Apollo 11 crew honored for moon walk
WASHINGTON, July 20 (UPI) -- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station Monday celebrated the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's historic moon walk, NASA said.
"How cool," said astronaut Julie Payette, who was 5-years-old when Armstrong and Aldrin touched the moon's surface July 20, 1969.
At the White House Monday, President Barack Obama met with the Apollo 11 crew, telling them they untethered humans from planet Earth to explore the stars.
"Very rarely do I have such an extraordinary pleasure as I have today to welcome three iconic figures, three genuine American heroes," Obama said.
On that historic day 40 years ago, Armstrong reached the surface first and soon was joined by Aldrin, the two men spending 21 hours on the moon as astronaut Michael Collins remained in orbit, piloting the spacecraft that would return the three of them to earth.
While on the moon, Armstrong and Aldrin planted a U.S. flag and left a sign reading, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."
Pacific tsunami risk greater than thought
SALT LAKE CITY, July 20 (UPI) -- The potential for a huge tsunami on the West Coast of North America warrants immediate review of regional evacuation plans, geologists said.
A future tsunami could be far larger than the one generated by the great 1964 Alaskan earthquake, which sent huge waves as far south as Northern California, University of Utah geologist Ron Bruhn said.
Bruhn's team gauged the power of earthquakes, and resulting tsunamis, by studying 2,000 years of subsoil along the Alaskan coast. Radiocarbon-dating layers within the subsoil suggests earthquakes in Alaska could rupture even larger segments of the sea floor than previously thought, Bruhn said.
Tsunami warning systems have been in place on the West Coast of North America and Hawaii since the 1946 Aleutian Islands tsunami, and improvements were made after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed more than 230,000 people.
What's needed now is a thorough review of coastal evacuation plans from Alaska south to California, said Bruhn, who conducted his study with researchers at England's Durham University.
United States leads wind power market
BERKELEY, Calif., July 20 (UPI) -- The United States dominated the world's fast-growing wind power market for the fourth consecutive year, federal energy officials said.
U.S. wind power additions increased by 60 percent in 2008 with $16 billion in new investment, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said Monday in a release.
"At this pace, wind is on a path to becoming a significant contributor to the U.S. power mix," Lawrence spokesman Ryan Wiser said, adding the United States last year overtook Germany to lead in new wind installations.
Wind projects accounted for 42 percent of all new electric generating capacity added in the United States last year, with wind delivering nearly 2 percent of the nation's energy supply, Wiser said.
Aggressive federal policies continue to push growth in the U.S. wind power industry, despite the sour economy, Wiser said.
Ancient settlement unearthed in Ohio
CLEVELAND, July 20 (UPI) -- One of the largest and earliest American Indian settlements ever found is being excavated in Huron County, Ohio, archaeologists said.
Pottery fragments and flint tools suggest three distinct groups occupied the settlement as early as 2,500 years ago and stayed until shortly before European explorers arrived in the 1600s, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Monday.
"There are all sorts of stories to tell about this site. I'm amazed at what's here," said Brian Redmond, archaeology curator at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Evidence from five weeks of digging this summer suggest the site may served as a ceremonial location, a wintering shelter, a defensible village and a trading post, Redmond said.
The exact location of the site is being kept secret, though Redmond said it sits on bluffs on a working farm overlooking the Huron River.