tv 9 News Now at 6am CBS August 6, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EDT
another line sort of coming with t. you can see how things have quieted down losing the daytime heating. south and west of town check this out. from front royal approaching warrenton through areas of cath let, virginia, toward quantico and stafford moving into charles county. we have showers down there. generally cloudy skies in d.c. temps in the 70s. low 70s most of the shenandoah valley. still 80 at the pax river naval air station in annapolis. 77 at andrews. highs once again mid- to upper 80s. monika is off but we have beverly farmer watching the traffic us for. better news for folks that travel out of hyattstown, clarksburg. the crash moved out of your way southbound between father hurley boulevard and 118. the pace is so much better. the pace into germantown, gaithersburg, rockville much better, too. southbound 95 similar recovery coming down out of laurel, the accident before you reach the beltway after 212 moved out of the way. good news too on the beltway in alexandria.
delia goncalves has all the details on the beltway in alexandria. >> reporter: beverly, some great news here on the beltway. we're here live at telegraph road overlooking the beltway and we're joined by -- joined with john from the wilson bridge project to talk to us about this great news. so break it to us. extra five lanes of traffic. >> five lanes of traffic in each direction. three lanes in the local. two lanes in the thru. both shoulders if you have a problem, a breakdown, you have a haven of safety. this will be opening things up a lot. >> reporter: it seems like a lifetime for lots of folks. let's get a look at what folks can anticipate. talked about the breakdown lanes in regards to safety. we have some other safety measures in place in regards to the signs. you have words of caution i guess for drivers. >> as you're going through here the first time, it's a new conphysician ration. you want people to -- conphysician ration he --
configuration. you want people to be thinking about it. the last thing we want people to do is make last-minute decisions to go from the local lanes into the thru lanes. >> reporter: there's a quick change folks need to keep in mind when you're traveling from the wilson bridge or just beyond telegraph road and then you come to this certain area. >> it goes from five lanes down to four briefly. and then back out to five again. this is where a lot of people are coming on and off. we don't anticipate that being a real constriction, like a bottleneck point but it's something to bear in mind you have a raindrop as telegraph road passes over. >> reporter: no secret we are legendary for our traffic nightmares and concerns in this area. tell us about how many cars travel through the area and how this will help. >> this stretch of the beltway gets about 160,000 vehicle as day. you just try to jam all that traffic into a few lanes and things don't work very well.
trying to put 10,000 pounds of feed into a 5-pound feed sack doesn't work. this is going to open things up and things will move more efficiently and a lot more saferly. >> reporter: you'll be a very popular man today, john, i have a feeling. >> we really want to thank the commuters who put up with this for the longest type. the neighbors with all this construction. they've been extremely patient. they really want -- we really want to thank them for that. >> reporter: thank you so much for joining us. we'll be back at 6:30 to talk about the next phase of the project, a big milestone today but much more work to do here in the northern virginia area. back to you. >> delia, that is looking good there. the beltway through alexandria. if you're traveling east on 66, let's see how well you're moving trying to get east of manassas. heaviest volume is getting past the rest area there is a crash near delaplane but it's on the shoulder. back to you, mike, andrea. >> thank you, beverly. it's 6:03. we learned the suspected gunman
in sunday's deadly shooting in wisconsin was an earl veteran who may have been a white supremacist. >> we know he was about 40 years old. his name could be released as soon as today. >> police say that man opened fire at a sikh temple in oak creek just outside of milwaukee killing seven people. we have more on what is being called an act of dom domestic terrorism. >> reporter: police believe the suspect opened fire with a 9 millimeter semiautomatic handgun. they say the suspect ambushed the first officer on the scene shooting him several times. a second officer shot and killed the gunman. police dispatch calls reveal some rather chilling moments. >> the subject is not moving. he's not moving. >> subject down. >> we have one officer shot. >> reporter: at sunset a candlelight vigil drew mourners to milwaukee's cathedral square
as the sikh community tried to cope. >> every time i go to temping. -- temple, i'm going to think of this. it's so unfortunate that that's the case. i have to think of a tragedy as opposed to being able to focus my thoughts on god and loverring my community and -- and loverring my community and people. >> this is supposed to be the safest place. apparently not. i just want people to know that they shouldn't be mistaken by us because we have turbines. it's our religion and it's very peaceful. >> reporter: the sikh religion started in india about 5500 -- 500 years ago. i'm andrew spencer reporting. >> sikhs living in our area are not surprised people of their faith were targeted in an attack. they tell 9news sikhs have been under scrutiny since the 9/11 attacks. >> people don't have the understanding of the richness
of our faith and how we have been part and parcel of america for the last 100 years. >> a prayer service was held yesterday at the sikh spiritual center in rockville with prayers for the vehicle tips of the -- victims of the wisconsin shooting. jared loughner, the accused gunman in the 2011 shootings in tucson, arizona is expected to plead guilty. six people were killed. the plea will come tomorrow in exchange for pleading guilty, he'll get life in prison and not face the death penalty. a local preservationist group says amtrak's plan to overhaul union station could destroy the station's historic character. amtrak announced last month a multibillion dollar plan to turn the 100-year-old station into a hub for high speed trains. the d.c. preservation league believe it is could harm the physical structure and appearance of the station. amtrak is still trying to find funding for its plan.
