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September 17, 2012

News Briefs – September 17, 2012

Neil Armstrong, first to walk on moon, buried at sea

The first man to walk on the moon has been buried at sea.

NASA says Neil Armstrong’s cremated remains were buried in the Atlantic Ocean Sept. 14 during a ceremony aboard the USS Philippine Sea.

Armstrong was a Navy fighter pilot before joining the space program. He died last month in Ohio at age 82. His burial follows a memorial service in Washington on Thursday.

NASA photographs show Armstrong’s widow, Carol Armstrong, accepting a folded American flag during the ceremony, which NASA said included a bugler and a rifle salute.

The space agency didn’t give the location of the ceremony. The ship’s homeport is Mayport, Fla. AP

House makes lying about military service a crime

The House has rewritten a law making it a crime to lie about military service or receiving military awards.

The House vote on what is known as the Stolen Valor Act comes three months after the Supreme Court struck down a previous law on falsifying military service on First Amendment free speech grounds.

The new bill gets around the court ruling by targeting those who lie about their military record with the intent of receiving payment or other benefits. Those found guilty of violating the proposed law could receive up to a year in prison.

The bill must still be considered by the Senate. AP

Deal reached in former military land dispute

Environmentalists get protection for endangered kangaroo rats and developers get the OK to build an industrial center in a deal ending a lengthy Southern California court fight over use of former military land.

The nearly decade-old dispute focused on about 1,200 acres west of March Air Reserve Base in the Moreno Valley area of Riverside County.

The settlement reached this week leaves 660 acres of the former military property as habitat for the endangered Stephens’ kangaroo rat, designates 424 acres for industrial development and leaves 91 acres for a park.

Until environmentalists sued, the Riverside Press-Enterprise says the March Joint Powers Authority planned to use nearly all of the property, which is now covered with brush and bush, for an industrial center and park. AP

Zimbabwe turns to China for military defense

Zimbabwe’s president says his country turned to China to beef up its military training capabilities after what he called threats of an invasion from Western countries intending to lead to “regime change.”

President Robert Mugabe said Sept. 14 at the opening of a Chinese-built military training academy north of Harare that “hate-filled tactics” by the West have acted as a “wake-up call” for the country to strengthen its defense. Zimbabwe received a $98 million loan from China to build the sprawling complex.

China wants the loan repaid over 13 years from diamonds being mined by Chinese companies in eastern Zimbabwe.

Mugabe said the new National Defence College will act as a “think tank” on security matters under threat from Western enemies whose “adventurism went to the extent of seeking a military invasion of Zimbabwe.” AP

Boeing offers clues on 787-10

Boeing. is getting closer to figuring out what the next version of its new 787 would look like, although it still hasn’t decided for sure whether to build it.

The aircraft manufacturer has been delivering the base model of the new 787 for a year now. A slightly longer 787-9 is being built, and accounts for roughly 300 of the 800 orders Boeing has booked. The first one is expected to be delivered in early 2014.

But Boeing is also thinking about making a longer version, the 787-10. The plane would have two additional “donuts,” or fuselage sections, said Ray Conner, who runs Boeing’s commercial airplane division. Conner spoke on Friday at a Morgan Stanley analyst conference, which was webcast. The main question is whether the bigger plane would need redesigned landing gear, he said.

The 787-8, which Boeing is delivering now, is a long-range, medium-sized plane that can haul as many as 250 passengers. Boeing says the 787-9 will hold up to 290, with a slightly longer flying range.

Boeing is making five 787s per month now and is aiming to hit 10 per month next year. Conner said Sept. 14 that Boeing is on track to hit those targets. AP




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Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

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