Air quality advisory for smoke for the Bay Area through Friday Hazy skies and smoke impacts beginning at mid-day from wildfire in Butte County SAN FRANCISCO – The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is issuing an air quality advisory for smoke for the entire Bay Area region through Friday, November 9. Beginning at mid-day today through tomorrow, the Bay Area will experience air quality impacts as smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County, northeast of the Bay Area, moves in to the region. Most of the smoke is expected to remain aloft but the public will likely see and smell smoke from the quickly expanding Camp Fire. The Air District is not forecasting an exceedance of the federal air quality health standard for the region and is not issuing a Spare the Air Alert at this time. The Air District will be closely monitoring air quality throughout the region for smoke impacts from this wildfire. If the smell of smoke is present, it is important that Bay Area residents protect their health by avoiding exposure.
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If possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside. Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside. Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat and irritated sinuses. Elevated particulate matter in the air can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema or COPD. Elderly persons, children and individuals with respiratory illnesses are particularly susceptible to elevated air pollution levels and should take extra precautions to avoid exposure.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA on Friday assigned the astronauts who will ride the first commercial capsules into orbit next year and bring crew launches back to the U.S. SpaceX and Boeing are shooting for a test flight of their capsules by the end of this year or early next, with the first crews flying from Cape Canaveral, Florida, by next spring or summer. Nine astronauts were named to ride the SpaceX Dragon and Boeing Starliner capsules -- five on the first crew flights and four on the second round of missions to the International Space Station. 'For the first time since 2011, we are on the brink of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil,' said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who made the introductions at Johnson Space Center. Astronauts now take Russian capsules to the space station, with NASA paying as much as $82 million a seat. Boeing's first Starliner crew will include a former NASA astronaut who commanded the last shuttle flight in 2011, Chris Ferguson, who's now a Boeing employee.
The other commercial crew members are still with NASA. All have a military background. The seven men and two women pumped their fists in the air and gave thumbs-up as they strode onto the stage to cheers from the crowd. 'As a test pilot, it doesn't get any better than this,' said astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann, a Naval aviator who will make her first trip into space on the first Starliner crew. She later said the energy in the packed auditorium was incredible. 'We're ushering in this new era of American spaceflight.
I really think it's just the beginning,' Mann told The Associated Press. NASA has been paying billions of dollars to SpaceX and Boeing to develop the crew capsules to pick up where the shuttles left off, while also paying billions for cargo deliveries to the space station by SpaceX and Northrop Grumman. The cargo missions started in 2012. The crew missions have been delayed repeatedly because of the technical challenges and difficulties of making spacecraft safe for humans. A recent abort test by Boeing resulted in leaking engine fuel. Astronaut Doug Hurley, who will be on the first crew of the SpaceX Dragon, hinted at the delays when he noted, 'The first flight is something you dream about as a test pilot, and you don't think it's ever going to happen to you. But looks like it might.'
'Oh, it better,' Bridenstine chimed in. Besides Ferguson and Mann, the initial commercial crew members are: Eric Boe, Sunita Williams and John Cassada riding on Boeing. Robert Behnken, Douglas Hurley, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins will fly with SpaceX. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell took a photo of the astronauts before assuring them, 'We won't let you down.' Boeing's Starliners will soar on United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rockets. Dragons, meanwhile, will fly on SpaceX's own Falcon 9 rockets.