>> so far so good for the mars rover curiosity. it landed on the red planet just about five hours ago and check out the reaction from the nasa engineers. >> touchdown confirmed. we're safe on mars. [ cheering ] >> just a little excited at the jet properly pulings lab -- jet propulsion lab in california. the head of nasa says this is just the first step in a new chapter of space exploration. president obama has laid out a bold vision for sending humans to mars. and today's landing marks a significant step toward achieving this goal. >> the president released a statement this morning. he says landing is, quote, an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. we are going back live to nasa goddard in greenbelt at 6:45 this morning. >> but right now our time coming up on 6:08. in five minutes, we'll be joined by the new ambassador
from jamaica. he'll be talking about his nation as they celebrate 50 years of independence. >> scattered showers out there this morning. it's going to stay cloudy for most of the day. howard has your weather first straight ahead. >> first, where's the party. "newsweek" dubbed west virginia university as the biggest party school in america. that's based on numbers like on campus arrests and drug and alcohol violations. coming in second, penn state university third university of colorado boulder. only one area school made the list. maryland is number 22. >> another list says d.c. dorms are the place to party. campus survey last fall named five district dorms in the top ten when it comes to party dorms. george washington university, catholic university, and georgetown university all paid the list.
today will be a little bit unsettled. we'll have partly to mostly cloudy skies with a few showers possible this morning, midz day and again -- midday and again this afternoon. not will be an all day rain but may get showers on you with highs in the mid- to upper 80s. as you travel the outer loop of the beltway, want to give you heads up with timesaver traffic. police and fire rescue checking
for a crash right near the exit for 355 rockville pike. we're looking live at the shot at connecticut avenue. right side of the screen is outer loop traffic so far moving at speed but equipment just responding on the outer loop in bethesda. we'll keep you posted in your next timesaver traffic update at 6:18. back to you. 6:12 this monday morning. here's a check of the stories that are making news now. one person is dead and another in critical condition after some lightning struck at a grandstand after a nascar race on sunday. eight others were hurt in this storm. this is at pocono raceway in pennsylvania. the race was called after 98 laps because of the violent storm. egypt blames islamic militants for an attack on border guards in the is a nye peninsula. 16 guards were killed at a check point along the boarder with gaza. egypt's president is now vowing retribution. about 20 wildfires are burning across oklahoma this morning scorching 90 square miles or more. they're being blamed on hot and
dry conditions across the midwest. dozens of homes have been destroyed. these days when you think about jamaica, you probably think about beach resorts or maybe the fastest man in the world. and that would be usain bolt. he broke his own record in the 100 meters last night winning the gold in just 9.63 seconds. his victory comes as jamaica celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independent enls. to tell us -- independence. to tell us more is steven bosiani, the new ambassador to the united states. july 30 you presented your counterden shalls. did you have to hit -- credentials. did you have to hit the ground run something. >> we had a good time yesterday because we watched on big screen usain bolt's victory. and don't forget yesterday -- the day before yesterday we had the fastest woman in the world
and the third fastest woman in the world. so we run fast. >> you run fast. also i read that compared to the size of the united states, you have the most world and olympic gold medal winners going for a country your size. >> yes. not bad. as ever right now we are 20th in the olympic rankings for this year. and over the years since we started taking part in the olympics, we have won 55 medals. not bad for a small country. >> not bad for a small country. lots to celebrate. but the new prime minister reelected simpson millioner who had been in once before. she called this a great time of jubilation but also one of angst, a lot of internal challenges. many warned about the economy suffering because of the crime. would can the united states do? what have you asked them to do? >> this is a time of reflection for us.
