KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Be Our Guest and celebrate National Taco Day by getting two $25 gift certificates to Mission Taco for the price of one! Only a limited number of certificates will be available, so grab yours now at fox4beourguest.com.
This year for National Taco Day, Mission Taco Joint is offering a taco-take on everyone’s favorite snack: nachos. The new Nacho Taco ($3.75) is made with carne molida (ground beef), queso con cerveza, pico de gallo, cilantro crema and pickled jalapeno on a house made fried corn tortilla. The taco is available for dine-in only on Tuesday, October 4 from Noon-11 p.m., come on by to try it! Our full menu is also available with 11 additional tacos to choose from for National Taco Day celebrations, including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
Mission Taco Joint is inspired by owners Adam and Jason Tilford’s childhood in California and is a culmination of their travels, experiences, and the flavors of their childhood. Mission Taco is known for their fresh takes on tacos, burritos, tortas, margaritas and more. Each of their locations really sets a vibe with vibrant mural walls by local artists, and upbeat music while the menu features chef-developed recipes, from scratch ingredients like the tortillas and chips. Check out the whole menu at their website, MissionTacoJoint.com.
Make sure to head to Mission Taco Joint Crossroads or South Plaza today to try the Nacho Taco in celebration of National Taco Day, or anytime for some of the best tacos and margaritas in town. Plus, stay tuned for another location opening next year in Leawood, Kan.!
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The Cabinet also invited the Officer-in-Charge at the Immigration Department to explain how soon the Amnesty Certificates were being issued following the application for amnesty; and, how long would it take for citizenship to be granted, following the receipt of the Amnesty Certificate. The Officer-in-Charge made reference to the many applicants not requiring amnesty who had submitted applications and who were awaiting the final stages prior to the swearing-in. A period of almost one year would be the waiting time, it was explained, before citizenship is finally granted. Amnesty Certificates were issued within 30 days following the successful amnesty application.
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Nearly a decade after its launch in 2013, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission has run out of fuel and will cease operations. The mission, which was the first Mars mission by an Asian country, demonstrated a different approach to planetary science by being built and launched on a much smaller budget than is typical for Mars missions from larger space agencies like NASA or the European Space Agency.
In an update shared this week, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hailed the achievements of the mission, writing that, “despite being designed for a life-span of six months as a technology demonstrator, the Mars Orbiter Mission has lived for about eight years in the Martian orbit with a gamut of significant scientific results on Mars as well as on the Solar corona, before losing communication with the ground station, as a result of a long eclipse in April 2022.”
In discussions at an ISRO national meeting, scientists there declared that the mission will now have run out of propellant and so it would no longer be possible to orient the spacecraft. “It was declared that the spacecraft is non-recoverable, and attained its end-of-life,” ISRO wrote. “The mission will be ever-regarded as a remarkable technological and scientific feat in the history of planetary exploration.”
The mission was launched for just $73 million, which is extremely cheap for a Mars mission, even an orbiter. It is generally cheaper to design and launch an orbiter than a rover or lander, but even Mars orbiter mission budgets are typically in the range of hundreds of millions.
ISRO was able to launch its low-cost mission by reducing testing, simplifying design, and taking a modular approach to the hardware. There were also long working days expected of the scientists and engineers, and a focus on scheduling to prevent costly delays, according to an interview with Forbes by Koppillil Radhakrishnan, chairman of the ISRO who oversaw the mission development.
Some of the mission’s scientific achievements include uncovering information about the composition of the martian atmosphere, as well as learning more about potential causes of the atmospheric escape through which Mars is losing its atmosphere over time. The mission was also able to take images of the entire face of Mars due to its elliptical orbit, which at times took it far away from the planet’s surface. However, one of the mission’s big aims, to understand more about methane in the Mars atmosphere, was missed because a methane sensor on board the spacecraft didn’t work.
Even so, the mission has been unquestionably groundbreaking, and there are already plans for a follow-up mission, Mars Orbiter Mission 2, planned to be launched in 2024.
