Dispatches > Looking Ahead
NASA

Looking Ahead

Issue: "School choice," Aug. 25, 2012

Voyagers at the limits

It's now been 35 years since NASA's Voyager spacecrafts were launched to study the Solar System. Both probes carried golden records that carried greetings from Earth. But both Voyager II, which was launched 35 years ago on Aug. 20, and Voyager I, launched 16 days later, stand poised to escape the Solar System and enter interstellar space.

IAU meeting

The International Astronomical Union, the group that demoted Pluto from planet to dwarf in 2006, could once again find itself back in the limelight if at its XXVIII General Assembly it removes Scorpius from its list of official constellations. Rumblings from the astronomy community indicate the IAU is prepared to ax Scorpius in favor of Ophiuchus at the meetings that will stretch from Aug. 20 to Aug. 31.

London fair

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The memorable summer of 2012 in London will, for practical purposes, end Aug. 26 as the popular street fair, Notting Hill Carnival, ends its three days of parades and celebrations of Caribbean culture. Europe's largest street fair has been overshadowed by the London Olympics. And Olympic fatigue could make it difficult for street fair organizers to secure volunteers and donations to properly entertain the expected 1 million visitors.

GOP convention ends

By the time the four-day Republican National Convention wraps up on Aug. 30, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney of Massachusetts should become the party's official contestant to challenge President Barack Obama in November. The convention, set in Tampa, Fla., should bring close to 50,000 to the purple state.

Goodbye penny

Canada will stop production of new pennies beginning Sept. 1 in a move that should save the nation millions of dollars per year. Each Canadian penny costs about 1.6 cents to produce, despite having a value of just 1 cent. As the supply of pennies in Canada recedes, shopkeepers are expected to begin changing prices by rounding them to the nearest 5 cents.

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