in terms of our relations with the united states, we have been asking the u.s. to help us with matters such as extradition and also with searches in the caribbean sea to cut down the flow of drugs because we think that much of the crime in the country is generated by drug trafficking from south america in the direction of north america. so we want to cut it in the intermediate stage and we have been getting assistance from the united states in that regard. but we also know that some of the crime problem that we have is based on economic inequalities, poverty so we are seeking assistance from the united states and other countries as we try to break the back of crime problems. >> you'll be celebrating all year long. given the problems you have, your message to americans looking to spend some time in the fun and sun in jamaica.
>> well, come to jamaica. once you come, you know it's a wonderful place to visit. it's also a wonderful place to make your home, a wonderful place to retire, a wonderful place to celebrate the joys of life. >> again, congratulations on your appointment. not new to diplomacy. he was the representative to oas from jamaica so he understands the world of diplomacy. thank you and happy anniversary to you and all jamaicans. >> thank you very much. >> congratulations. that's fantastic. good morning, mr. bernstein. >> we're glad ernesto staild well west of -- stayed well west of them so they can enjoy their independence celebrations today. temperatures today will be in the 80s. mid- to upper 80s. there will be some spotty showers around. we've got some this morning. we can't rule out some this afternoon as well. winds sort of variable at 5 to 10 miles an hour. might even get a rumble of thunder in one or two spots but certainly nothing like yesterday.
by 8:00 we're back down to 82 degrees. look at the doppler over the last three hours. you can see these showers coming from west to east generally across the area. maybe slightly north of east. had some showers up north. these things barely holding together from frederick into calvert county but it's south and southwest of town we're seeing the most impressive stuff. north and east barely a sprinkle left up here. north and west i should say. as you go into southwestern loudoun county back into fauquier, you can see the showers here. heavy ones just south of stafford. that's going to move across the river in toward western charles county and you folks from dal again, colonial beach -- dal again dalhgre ne, colonial beach, a couple of showers. 79 in easton at this hour. 73 gaithersburg. 74 hagerstown. everybody is dealing a good deal of humidity. on our weather camera, we're in london. look at this, the olympic stadium. mostly cloudy out there.
here in d.c. we've got 79 degrees. feeling like 82 with the humidity. it is high. it's 79%. we'll see a frontal boundary stretch down from south of long island back across our neck of the woods. with that boundary nearby, we're going to see scattered showers around in spots this afternoon. best chances look like they'll be south and east of town but may just be a couple that will slow you down. that's why we've got a yellow alert today. scattered showers, a thunderstorm, 87, 88, somewhere in that neighborhood. tonight 60s and 70s. 90 tomorrow. any showers and storms look like they'll be well south of d.c., fredricksburg, calvert and st. mary's counties have the best chances. as we head into wednesday and thursday, a chance of a couple afternoon storms. cooler over the weekend. it's now 6:18. beverly farmer has your timesaver traffic. howard, good news. outer loop of the beltway although sluggish to get through the work zone in silver spring as you past connecticut avenue toward 270. a crash reported near rockville
pike turns out to either they didn't find anything or didn't find anything real significant. fire crews have already left the scene. police tell us everything is out of the way and a better pace at connecticut avenue. 270 just volume delays in hyattstown, briefly in germantown. 59 south to beltsville. virginia beltway, they've gone to check for a crash on the outer loop southbound. we'll keep you posted on that. if you're in on 66, heaviest volume of traffic is getting through manassas. not bad at all in centreville. you can tell it's august. 395 at the 14th street bridge. looking good there. volume building has been northbound just through landmark. 95 heading into woodbridge and again into newington. again that crash reported outer loop at gallows road. we're checking on that now. your next check of timesaver traffic at 6:25. back to you. >> thanks, bev. 6:19 now. still ahead in sports, learn who says the u.s. women's soccer team is playing dirty in
lon don don. >> right now it's time for another check on our question of the morning. the question is the average person does which of these things 13 times a day? is it a, sends a text message, b, lopgs on to facebook -- logs on to facebook or c, laugh. >> one person says laugh. when you get home with family, you either laugh with them or at the tv. >> we have lots of laughter in the morning. keep your guesses coming. we'll reveal the correct answer at 6:54. and to make ends meet. from those experiences, i had the chance of running the olympics. the games were in real trouble. there'd been way too much spending. and in massachusetts i found a budget that was badly out of balance. our legislature was 85% democrat. and every one of the four years i was governor, we balanced the budget. i want to use those experiences to help americans have a better future. we believe in our future. we believe in ourselves. we believe the greatest days of america are ahead. i'm mitt romney and i approve this message.
