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Channel One News: October 8, 2015

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Headlines: October 8, 2015

Maggie: U.S. law enforcement officials have confirmed that the FBI helped stopped a plot to smuggle dangerous materials used to make dirty bombs, meant to get into the hands of terrorists. It all happened in the country of Moldova.

This video from the Moldovan Police apparently shows a suspected smuggler being arrested in February after a suspicious container was found in his car. Police said the smugglers were trying to sell to the terror group ISIS.

It is the latest in a series of raids over the past five years, which officials say have prevented dangerous radioactive and nuclear material from being sold to extremist groups. But even though the arrests were a success, the alleged leaders got away with short prison sentences and in some cases, are back smuggling, according to the Associated Press.

Officials in Moldova said they shared the case files with the AP in an effort to show how dangerous the illegal selling of nuclear material has become. There’s an unknown amount on the black market because after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, stockpiles of nuclear materials in countries such as Russia and Moldova were not properly secured.

ATM Fees

Maggie: If you have money in the bank, you can just take it out whenever you want, right? I mean, it is your money. Well as Demetirus Pipkin shows us, sure you can take it out, but it might cost you a pretty penny.

Demetrius: Look around and ATM’s are pretty much everywhere you go. But across the country, users are beginning to pay a heavy price to get their hands on their money.

Male: They charged me three bucks to take out $10, and it’s just ridiculous.

Demetrius: A new report from Bankrate.com shows the average out-of-network ATM fee is now $4.52. Yikes! That’s up 21 percent in the last five years.

Female: It’s not right that they get to take your own money.

Male: I don’t have enough money to do that every time I need to get a carton of milk, or something like that. I mean, I just don’t have that type of money.

Demetrius: The study found Atlanta, New York and Phoenix have the highest fees in the country, while, Kansas City, Cincinnati and San Francisco were among the lowest.

Now that may not sound like a lot, but those fees can really add up. So to avoid paying that extra charges, experts say that you should only use ATM’s that are within your bank’s network. And, they recommend joining a bank that will pay you back for those fees when you use an ATM that isn’t theirs.

Greg McBride: And if you’re really in a pinch for cash, you can use your debit card at the point of sale and get cash back…

Demetrius: Banks need fees to maintain the ATMs. But Greg McBride with Bankrate.com says users are getting better at avoiding them.

Female #2: I’m willing to travel to go to my own bank.

Demetrius: Still, experts expect the fees will continue to rise.

Demetrius Pipkin, Channel One News.

Journey to Mars, Part 3

Maggie: Alright guys, coming up next, Keith Kocinski is back to wrap up our series on Mars and he is going to take us to a place right here on Earth that’s out of this world.

Keith: After six months in space, the crew finally arrives and lands on Mars. It is a new world. But what will life be like on the red planet and how will people survive? That’s exactly what we find out today.

Pascal Lee: It is really a godforsaken place. It’s super cold. Average temperature is minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Atmospheric pressure is low to the point where if you didn’t have a spacesuit on at all times, your blood would boil, you’d die instantaneously.

The air is not breathable. It’s made of carbon dioxide. You need oxygen. The dust is toxic. You’d be coughing yourself to death and then you’re exposed to space radiation at the surface of Mars. It doesn’t have a magnetic field to protect you. So the place is really not a cool place.

Keith: That’s exactly the reason why scientists are practicing in a place known as Mars on Earth.

Right now we are getting ready to take off and head to the Devon Islands Station. It is a Mars like environment. Actually, it is one of the places on Earth that is the most similar to the landscape of Mars.

Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic is so remote it is almost easier to get to space.
I made four stops in Canada before taking a small two engine plane with a crew of four to this island only 15 degrees away from the North Pole.

Lee: Devon Island is about the size of West Virginia and it’s the largest uninhabited island on Earth. For the most part, when we are here in the summer, we are the population of Devon Island.

Keith: For almost two decades, it has been home to the Haughton-Mars project. NASA scientist Pascal Lee is the project director. Here, scientists test rovers, spacesuits, and conduct research in a dry, cold, and lifeless Martian like polar desert.

Lee: You have to be fairly tough to withstand a few days or a few weeks here.

Brian: Once you’re here, you’re on your own, just like you would be on Mars. You run out of supplies, too bad. There is no running down to Walmart or the hardware store.

Keith: And on Mars, running an errand means wearing one of these.

Lee: This spacesuit has all these layers to protect you from different things, but it also has a life-support system inside, computers. You’re basically getting a wearable spacecraft.

Keith: And it actually felt like I was carrying a spacecraft.

Scientists are working on ways to lighten the current spacesuit by more than half.

We almost spent almost a week doing research. There was no running water, no heat, the sun never set, and we pretty much spent all day together. It is good practice because in the future astronauts may have to spend roughly 18 months alone on Mars, in a place like this, a Mars habitat at the Johnson Space Center in Texas.

One of the major concerns of sending a man mission to Mars is simply how heavy everything is that needs to go there. And one of those things is his oxygen. But what if there’s something that could create oxygen on the red planet?

Here at the jet propulsion labs in Pasadena, California, scientists are working on something that can be a breath of fresh air for the Mars crew. It is called moxie.

How does moxie work?

Male: So it takes an atmospheric gas from Mars and it converts it into oxygen. It runs it through a process which allows us to extract the oxygen from the gas on Mars.
It’s a game changer.

Keith: Donald here is the main man when it comes to getting this ready for a future mission, not just for breathing, but more importantly, using oxygen to create fuel.

Keith: In terms of the moxie, how new of a technology is it?

Donald: Well, it’s unprecedented. We save this huge effort to carry all that stuff to Mars and we make the mission so much more practical and affordable.

Keith: Researchers are also studying how the first humans on Mars will eat and drink. Earlier this year, for the first time, astronauts at the International Space Station ate lettuce grown in space without soil. The station also recycles all its water so not a drop is wasted. They are also looking at ways to extract it from the Martian soil.

NASA is not only studying effects of a Mars trip on the body, but also the mind.

Sandra: Think of your four or five closet friends and think about living and working with them in a house about the size of a school bus for a period of two and a half years. So there’s a lot of stress that comes with such a mission.

Keith: Experts hope to weed out just who is tough enough to handle the pressure of life on the red planet and a six month voyage through deep space back to Earth.

Lee: Reconnect with your big Mars ship, you make sure everything is working and then you press that big red button and it says Earth on it.

Keith: Ambitious plans that will only work if the money keeps coming.

Experts say a human mission to Mars would be one of the most expensive endeavors of the 21st century, costing hundreds of billions of dollars. And NASA’s funding is less than a tenth of what it was during the race to the moon.

Lee: Humans are set to go to Mars in the late 2030s, early 2040s. I anticipate that they will come here to train at least a decade to decade and a half before that happens. So beginning in just a few years from now, everything that we’re doing here we feel is sort of laying the groundwork and foundation for what’s going to be an incredible journey for humanity.

Keith: An incredible journey in space exploration as we search to better understand our universe.

Keith Kocinski, Channel One News.

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