China's Tianwen 1 Mars mission has been awarded one of the spaceflight world's most prestigious awards.
The Tianwen 1 spacecraft lifted off from Wenchang spaceport on July 23, 2020 and entered Mars orbit in February 2021. The mission's solar-powered Zhurong rover then successfully landed in the Red Planet's Utopia Planitia plain in May that year.
The mission carried out a historic first-ever combined orbiting, landing and roving in a single launch, earning the mission the International Astronautical Federation's annual space achievement award on Sunday (Sept. 18) during the 73rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris.
Related: The latest news about China's space program
International Astronautical Federation (IAF) President Pascale Ehrenfreund introduced the team behind the development of the spacecraft at a highlight lecture at this year's IAC.
Jilian Wang, vice president at the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) that developed the spacecraft, presented an overview of the mission and outlined some of the major scientific achievements so far in a highlight lecture, including a global mapping of the Red Planet and a returning data offering evidence for an ancient Martian ocean.
Wang also noted visual highlights from the mission, including Mars orbit selfies and orbital insertion videos.
Tianwen 1 is continuing its extended science missions in Mars orbit, but down on the surface the Zhurong rover is currently hibernating to see out the winter in Mars's northern hemisphere.
The 530-pound (240 kilograms) solar-powered rover is currently expected to wake up and resume activities in December or January, when more solar energy reaches Mars, a mission team member said during a question and answer session.
China is also looking to follow up its Mars success with an ambitious mission to collect samples from Mars and deliver them to Earth. The mission is named Tianwen 3 and will involve a pair of Long March 5 launches — China's largest rocket — around 2028 to send landing and orbiter spacecraft to the Red Planet.
Before this, the country aims to conduct its first asteroid sample-return mission with Tianwen 2, launching around 2025.
The missions are also likely to be open to international cooperation. "We wish to partner with more space agencies, space companies, universities and all kinds of other entities," Wang said. "As always, international partners are welcome to join us."
Japan's Hayabusa2 team asteroid trial return mission won the award in 2021. China previously won (opens in new tab) the IAF award in 2020 for the Chang'e 4 landing on the far side of the moon.
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NASA is just days away from slamming a spacecraft into an asteroid 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth.
The agency's long-awaited Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission will impact with the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos on Monday (Sept. 26), if all goes according to plan. The DART mission launched on Nov. 23, 2021 on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and is now hurtling through deep space toward the binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos.
The mission, which is managed by the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL), is humanity's first attempt to determine if we could alter the course of an asteroid, a feat that might one day be required to save human civilization. While changing the orbit of an asteroid 7 million miles away sounds daunting, DART team members from NASA and JHUAPL said during a media briefing on Thursday (Sept. 22) that they are confident that the years of planning that have gone into the mission will lead to success.
Related: NASA's DART asteroid-impact mission will be a key test of planetary defense
Traveling at speeds of 4.1 miles per second (6.6 km/s), or 14,760 mph (23,760 kph), the DART spacecraft will impact the 560-foot-wide (170 meters) Dimorphos, a moonlet that orbits the other member of its binary system, the 2,600-foot-wide (780 m) asteroid Didymos.
Doing so, NASA believes, will shift Dimorphos' orbital period enough to alter its gravitational effects on the larger Didymos, changing the trajectory of the pair.
Katherine Calvin, chief scientist and senior climate advisor at NASA, said that while DART will be a key test of this "kinetic impactor" planetary defense strategy, the mission will also produce valuable science that will allow astronomers to peer back into the deep history of the solar system.
"We're looking at asteroids to make sure that we don't find ourselves in their path. We also study asteroids to learn more about the formation and history of our solar system. Every time we see an asteroid, we're catching a glimpse of a fossil of the early solar system," Calvin said.
"These remnants capture a time when planets like Earth were forming," she added. "Asteroids and other small bodies also delivered water, other ingredients of life to Earth as it was maturing. We're studying these to learn more about the history of our solar system."
