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The men’s competition is INTENSE in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and so are the controversies!

The World Cup is held every four years. After playing to draws against Wales and England, the U.S. Men’s Team barely got past Iran. But on Dec. 3, a more experienced Netherlands team eliminated the U.S. in a 3-1 game.

Although young, the U.S. team exceeded expectations at the World Cup, and hopes are high that the team will do even better when the 2026 World Cup is hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada. “I’m super proud of the boys’ performance,” said team captain Tyler Adams in a Fox after-game interview. “We can hang with some of the best teams in the world, some of the best players in the world, and that’s a lot of progress for U.S. soccer—we’re moving in the right direction for sure.”

After the Iranian team was sent home, many worried about the safety of its players, who had refused to sing Iran’s national anthem before their first game to show solidarity with anti-government protests taking place in Iran. There were reports that their government had threatened the players and their families.

World Cup controversies have swirled around the Middle Eastern host country, Qatar. Usually, the World Cup is held during the summer, but summer temperatures are scorching in Qatar. So in 2015, the soccer federation known as FIFA recommended Qatar hold the tournament in November and December, which conflicts with the European professional leagues’ regular season. The leagues paused

their season to allow players to compete in the World Cup, which ends with the championship on Dec. 18.

There are also allegations that bribes were paid to secure Qatar as the World Cup host, and Qatar faces criticism over its treatment of migrant workers during the construction of the soccer venues. The country also is being criticized for its treatment of women and LGBT+ individuals.

Despite all of these issues this year, the World Cup has historically been viewed as a way to unite countries around the world through soccer.

orion spacecraft in foreground with solar panel pointing towards the earth in behindArtemis Program Finally Gets Off the Ground!

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL—“And liftoff of Artemis I—we rise together back to the moon and beyond!” With those inspiring words, NASA’s most powerful rocket thundered into the sky at 1:47 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

This kicks off the Artemis missions, but this first mission has faced all sorts of problems getting off the ground. The space agency tried to launch Artemis I a few times in August and September, but liquid hydrogen fuel leaks forced NASA to SCRUB those launches. Workers wheeled the 322-foot-tall system back into the shelter of the Vehicle Assembly Building to protect it from Hurricane Ian. Unfortunately, after Artemis 1

returned to the launch pad, Hurricane Nicole hit, slightly damaging the rocket.

Artemis missions will return astronauts to the moon by 2025 or 2026. Artemis 1 doesn’t carry any astronauts. The Orion capsule it sent will not land on the moon. Instead, it will orbit the moon with three test dummies. Like the crash test dummies used to measure car safety, these will provide data on what astronauts will face during a mission, including radiation levels and the forces of launch and splashdown.

After traveling approximately 1.3 million miles, Orion will reenter Earth’s atmosphere at around 25,000 mph later this month. Special parachutes will slow the spacecraft for splashdown in the Pacific Ocean near California.

“This is just the test flight, and we are stressing it and testing it in ways we will not do to a rocket that has a human crew on it,” explained NASA Administrator Bill Nelson after the launch. “But that’s to purpose—to make it as safe as possible, as reliable as possible when our astronauts crawl on board and go back to the moon!”

December 2022