SpaceX launches 4 amateurs to circle Earth; Milley defends actions; Sequoia National Park

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There are two areas with a high chance of developing into the next tropical system, which would be named Odette. CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the forecast.



Today is Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. Let’s get caught up.

Here are today’s top stories, celebrity birthdays and a look back at this date in history:

TOP STORIES



APTOPIX Private Spaceflight

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with four private citizens onboard, lifts off in this time-exposure photo from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. 






SpaceX launches 4 amateurs on private Earth-circling trip

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX’s first private flight streaked into orbit Wednesday night with two contest winners, a health care worker and their rich sponsor, the most ambitious leap yet in space tourism.

It was the first time a spacecraft circled Earth with an all-amateur crew and no professional astronauts.

“Punch it, SpaceX!” the flight’s billionaire leader, Jared Isaacman, urged moments before liftoff.

The Dragon capsule’s two men and two women are looking to spend three days going round and round the planet.



Trump Book

FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2021, file photo Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a briefing with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon in Washington. 






Milley defends calls to Chinese as effort to avoid conflict

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer on Wednesday defended the phone calls he made to his Chinese counterpart in the turbulent final months of Donald Trump’s presidency, saying the conversations were intended to convey “reassurance” to the Chinese military and were in line with his responsibilities as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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