Lindley Johnson, planetary defense officer at NASA, said that DART marks a turning point in the history of the human species.
"This is an exciting time, not only for the agency, but for space history and the history of humankind," Johnson said during Thursday's briefing. "It's quite frankly the first time that we are able to demonstrate that we have not only the knowledge of the hazards posed by these asteroids and comets that are left over from the formation of the solar system, but also have the technology that we could deflect one from a course inbound to impact the Earth. So this demonstration is extremely important to our future."
That sentiment was echoed by Tom Statler, a DART program scientist at NASA. "The first test is a test of our ability to build an autonomously guided spacecraft that will actually achieve the kinetic impact on the asteroid. The second test is a test of how the actual asteroid responds to the kinetic impact," Statler said. "Because, at the end of the day, the real question is: How effectively did we move the asteroid, and can this technique of kinetic impact be used in the future if we ever needed to?"
Read more: DART asteroid mission: NASA's first planetary defense spacecraft
The outcome of the DART mission on Monday (Sept. 26) will certainly help answer that question, and many of the DART team members shared their confidence in the mission during the briefing. Edward Reynolds, DART project manager at JHUAPL, said the spacecraft is ready to smash itself to pieces on the surface of Dimorphos when the time comes.
"What we can say at this point is that all subsystems on the spacecraft are green, they're healthy, they're performing very well. We have plenty of propellant and we have plenty of power," Reynolds said. "We've been doing a bunch of rehearsals, and some of the rehearsals are very nominal."
"At this point, I can say that the team is ready," Reynolds added. "The ground systems are ready, and the spacecraft is healthy and on track for an impact on Monday."
Engineers on the DART team are watching the spacecraft's trajectory carefully over the coming days leading up to the impact, which should occur at 7:14 p.m. EDT (2314 GMT) on Monday (Sept. 26). Elena Adams, DART mission systems engineer at JHUAPL, said that the team is still making sure the impactor spacecraft is on course.
"Over the next couple of days, we're actually still performing some trajectory correction maneuvers to make sure that we are on the right path to hit the asteroid," Adams said. "We rehearsed a lot. But as we go through the cruise phase, we update parameters in the spacecraft to make sure that we can actually hit the asteroid. And so in the last couple of days, we'll update those parameters; we'll do checks like streaming images back to Earth."
"So in the next few days, we'll take more images of the Didymos system, we'll do trajectory correction maneuvers, and then at 24 hours prior to impact, it's all hands on deck," she added.
Adams said the team has 21 contingencies in place in case DART's Small-body Maneuvering Autonomous Real Time Navigation (Smart Nav) system determines that the spacecraft is off course. "We've planned for all the things, and we're ready to intervene. And we have been rehearsing this for quite some time."
The 21st contingency the team has planned for is DART's survival. In the event that DART misses Dimorphos, Adams says the team will immediately begin processing the data the spacecraft collected and plan for a possible impact with other objects.
"We're going to sit down back into our seats and we're going to start preserving all the data on board if it misses. And we'll have time with our Deep Space Network right afterwards to be able to actually get all that data down," Adams said. "And then we'll start conserving propellant and we'll start looking for [other] objects to come back to."
In response to a question from Space.com concerning any flight testing the team has conducted, Adams mentioned a accurate set of images the DART spacecraft's DRACO camera took of Jupiter and its four big Galilean moons. The DART team captured the images in order to "fool" the DART spacecraft's SMART Nav system so that its tracking capabilities could be tested.
"We actually watched Europa exit from behind Jupiter. And we fooled our Smart Nav that Jupiter was Didymos and Europa was Dimorphos, and we actually watched the separation happen," Adams said.
That's important, she added, "because in the last four hours during our terminal phase, when the spacecraft is completely autonomous, we're going to watch Dimorphos emerge from behind Didymos. So, we already trained the system to do this in flight. So we're looking forward to it. I think we can do it."
Statler reiterated that confidence, adding that, while this type of mission was once the stuff of fantasy, the DART team believes we now have the tools and the knowledge to carry out a successful planetary defense mission.
