The Daily Need

Between a rock and a hot seat

(‘s Mashed is a new feature wherein Need to Know brings you two stories simultaneously, sparing you the extra time required to read them individually. Since most of us are reading multiple stories at the same time anyway, we believe this could be a big step forward in news consumption and may make news more accessible to a younger demographic. If, in the course of mashing, we happen to stumble across some universal truths, ‘s even better.)

Photos: NASA and AP/Seth Wenig

LOS ANGELES, N.C. — After a two-year investigation into whether former presidential candidate John Edwards illegally used money from some of his political backers to cover up his extramarital affair, NASA is going to send a spacecraft to an asteroid and bring back samples to Earth.

The space agency said Wednesday that the unmanned craft won’t land on the asteroid, but it will get close enough to extend a robotic arm and pluck samples from the surface unless the 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee reaches an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to a negotiated charge.

The investigation has centered largely on allegations leveled by former Edwards campaign aide Andrew Young, who as the scandal began to unfold in 2007, publicly claimed to be the baby’s father to protect his boss’ career. A person close to the investigation said it was a step toward President Barack Obama’s goal to explore deep space.

Edwards, who made his millions as a trial lawyer, could lose his law license if he enters a guilty plea, and return to Earth about seven years later.

The mission will cost about $1 billion.

An Edwards spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday, though his attorneys have said that pieces of asteroids known as meteorites constantly break away and make fiery plunges through Earth’s atmosphere.

Sources: Associated Press and Associated Press

 
SUGGESTED STORIES

Comments

  • Scott Tramposch

    I find it disturbing that we waste a billion dollars on space rocks while we still have underfunded sex scandals to cover up. The asteroid mission would cost each and every American $3.50 if it were paid now, but if that money has to be borrowed by the government and paid back at a later date it could cost substantially more. We should have Obama give Edwards a pardon if he promises to get his political sponsors to pay for the space mission, and then have him father a few hundred million more children to help pay back the national debt.

  • mc

    It is really annoying to know the scandal now after a long time. That shows our system is not working properly. Before we hire someone, we collect all the relevant information on the application; we do the background check, social security number, the last 10 years of job history. We also take the finger prints and submit to FBI and Department of Justice in some cases. How in the world we allow politicians like John Edwards to take public office without even knowing all these things? Wake up America!

  • mc

    It is really annoying to know the scandal now after a long time. That shows our system is not working properly. Before we hire someone, we collect all the relevant information on the application; we do the background check, social security number, the last 10 years of job history. We also take the finger prints and submit to FBI and Department of Justice in some cases. How in the world we allow politicians like John Edwards to take public office without even knowing all these things? Wake up America!

  • Down The Think

    While Scott Tramposch has some valid concerns, he, like many other people, don’t understand the importance of continuing space exploration. Although it does seem to be an expense that we can ill afford, the payoff will come from knowing whether or not asteroids are worth mining. Asteroids may ultimately provide us with precious materials that will be worth, perhaps, trillions of dollars.  That makes a “mere” billion dollars seem to be spare change.  I got a kick out of Mr. Tramposch’s ultimate paragraph.