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Mission: Space

Cape Canavera and Mission Control in Houston are Americas gateway to space. It is from these locations that our exploration of the moon and Shuttle programs were made possible. Today the launch facilities at Cape Canaveral and the Mission Control facilities at Houston are ramping up their facilities and personnel for our next step into space - the manned mission to Mars. These portals to humanities future have become a destination for millions of visitors and it is here that the excitement of what the future offers is realized. A trip to Florida or Texas is incomplete without a visit to these gateways to our newest upcoming missions in the manned exploration of space.

Over Africa in a Balloon

In 1863 French author Jules Verne wrote what would be the first of many successful novels - Five Weeks in a Balloon.  The story, a fictional account of three adventurers exploration of the Dark Continent from the air, became an instant success.  While Africa is no longer an unknown land, as it was nearly two centuries ago, the spectacle and awe of the Verne story can still be had by the adventurer that wants a new perspective on exploring a strange land.

Meteora

One of the best kept secrets of Greece are the monestaries of Meteora.  These dwellings, clinging to the shear cliff faces and rocks of the Pindus Mountains, were once home to monks who lived their simple lives in the safety of these lofty retreats.  Once they numbered in the dozens, but today only six remain open to the public.  Some were weakended by earthquake, and some by the winds and weather, but most are simply the victim of age and have since fallen into disrepair. 

Concentration Camp Dachau

The first concentration camp of the Nazi state opened its doors in 1936.  Housing mostly political prisoners and Jews, it soon became the death camp for Russian POW's, homosexuals, gypsies, non-conformists, and even the homeless.  It was the camp that all other German concentration camps of World War II were modeled after and was the birthplace of the brutal and inhumane treatment that many concentration camp survivors tell us.  We should never forget the depth which mans inhumanity to his fellow man can reach.

Infamy


     On December 7, 1941, the placid and tranquil Hawaiian island of Oahu was turned into the first battle ground of the war against Japan.  From six aircraft carriers that stealthily approached the islands, over three hundred fighters, bombers and torpedo planes were launched against the American forces at Pearl Harbor.  Additionally, the military airfields of the island were bombed and strafed. The attack would catapult the United States into the last global conflict of the 20th century with the President’s address to the Congress and would forever make that date "a date that will live in infamy."

Arlington National Cemetery


Across the river from Washington D.C., in the neighboring state of Virginia, lies the most famous cemetery in the United States.  One of many burial grounds for the military service men and women, Arlington is the resting place of many American heroes, as well as two Presidents; John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft.  It is also the location of the Tomb of the Unknowns, servicemen who died during World War I, World War II and the Korean Conflict whose bodies remained unidentified.  A tour of this historic site should be on everyone’s bucket list to remind them of our history and freedom, and the costs to keep it.

Soccorros Radio Telescope Array


Before 1974 the high plain of San Agustin in western New Mexico was a harsh and barren landscape suitable only to desert plants, snakes, and lizards.  Since then it has become home to one of the worlds’ most famous astronomical observatories - the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Very Large Array; more commonly known as the Very Large Array or simply the VLA.  With its’ twenty-seven parabolic dish antennas - each weighing over 200-tons - it is the most complex radio telescope facility in the world.

The Rock


Alcatraz Prison is Americas most famous penetentiary.  It became home to the worst of the worst inmates and quickly developed a reputation for its strict rules.  During thier incarceration, prisoners had little to do but quietly serve thier time and try to survive the monotony and solitude on the island prison that was deemed escape-proof.  They gave it the moniker "the Rock", and in its nearly 30 years as a Federal Penetentiary there were only 14 escape attempts.  Most escapees were quickly recaptured and many died, but only one succeeded in the long swim to the mainland only to be quickly arrested and returned.  What has been called America's Devils Island has since become a National Park.

Murano and Burano - Islands of Glass and Lace


While a trip to Venice may be on many a presons list of dreams yet to be fulfilled, few of us think about including the desitinations of the islands of Murano and Burano in their itenerary.  But a trip to Venice without seeing these artistic destinations is a lost opportunity.  These two islands should certainly be on everyones list of things to see and do when visiting that Renaissance city.

The Magic of Disney


There has probably been no person who has brought so much happiness to so many people as Walt Disney.  When you hear his name, you automatically think of Mickey Mouse and Disneyland.  We remember him for his award winning cartoons and keeping the inner child alive with his amazing theme parks.  While volumes have been written about the man, his dreams, and his realizations, we've limited this presentation to but a few dozen paragraphs; enough to wade into the ocean of adventure and fun that all came about with the creation of a cartoon mouse.

 
Here you will find the ten previous N.E.W.S. articles. 
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