"We're moving an asteroid. We are changing the motion of a natural celestial body in space," Statler said. "Humanity has never done that before. And this is the stuff of science fiction books, and really corny episodes of 'Star Trek' from when I was a kid. And now it's real. And that's kind of astonishing that we are actually doing that and what that bodes for the future: What we can do, as well as our discussions of what humanity should do.
"It opens up an amazing frontier," he added. "It's very exciting."
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Underground cartoonist Manuel “Spain” Rodriguez was a provocateur by nature. Deeply shaped by his working-class upstate New York upbringing and socialist politics, Rodriguez’s artwork reflects an omnipresent class consciousness that revolutionized the underground comics scene of the 1950s and ’60s.
Now, an exhibition of Rodriguez’s artwork depicting the Mission District is on display at Cushion Works, an art gallery on 18th Street between Capp Street and South Van Ness Avenue. “Spain Rodriguez: Mission Nites” runs through Oct. 29. A special screening of “Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez” (2021), including a Q&A with his widow, director Susan Stern, will take place at the Mission Cultural Center on Oct. 13.
Rodriguez, who died in 2012 in San Francisco at 72, blended science fiction, radical politics and countercultural aesthetics into his work and helped bring alternative comics into the mainstream. Originally from Buffalo, Rodriguez spent over four decades living and working in San Francisco, producing a prodigious body of work.
It includes an illustrated biography of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, “Farmworker Comix: A History of Farm and Labor Struggle in California,” and contributions to dozens of major underground comic series. Credited by the late Galería de la Raza co-founder René Yañez as the artist of the first commissioned Mission District mural in 1971, Rodriguez was heavily involved in the Mission District arts scene of the 1980s and taught art at the Mission Cultural Center.
Featuring archival footage of Jerry Rubin and Fred Hampton, “Bad Attitude” situates Rodriguez’s art in the nationwide countercultural scene of the 1960s, and reveals a portrait of the artist beyond his recalcitrant image, as a man deeply committed to neighborhood organizing, Mission District community art and his family.
“I really do think he really got into Mission District Latino culture,” Stern told Mission Local. This culture “is such a rare and beautiful flower, in many ways curated by Yolanda López and René Yañez and all those people that were around that art scene that I got to know.”
Speaking on the artistic celebration of Latinx culture in the Mission District, Stern highlights “a real openness about what it means to be Latino. They were also open and affiliated with the underground comics culture, and with a lot of other things. There were people that were part of the movement that weren’t Latino. It was a movement; very open and sweet, and yet colorful.”
The son of a Spanish immigrant auto body mechanic, Rodriguez chose the nickname “Spain” in a prideful response to the braggery of Irish kids in his New York neighborhood. In 1960, Rodriguez joined the Road Vultures Motorcycle Club in Buffalo before dropping out of art school in Connecticut and moving to New York City. There, Rodriguez contributed to the countercultural newspaper the East Village Other, and began publishing his own comic strips.
Rodriguez moved to San Francisco in 1969 at 30, where seminal underground comic artist Robert Crumb invited him to contribute to Zap Comix, a genre-defining series now heralded as the cultural cornerstone of alternative comics. Rodriguez is perhaps best known for creating the renowned character Trashman, a Marxist-anarchist working-class hero who uses his superpowers to combat the police officers, fascists, and capitalist class of a near-future dystopian America.
Not without controversy, Rodriguez’s rebellious spirit and highly eroticized depictions of women earned him a reputation as both the “socialist soul” of the underground comix movement and a misogynistic illustrator divorced from the fledgling feminist strides of the 1960s. This controversial aspect of his work features prominently in “Bad Attitude.”
“It was very hard to make the film,” Stern says. “I consciously invited in some people on the team that were much more critical of his work than I was, and that was very hard.”
At one point in the film, Stern asks whether she made the film to defend Spain or to defend herself.
