Congress approves $19.5 billion for NASA Mars exploration and mandates it must happen in the next 25 years. “In order to maximize the cost-effectiveness of the long-term exploration and utilization activities of the United States, the Administrator shall take all necessary steps, including engaging international academic, and industry partners to ensure the activities in the Administration’s human exploration program balance how those activities might also help meet the requirement of future exploration and utilization activities leading to human habitation on the surface of Mars,” states Senate bill S.3346– National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2016.
Sept. 19 Fire at Greek refugee camp
Around 4,000 people were evacuated Monday evening as a fire ripped through Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. “Over 50 UNHCR Refugee Housing Units, accommodating some 800 people, were completely destroyed,” said United Nations Refugee Agency spokesman William Spindler in a statement.
Sept. 25 Pingtang County, China finishes world’s largest radio telescope at 500 meters wide.
The People’s Republic of China’s official press agency, Xinhua News Agency, reports the $180 million project displaced 8,000 people due to the 3-mile radius necessary to create radio silence around the facility. The telescope will study interstellar molecules associated to how galaxies evolve.
Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) votes unanimously in approval of signing historic agreement with Colombian government, formally ending 52-year civil war. FARC will be relaunched as a political party as the agreement is put to popular vote on Oct. 2, 2016.