welcome back. 6:23. we have a few showers mainly south and west of town. a couple heavy ones near the stafford area and we have showers in the forecast. thog should -- nothing should be too strong or severe. temperatures staying in the 80s today. by lunch time about 85 degrees. we're looking at 86 at 1:00.
some peeks of sunshine. again highs in the mid- to upper 80s. mike and andrea? >> thank you, howard. at the olympics today it could get a little testy between the u.s. and canadian women's soccer teams. >> canada's coach says our women don't play fair. the american men will face argentina in a preliminary round. >> which will promise to look like another scrimmage. the women grabbed the gold and bronze on sunday. sonia richards ross got the gold. on the right dede trotter won the bronze. andy roddick beat roger federer in three sets. heading into today's action, here's the latest medal count. china remains on top with 61 medals, 30 of them gold. team u.s.a. right behind 60 with 28 golds.
great britain has moved into a tie for third with 37 medals. the nationals begin a ten- game road trip tonight. they're in houston with a series -- for a series with the astros. the nationals wrapped up their series at home with the marlins yesterday. two on, no score in the 2nd. stephen strasburg gets it done with the bats hitting a single to right putting the nats up 2- 0. strasburg went six innings, gave up three hits and struck out six. nats top miami 4-1. the nats lead over the braves in the nl east is now at three games. we left out preseason football, you know, hall of fame. >> who played in that? >> saints, cardinals. saints won. it's just the beginning, you know. 6:25. we already told you about the biggest party schools this morning. still ahead we'll tell you which ones are labeled the most affordable. >> parents want to hear that one. some $4 a gallon prices are creeping back to local gas stations. coming up a check on where
prices are this morning. don't grab the keys just yet. listen to beverly farmer first. she has a check of traffic. how about a party on the beltway, the beltway in alexandria now that the threw lane project, local lane project completed. a little more volume at telegraph vowed but normally what was a big bottleneck very much improved. you're watching 9news now. stay with us. we'll be right back. good monday morning.
6:29 this monday morning. it is a very muggy morning out there. a little wet from the overnight showers. we still have a few showers out there. we start with the day planner. cloudy skies. temperature at reagan national down to 79. 85 by noon. we're going to have a few scattered showers around this morning and again this afternoon. maybe a rumble of thunder as highs get toward the upper 80s. looking at the radar, you can see we had the showers and storms overnight this morning. a few showers are out there. if we zoom in on the live doppler 9000hd, a shower heading for the potomac with a few other showers coming out of fauquier into prince william. senior loudoun as well. that will head towards fairfax county. temperatures mainly in the 70s this morning. let's find out how our monday morning commute is looking. not too bad. any incidents we've had have been quickly cleared from the roadway. outer loop of the beltway found a crash near 236 moved out of the roadway on to the shoulder. here's 395 heading to the 14th
street bridge. the volume light here. only slowdowns are headed toward landmark. brief slowdowns east of manassas in centreville. in fair oaks heavier volume as you make your way to 123. a crash in oakton at 123. 66 does slow a bit in falls church now at this hour eastbound. on the outer loop of the beltway heading out of college park, you're going to find the earlier crash near 355 out of the roadway. not so much a factor but the volume building on the outer loop past new hampshire avenue. your next check of timesaver traffic comes up at 6:42. back to you. >> thank you, beverly. the chairman of the sikh council on religion and education here in washington says it was just a matter of time before they became a target of violence. >> he says they've been confused with terrorists ever since the 9/11 attacks.