“I’ve had interviewers ask me, ‘Oh God, how did you live with Spain?’ He was such a contrarian and protestor, and into all this sexual, violent work. But the thing is, I’m like that, too! That’s me! For me, that impulse to revolt, and be different, and push back, especially to push back against a culture that says sexuality and our bodies are dirty and they have to be covered up. I really oppose that. And I made the film to oppose that and I’m going to keep opposing that.”
The film features artist Aline Kominsky-Crumb, an underground comics artist known for her work with the Wimmen’s Comix collective and all-female comics anthology “Twisted Sisters” (and R. Crumb’s wife).
“It was a hostile environment in some ways, especially for women at that time,” Kominsky-Crumb says in the film. “But I really felt Spain saw me as an artist and he treated me that way, even though he was a very macho guy … Spain laughed at my work; he got it. In art school, none of my male teachers got my work or cared about it, particularly.”
The film also offers an intimate portrayal of Rodriguez’s role as a father, including him working in the studio with his daughter, animation artist Nora Rodriguez.
“Bad Attitude” is a humorous and tender portrait of a man of conviction and integrity, centering Rodriguez’s politics and work as a driving force of the inclusion of comics in the popular art world of the 1960s.
This focus on popular, representational art connects Rodriguez’s work in comics to his involvement with murals in the Mission. As Stern says, it’s “the people’s art. Accessible art. It’s about politics.”
In addition to his first mural, Rodriguez’s contributions to the Horizons Unlimited murals have cemented his legacy as an influential Mission District artist. When she reflects on how both the Mission and the art world have changed since Rodriguez’s radical comix work, Stern is optimistic about how young people today are organizing and producing art.
“Have things become more conservative from both the right and the left? I think maybe so. But I think it’s really important to push these boundaries.”
“I think Spain would say there’s no hope — it’s not necessarily worse than it’s ever been. There’s struggle. There’s no hope; there’s struggle.”
Spain Rodriguez: Mission Nites, a retrospective, will run until Oct. 29 at Cushion Works, 3320 18th St., free admission.
“Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez,” a documentary by Susan Stern, including filmmaker Q&A, screens Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at Mission Cultural Center, free admission. Sign up here.
There are many hotel credit cards out there that allow you to earn points, which you can in turn use for free hotel stays. However, some hotel credit cards offer free night certificates instead, which can be used to cover a free night stay at a hotel.
Free night certificates may seem straightforward, so it's easy to be tempted by credit cards that offer them.
However, cardholders might overlook how difficult it can be to use these free night awards. They expire. They’re mired in limitations, as some properties are entirely ineligible, and other bookings are also ineligible for certain nights. And they’re often subject to blackout dates.
Before you decide to pursue a hotel card with this perk, regardless of whether it’s offered in a sign-up bonus or as a standing benefit, here’s what you need to know — and, perhaps, what to do instead.
Here’s how the flexibility of these free night certificates compares to each program’s points.
Certificate expiration date
Only valid on Standard rooms during Standard award nights.
24 months if no activity.
12 months after issuance.
24 months if no activity.
12 months after issuance.
Standard room only at a Category 1-4 hotel during off-peak and standard award pricing nights.
24 months if no activity.
12 months after issuance.
Valid only on nights costing 40,000 points or less.
12 months if no activity.
Here are the unintentional downsides you may face if you add credit cards with free hotel nights to your wallet.
It’s relatively easy to keep hotel points active since any earning or redeeming activity will extend their expiration date. However, free night awards at Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott all expire 12 months after issuance. Period. Nothing will extend their expiration date.
There have been reports of customer service representatives making exceptions, but this is not the norm, and you shouldn’t expect it.
Hilton’s COVID-19 policy is still in effect, so if you still have a free night certificate issued from May 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020, your certificate is valid for 24 months. Any certificates issued in 2021 will expire on Dec. 31, 2022. Once those certificates are gone, Hilton’s free night award expirations will revert back to 12 months from the date of issuance.
