U.S. and Russian space dynasty
The sons of a U.S. astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut have linked up in space. Computer game developer Richard Garriott, whose father is former Skylab scientist Owen Garriott, paid $35 million to blast off this week in a Russian Soyuz capsule. Waiting for him at the International Space Station was cosmonaut Sergi Volkov, whose father, Alexander, was aboard the space station when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. When they met, Garriott and Volkov embraced as their fathers watched from Russia’s Mission Control. “I’m very happy that we have formed a real space dynasty,” said the elder Volkov.
Tuskegee training field becomes National Historic Site
Moton Field in Tuskegee, Ala., where the legendary Tuskegee Airmen of World War II trained, has been designated a National Historic Site. Some 3,000 people attended the weekend ceremony, which included the unveiling of a museum and the designation of part of nearby Interstate 85 as Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Highway. Nearly 1,000 black aviators, initially denied entry into the U.S. Army Air Corps because of their race, were part of the Tuskegee program; they ultimately flew nearly 15,000 combat missions over Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa. “When I think about what we went through,” said retired Lt. Col. John Mulzac, 84, “this just brings tears to my eyes.”
Saving deer and elk from Highway 160
Deer and elk routinely wander onto U.S. Highway 160, east of Durango, Colo., often colliding tragically with speeding cars. But that may change, thanks to a high-tech experiment. Along a one-mile stretch of highway, technicians have erected a $1 million sensor system that detects changes in the Earth’s electromagnetic field caused by the presence of large animals. When a deer or elk gets near the road, a warning sign reading “Wildlife Detected” lights up. The technology has previously been used to guard military bases and prisons. “I think it has a lot of potential,” said Durango scientist Dave Wegner.