it's unclear what was behind sunday's shooting. >> six people died when a gunman opened fire inside a sikh temple in wisconsin. several more people were hurt. the gunman was later killed in a shootout with police. the officer who took him down is now hospitalized but should survive. initial reports say the suspected gunman was an army veteran with links to white supremacist groups. >> now the f.b.i. is getting involved in the investigation. gayle king joins us from new york with more on that. >> we've got the that story. hello, mike and andrea. investigators are calling it an act of domestic terrorism. we'll find out exactly what that designation means for the investigation and how police will try to determine a motive. plus, the controversial plans to turn the home of the atomic bomb into a national park. we'll take a rare look inside the historic site used for the top secret manhattan project. those stories and more when we see you at 7:00. >> all right, gayle, we'll be watching. thank you. this morning some relief
for beltway drivers in virginia. the whole construction mess at telegraph road is finally starting to clear up. >> which should mean a much easier ride for you as you hit the road. delia goncalves live in alexandria with a commuter alert. hey, delia. good news. >> reporter: great news and, you know, we are in good company because the folks here at the wilson bridge project are probably the most popular folks today. you've been here since federal the beginning since '02. you said you've been -- since the beginning, since '02. youit must be good to see it finally come to fruition. >> it's been a long haul. this has been one of the most complex projects i've worked o. it's a better place than when i got here. >> reporter: let's talk about it. we had three lanes and now
five. >> we have five lanes. with. you have two express lanes and three of the local lanes. >> reporter: let's walk on over so we can get a shot of the beltway and show some folks. come on over, chris, if you don't mind. we have the thru lanes and these are the local lanes. a new configuration. we have some breakdown lanes for the first time. >> that's correct. you've got a good wide shoulder. the breakdowns as you probably know just jam traffic very, very badly. but now with the wide shoulder, if people breakdown, they can pull over. it doesn't impede traffic very much at all. >> reporter: let's talk about the next phase of the project. we're hoping this will finally be done in the next couple of years? >> i think so. the last phase we've got on this particular project is to complete the bridge over the railroad tracks for telegraph road. we would anticipate that being completed sometime in the early
part of 2013. >> reporter: it's more than a decade in the making but at the end of the day, this will be -- end of 2013 i should say will be a pretty fantastic project. eight miles of complicated road and this is the result. >> this is it. what you have right now, all of our traffic is in its final configuration like it's going to be. there's still some peripheral work, paving a few shoulders, that type of thing. we may have an occasional lane closure but it will be in off peak hours where effect to travel is minimal. >> reporter: thank you for being here. popular guys, chris and john. word of caution for drivers who will be heading on the beltway to telegraph road. there are some major configurations as we talked b. do you have to -- talked about. you do have to remember to drive through the area with caution. back to you. >> good news in beltway traffic. not often said in the same sentence. delia goncalves live in alexandria this morning. well, tomorrow more work
begins on the latest megaproject in northern virginia. it's the new express toll lanes along interstate 95. they'll go from garrisonville in stafford county all the way up to the beltway and to edsall road exit on 395. governor bob mcdonnell will take part in the groundbreaking ceremony in dale city. $925 million is how much the project is going to cost. 29 miles of express toll lanes whether it's all done they should be finished by 2014. d.c. police are working to identify a murder victim and find a person who killed him. the manual was found early sunday -- man was found early sunday morning at the intersection of georgia avenue and park road in northwest. he had been shot. emergency workers arrived around 3:00 a.m. but found the man had already died. people in favor of a law giving in state college tuition to some illegal immigrants living in maryland rallied sunday. they marched three miles from yetton to silver spring -- wheaton to silver spring.
the protesters are in support of the dream act. maryland voters will decide its fate on a referendum. it would give in state tuition rates to illegal immigrants who attend a state high school for three years and whose parents pay taxes. >> tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to subsidize people who have no moral or legal right to be here in maryland. >> there might be a long-term economic benefit to the state of maryland for educating students within their state. >> the referendum in november november will be the first vote on a law in maryland in 20 years. it's 6:37. jessica doyle is off today but we are still watching your money this morning. gas prices keep on inching up this month. a check of the prices around the region this morning from gas buddy.com. fairfax, virginia regular grade averages $3.40 a gallon. gaithersburg, maryland it's 3.66. in bowie the average price is
$3.64 a gallon. if you go to upper northwest in d.c., gas averages $3.82 a gallon. well, some southwest airline customers expected to get a great deal on friday, a half price ticket instead what they got charged as many as 20 times for the same ticket for their flight. southwest says a computer glitch caused the customers using a promotion to be charged to us of dollars in duplicate reservations. the company says they've identified and all the affected customers and are now processing refunds for them. you may not believe this but m.i.t. is the most affordable college in america. that's according to "newsweek"'s college rankings. second place another big named school princeton university. these universities are $40,000, $50,000 a year. there'sen explanation -- there's an explanation. baylor university in texas is the fifth most -- excuse me, the fifth most affordable is harvard. "newsweek" looked at factors like total cost, financial aid,
student debt and here's the catch future earnings determined the 25 most affordable colleges. now you understand. our time is 6:39. nasa is keeping tabs on the rover curiosity as it explores the surface of mars this morning. in nine minutes we'll get the laitsest on the mission from -- latest on the mission from nasa goddard. >> scattered showers. highs only in the 80s. find out if things will heat up again during the week. we'll be right back.