When you book award nights with travel rewards, the cost of the room in points is exactly what you’ll pay when redeeming. So, if a room costs 30,000 points, you will pay that exact amount.
However, when you use a free night award, you won’t get any points back if you use the award for a hotel night that costs less in points.
Let’s use Marriott as an example. Depending on which Marriott credit card you have, you might either have a free night certificate worth 35,000 points or 50,000 points. If you use a 50,000-point certificate for an award night that costs 40,000 points, you won’t get 10,000 points refunded back to you.
This can make it feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth.
Rita King, a traveler who lives in Warrensburg, Missouri, found herself in a similar situation with her IHG anniversary night certificate.
“Some of the problem is that I want a great redemption, so I don't think to use the certificates when we’re staying a night at, for instance, the airport — even though I realize saving the money or points is better than missing out on using the perk,” she says.
Hilton and Hyatt free night awards can only be used on standard rooms, which are more basic than deluxe or premium offerings. What’s more, certain brands don’t allow you to use a free night award during a popular time (i.e., the holiday period or another peak travel season). Lastly, different hotel brands offer varying "award types," which can further limit your free certificate redemption options.
Let’s take a closer look at Hyatt award stays. Only standard rooms can be booked, and only during off-peak and standard award pricing nights. Say you want to stay at the Andaz San Diego (a Category 4 hotel) in July 2023. Hyatt Category 4 hotels are priced at 12,000, 15,000 and 18,000 points for Off-peak, Standard and Peak nights, respectively.
Since the free night certificate can only be used on standard rooms for off-peak and standard award pricing, you can only use it when the hotel is priced at 12,000 or 15,000 points per night.
So, if you have two Hyatt free night awards and want to stay at the Andaz San Diego for three nights starting on July 13, 2023, you could only use your free night award on the first night. The other nights would have to be paid for with points or cash.
“The other problem with free night certificates is finding a hotel that’s both under the 40,000-point price mark and available on the dates that we need,” says King.
You might also run into a situation in which the hotel will simply not allow you to use the free night award, which is exactly what happened to Florida-based Angela Sparks. She accumulated several Marriott free night awards but wasn't able to use them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Marriott extended the certificates, by the time the new expiration date rolled around, Sparks and her husband still didn't feel comfortable traveling.
When they were finally ready to take the trip, the hotels they chose wouldn't accept the free night awards.
“Though the certificates were good for 50,000 and 60,000 points each, and the nightly rate at the hotel was 50,000 points, the property flat-out wouldn’t accept the free night certificates, wanting us to use points instead,” Sparks says.
Hilton credit card holders who earn free night certificates can use them at any eligible property as long as a standard — not premium — award is available. These credit card offers generally grant one free night award per year unless you meet high spending requirements to earn additional certificates.
Hilton brands range from basic to luxury, so when applying for Hilton-branded credit cards, you might be quick to daydream about aspirational redemptions at properties like the Conrad Bora Bora Nui or the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.
A nightly rate at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi can cost over $2,000 a night, or 150,000 points per night. Hilton’s free night award will cover that, as long as a standard award is available.
Although using your free night certificate at this hotel can be a great way to splurge, what are you going to do after one night — head home? The Maldives are in the Indian Ocean, so it's not exactly an ideal choice for a short weekend getaway from the U.S. Plus, drinks and food at such luxury properties are going to be expensive, so while a nightly rate is covered, you’ll still need to spend money.
Although this is just one example, consider how realistic it will be for you to use the certificate at a high-end hotel (if that’s your goal) — not to mention what other costs you’ll incur to enjoy this “free perk.”
Hotel points generally don’t have any limitations beyond possible expiration. If you have the points, you can use them to pay for a room. Free night certificates, meanwhile, always have an expiration date and are subject to many limitations.
Instead of applying for hotel credit cards that offer free night certificates, opt for those that offer a welcome offer of hotel points, which are way more flexible. Plus, there are several ways to earn extra hotel points after getting the sign-up bonus, so it will be much easier to put your points to use for free night stays.
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for: