Zarrella followed her as she toured Kennedy Space Center (KSC) with two VIPs – her husband Josh and 9-year-old son Jamey.

Don't miss: Read Cady's blog about her trip to KSC

Filed under: Counting Down Cady • NASA
May 14th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Growing crisis on the Gulf Coast

(CNN) – The growing crisis in the Gulf is entering its 25th day. Experts predict the leak, which is estimated at 5,000 barrels a day, could be far worse. This news comes as BP considers another fix. So when does it stop?

Doug Suttles is the chief operating officer for exploration and production at BP. He joined us on Friday's American Morning to discuss the new concerns.

Read more: How big is the Gulf oil spill?

Filed under: Environment • Gulf Oil Spill
May 14th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Facebook's privacy troubles

(CNN) – Concerns over Facebook's new privacy policy and the online social network's recent efforts to spread its information across the Web have led some of the site's faithful to delete their accounts - or at least try to.

On Wednesday's episode of a podcast called This Week in Technology, host Leo Laporte, a well-known tech pundit, said he had to search wikiHow, a how-to site, to figure out how to delete his Facebook account permanently.

After finding the delete button, which he said is hidden deep within the site's menus, Laporte proceeded to delete his account during the online broadcast.

"That's it. It's gone," he said during the show. "And I think that's the right thing to do."

It's unclear how many people have chosen to delete their Facebook accounts in recent weeks. The popular social network doesn't publish statistics on how many people quit the site. Read more

Filed under: Tech
May 14th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Counting Down Cady: Touring KSC with family and friends

Editor's Note: 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="Astronaut Cady Coleman poses with her husband Josh and son Jamey at Kennedy Space Center."]

By Cady Coleman, Special to CNN

How does the time go so fast? Just a few weeks ago, Jamey, Josh and I were watching the Space Shuttle Discovery blast off from the Kennedy Space Center for the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. Now it is May, and the STS-132 crew is already poised for their trip to the station to deliver our newest Russian module.

I’ve worked many of the launches over the years, but I’ve never been able to see one with my family. Because we launch from there, many folks think that astronauts live at KSC, but most of us are based in Houston. That’s why it is a treat to visit the space center, especially at launch time.

In just two days, Josh, Jamey and I watched a space shuttle launch, cringed as an alligator snatched a muskrat, strapped ourselves into a shuttle launch simulation at the visitors’ center and checked out the KSC SWAT team. For a 9 year old, vacation doesn’t get any better than that, and his Mom and Dad were pretty thrilled as well.

I marvel every time I fly into KSC for training. The center covers something like 140,000 acres, many of which are part of a wildlife preserve. Alligators, wild boars, snakes and manatees are everywhere, right next to active launch pads and massive machines like the crawlers that carry the shuttle stack to the launch pad. I know that the KSC workers probably get used to seeing these things every day, but driving by the launch pads is a huge inspiration for me.

I always try to make time to visit the old launch pads from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs when I come to KSC, and I felt lucky to be able to show these special places to Jamey and Josh. Those early missions were built one upon the other, flown by real people with the same passion for exploration that surrounds me in the NASA family. Even though it makes me sad, I often visit Launch Complex 34, where we lost the crew of Apollo 1. It is important to me to respect the memory of the astronauts that paved the road that I now travel. I am humbled to think about the moments in history connected to these places that have made it possible for astronauts like me to think of six months on a space station as almost routine!


Filed under: Counting Down Cady • NASA
May 14th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

NYC on edge after Times Square plot

(CNN) – There was another scare late last night in New York City. The NYPD was called after a suspicious car with gas cans inside was spotted just a block away from Union Square. The bomb squad blew out the windows, but there was never any real danger. It's just another example of a city on edge after the failed times square bombing. Our Allan Chernoff has the report.

Filed under: Homeland Security
May 14th, 2010
06:04 AM ET

Gut Check: Is the NRA bulletproof?

By Ronni Berke and Carol Costello, CNN

(CNN) – The National Rifle Association is expecting a record crowd of 70,000 at its annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, this weekend. There, it will outline its goals for the future: up its membership to five million, launch a get out and vote campaign, and continue promoting Second Amendment Rights.

As the NRA celebrates a very good year, there are some who say the gun rights lobby has never been stronger. According to rocker and NRA board member Ted Nugent, the NRA has anti-gunners on the run – with President Obama leading the pack.

“He’s scared,” Nugent says. “We know that President Obama is against the NRA, but he's not going to speak about that, because it would be political suicide, like for those who have stood up in the past.”

Some gun control advocates feel betrayed that Mr. Obama isn’t fighting harder for gun control. He’s even signed bills that allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains – bills the NRA loves. Some agree with Nugent that politicians may be ducking the issue.


Filed under: Gun rights • Gut Check
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