but this is on a stretch of miller road just off of 123. that intersection, miller road, wilson still has a lot of equipment in that intersection. but 123 should be open for you. let's take a look at the interstate travel. northbound interstate 95 heaviest volume in woodbridge has eased up. now you're slowing before you reach lorton off and on to get past 123. here's 270 in germantown where things are moving very well. heading on down through rockville only brief delays on the 270 spur as you merge down on to the outer loop of the beltway so that's good news, too. had been a crash on the outer loop near 236. it's moved on to the shoulder. the pace coming down from gallows road, the inner loop, any volume building heading toward gallows road is brief. the outer loop in alexandria we already heard that's good news with all lanes open, the thru and local lanes, five lanes now is good news for you to get across the wilson bridge. that's a look at timesaver traffic. back to you. here we have our weather update from howard. >> cloudy skies out there. muggy. out on the weather terrace,
it's soupy. the humidity way up this morning. temperatures are also still way up in the 70s, even 80 down south. the clouds are going to keep us from getting to the 90s today. we'll take that after being 98 yesterday. your day planner does have the threat for some showers here and there. more off than on. a lot more off than on as far as the showers are concerned. by lunch time we'll be about 85 or so. 3:00 88, 87, somewhere in that range. that will be close to the high for the day. still 86 at 6:00 p.m. even this afternoon i can't rule out that we're going to see a passing shower, even a rumble of thunder. best chances look like they'll be south of washington as we get into the afternoon hours. this morning the front stretched out from new jersey, here at atlantic city all the way back into southwestern virginia across our region. we're seeing some showers, generally light ones. for the most part south of 66. the stuff north into caroll county, north of baltimore fairly light. west of town we do have showers near olney, south on 15, south
of leesburg getting a little bit more moderate here into warren county, west of warrenton here and clark county coming in that way to northern fauquier county. we see heavier showers also moving into southern charles and then especially down here in toward virginia. west of dahlgren, this is 301 on the virginia side, approaching colonial beach. this will eventually cross into charles and i think parts of st. mary's county as well. temperatures are sticky this morning. 79 easton. still 80 at the pax river naval air station. low to mid-70s north and west. as we look out on the michael & son weather camera in tysons corner, lots of clouds but it is a dry morning there. 79 degrees with a heat index of 82 and winds currently west, southwest at 8 miles an hour. that frontal boundary stretched -- stretches out from nashville to areas south of new england. with it the threat for showers and a couple of storms will be with us. here we are at lunch time. isolated showers here. better chance toward roanoke.
even this afternoon some spotty showers can't be ruled out. so the forecast today we're looking at highs in the upper 80s. spotty shower or thunderstorm. tomorrow looks fine after being in the 60s and 70s tonight. any stray thunderstorms will be well south of us. fredricksburg, richmond, points south of there, southern maryland you may see something. the rest of us should be dry. but wednesday, thursday, friday chance of afternoon thunderstorms. highs will be up toward the 90- degree mark. as we head toward the weekend, you'll notice temperatures are going to drop off. still could be a shower or storm on saturday. look at the highs, though, only in the mid-80s. that should feel fantastic. while you slept, nasa successfully landed the rover curiosity on mars. we're going to go live to nasa goddard in greenbelt, maryland. lauer are is a planetary scientist. she joins us. one thing i want to ask you, the uniqueness of the landing, this has never been tried before. they had one shot to do it and it worked like a charm. tell us about that landing.
