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CNN 10

Two Space Probes Take The Heat As They Approach The Sun; Inflation Hits Americans` Travel Budgets; Two Companies Create An Extra-Syrupy Soda. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 29, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Sun, sand and syrup separately sum up today`s show. I`m Carl Azuz, and we`re thankful you`re watching.

One hundred years ago, solar weather was a lot less relevant than it is today flares and ejections from our nearest star didn`t have any impact on

satellites, global positioning systems, astronauts, mainly because none of those things existed. But now, these events could potentially disrupt all

that, plus airlines and the power grid, and that`s part of the reason why scientists from the United States and the European Union have sent a pair

of probes to study the sun.

The American spacecraft is NASA`s Parker solar probe. It`s named for astrophysicist Eugene N. Parker who predicted the existence of solar wind

in the 1950s and most scientists then didn`t believe him, according to "The New York Times".

The Parker solar probe is on a $1.5 billion mission and will fly through the sun`s atmosphere. That spacecraft is working with another from the

European Space Agency. That one`s called the Solar Orbiter. It`s named for its mission to orbit the sun.

This probe also cost one and a half billion dollars. The money coming from both Europe and the U.S., and both of these spacecrafts have some serious

heat shields to withstand extreme temperatures that the Earth`s atmosphere and distance from the sun protect us from. says the Parker probe`s shield will work to keep its instruments at a temperature of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit, though the probe itself

will face measurements of thousands of degrees higher.

Here`s Rachel Crane on how the two probes can work together.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here are some of the most unprecedented and informative images of the sun ever taken. They`re made

possible by these two machines: NASA`s Parker solar probe and the European space agency`s Solar Orbiter.

Parker was sent up by NASA in August of 2018, with Solar Orbiter following it in February 2022. Parker plans to make 24 passes around the sun before

its mission ends in 2025. Solar Orbiter will be making close approaches to the sun every six months through at least 2030.

They`ve been sent to investigate major questions about the star at the center of our solar system, what drives its 11-year magnetic cycle, what

heats its corona, where do solar winds come from. Answers to these questions could give us a better understanding of how the sun affects space

weather and to better protect satellites that we rely on for everyday activities here on Earth.

So why are there two separate probes launched by two different space agencies to observe the same sun? It`s because they have complementary

capabilities and viewpoints of the sun that help broaden the information they collect. For example, cameras can`t survive looking directly at the

sun from as close as Parker will be. So, the solar orbiter will capture images of the sun and collect context information from what Parker

observes. Solar Orbiter plans on getting as close as 25 million miles from the sun, that`s under a third of the Earth`s average distance from the sun.

Parker will get seven times closer than the record holder for a solar pass, flying into the sun`s corona within 3.8 million miles of its surface. If

the sun can make you too hot here on earth, imagine being that close to it. Parker has been specifically designed to withstand temperatures approaching

2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. To protect itself Parker has been fitted with a 4.5-inch-thick carbon composite shield.

Solar Orbiter traveling farther away only has to withstand temperatures over 930 degrees Fahrenheit, but it`s fitted with cameras which need to

look at the sun, so Solar Orbiter`s heat shield actually has holes drilled into it to allow light in for observation.

Parker`s orbit takes it through the sun`s corona to sample where corona plasma detaches to become solar wind. Parker carries with it four

instruments to study magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles, and to image the solar wind and how it accelerates. Solar Orbiter isn`t flying

in a fixed orbit, but it`s in resonance with Venus, using the planet`s gravitational pull every few passes to attempt to gradually shift its orbit

to about degrees above the solar equator, delivering never-before-seen views of the sun`s polar regions.

And why are these probes doing this now, because the sun is heading towards what`s known as solar maximum which is the peak of solar activity every 11

years. The next peak is predicted to occur in July, so this is their best opportunity to learn as much about the sun and how it relates to us here on

Earth until 2036.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these American traditions started in 1938?

Fireworks on July 4, Memorial Day parades, spring break, or Easter egg hunts?

Spring break`s origins lie in a trip a New York swim team took to Florida in 1938.


AZUZX: Early next month, we should get a picture of how much higher prices were this March as compared with a year ago. For February, inflation was

7.9 percent higher than it was in February 2021, and that was its biggest increase in 40 years. But it`s not just gas and groceries, the cost of

renting a place to live was 17 percent higher in February than it was last year at that time. That`s according to, and it means rent costs

are at their highest level ever.

With spring break getting underway, inflations in the prices of tickets for travel and events. It`s on menus and in activities. But there`s so much

pent-up demand to get out of the house following the lockdowns and restrictions related to COVID-19.

How were Americans balancing inflation and entertainment?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just going to come and blow it out.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For families who haven`t traveled much in the last two to three years --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s given me time to save up and to get organized and budgeted.

CHEN: -- they`re determined to take a trip in spite of the sticker shock.

From here in California where tourists are paying some of the highest gas prices in the nation, to higher airfares due to unprecedented demand, to

higher hotel rates like here in Miami Beach where the average price is more than $500 a night. On the travel website Kayak, recent searches show the

average price of domestic flights to Panama City, Florida, for example, is $494. In March of 2019, that would have averaged just over $300.

The Kibara (ph) family flew from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Los Angeles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once we got out here, we realized that things are very expensive right now.

CHEN: They decided against a rental car. The average rental car in the U.S. according to Kayak averages $76 a day, more than $20 higher than two

years ago.

But even without a rental car --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re actually spending more money in Uber than we are in flying out here.

CHEN: That`s likely because regular gas is on average more than four dollars a gallon this month, the highest of any month in history, up from

$2.51 in March of 2019.

That`s affecting the owner of StarLine Tours who says the company typically spends $100 a day on fuel for these buses and now they`re spending $220

every day.

KAMI FARHADI, CHAIRMAN, STARLINE TOURS: We`ve still maintained our prices at the moment, but we`re going to have to look at going to full summer

pricing right now rather than waiting until the summer.

CHEN: Kayak shows hotel rates averaging about $300 per night, up nearly $70 since March of 2019, even theme parks will cost you more from paid

express lines to pricier food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is adding up. It`s expensive to just eat, because these boys don`t -- they play around, they don`t play around, they`re

hungry all the time.

ELAINE EDWARDS, TRAVEL AGENT: People are accepting it and they`re going. Now, maybe they`re making adjustments along the way.

CHEN: While the cheapest single day Disney tickets stayed the same price since 2019, there are now fewer days priced at value season.

Meanwhile a discount tracking website Mouse Savers shows the most expensive types of tickets at Disneyland and Disney World during the busiest season

jumped 11 or 12 percent from two years ago. Wherever they go, however much it costs, some families say they just need to get out of the house now and

they`ll scale back later.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we will probably make a smaller summer vacation because we made a big spring break vacation.


AZUZ: Since the invention of the soft drink, which probably dates back to Schweppes in the 1780s, people and companies have been tinkering with

different flavors. This one is going to sound either really good or really nasty. A cola company and a pancake company have teamed up to produce Pepsi

maple syrup. IHOP is involved in the project.

Yes, it`s going to be sweet, doubtful it`s going to be all natural. Either way it`s not going to be in stores at least at first. Two thousand winners

of an online sweepstakes will get their very own six-pack.

Sometimes companies get Schwepped up in possibilities and Sprites in all the sugar they can. Not everyone`s a fan to that and not all of them have

the moxie to step 7-Up and make something Fresca. But before someone barks at them and thinks she has to go to the doctor to pepper him with health

questions, remember soft drinks are all big business.

I`m Carl Azuz.

Colchester is a town in Vermont and it`s there we heard from Colchester High School. Let`s go Lakers.

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