>> wow, it was really spectacular. as you said the landing -- the mars science laboratory, it'sing in that's never been tried before. when we sent rovers to mars previously, they were much smaller landers so they had similar landing systems with air bags but the mars science laboratory is almost a metric ton. it's huge, like a small suv, a jiendz lander so -- giant lander so we never had to land anything that large. we had a sky crane that lowered the lander right down on to the surface. it was spectacular and worked like a charm. >> how long a mission is it planned for? >> that's a great question. i think nominally the mission is scheduled for six months or a year, two years i think nominally. it will over that time period start to climb up the central mountain peak that is in the center of the crater and look at history of mars that's recorded in the rocks in that
mountain. >> they're starting with some basic stuff, systems testing. when is the real meat of the science and experiments going to begin? >> right. over the next couple of days they'll be checking out all the systems, turning them on, making sure all the cameras and all the instruments work properly. it will take several months before they really start taking the actual data. it's a very slow process of checking things out in an orderly fashion to make things -- make sure things are working properly, calibrate it. in the next few months they'll start taking some more real data and taking the chemistry data and moving the rover around up the mountain peak to capture the data they're looking for. >> last question, what's so special about mars? why are we fascinated with mars? >> mars is a really special place in our solar system which potentially had water about the same time that life was forming on earth in the early, early history of our solar system. then it kind of stopped at that point. so it's possible that those
early building blocks of life are preserved there on mars. it's a very good close case here in our solar system where we can get to there fairly easily and get the data back and start looking for the early precursors of life. >> laurie at nasa goddard in greenbelt, maryland. we thank you and everybody over there for the great work they're doing. >> thank you. jessica doyle may be off today but we are still saving you money. we never take a holiday with daily deals. >> living social is featuring an offer from spa world in centreville, virginia. 50% off a one hour aroma oil deep tissue massage or a half- hour massage. both come with a spa day pass. the offer expires at midnight. >> best buy is offering a 40- inch dynex lcd spades tv on its -- tv on its website. it's $150 off the normal price with free shipping. >> enjoy a one-night stay for
two adults at the l'enfant plaza in d.c. for $109 a night. you have the option to combine up to four nights at this rate. it's 65% off the normal price. this is available on groupon. >> if you have an offer you'd like to share with everyone, find us on facebook. a check on the news before you go is up next. over the next four months, you have a choice to make.
not just between two political parties, or even two people. it's a choice between two very different plans for our country. governor romney's plan would cut taxes for the folks at the very top. roll back regulations on big banks. and he says that if we do, our economy will grow and everyone will benefit. but you know what? we tried that top down approach. it's what caused the mess in the first place. i believe the only way to create an economy built to last is to strengthen the middle class. asking the wealthy to pay a little more so we can pay down our debt in a balanced way. so that we can afford to invest in education, manufacturing, and home-grown american energy for good middle class jobs. sometimes politics can seem very small. but the choice you face, it couldn't be bigger. ♪ i'm barack obama and i approve this message.
if you've got a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. my father's hands didn't build this company. my hands didn't build this company. through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. why are you demonizing us for it? it's time we had somebody who believes in us. someone who believes that achievement should be rewarded not punished. we need somebody who believes in america. [ romney ] i'm mitt romney and i approve this message. today is monday, august 6. here's a check of the news before you go. five lanes are now open this morning on the beltway at tell geographer road in alexandria. until now there was only three lanes squeezing through this area in one of the final phases ever the wilson bridge project. mitt romney is going to announce his running mate before the g.o.p. convention in tampa.
virginia governor bob mcdonnell is reportedly on the short list or is he? he neither confirmed nor denied that to bob schieffer. stephen strasburg hit a two- run single and pitched six innings yesterday scattering three hits and striking out six marlins. d.c. tops miami 4-1. it's 6:55. time to find out the answer to the question of the morning. >> the average person does which of these things 13 times a day? is it a, send as text message, b, logs on to facebook or c, laughs? >> it's supposedly the best medicine. the answer is laughs. >> absolutely. you can look at a buddy check piece on how it helps even with cancer. one more check on traffic and weather next right here on 9news now.
your weather first. a couple of showers, maybe a rumble of thunder at times today but most of the day will be dry, 87. best chance will be south. 90 tomorrow. could be a shower south. a couple of isolated storms wednesday and thursday in the afternoon. high around 90. cooler by the weekend. we've got a new problem northbound the george washington parkway near 123 heading up from spout run near 123 for the crash along the right side. checking out the right on the outer loop, though, leaving college park through silver spring. the worst of the ride is getting past the work zone near university boulevard. northbound on 95 delays have eased up out of woodbridge. we'll find heavier volume as you try to make your way in. east on 66 cleaverred out through ma fan -- cleared out through manassas into centreville. cbs this morning is next with the latest on the shooting in wisconsin. and also rover on mars. i'll be back in 25 minutes with a live update on weather. don't forget wusa9.com. see you later.