Nation in brief: Space station robot gets arms

MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2008

Two spacewalking astronauts attached 11-foot arms to the international space station’s huge new robot on Sunday, preparing the giant machine for its handyman job on the orbital outpost.

The Canadian-built robot, named Dextre, will stand 12 feet and weigh 3,400 pounds when fully assembled. It is designed to assist spacewalking astronauts and possibly someday take over some of the tougher chores, like lugging around big replacement parts.


Rare kiwi born at National Zoo

A North Island brown kiwi, one of the world’s most endangered species, has been born at the National Zoo in Washington.

The chick hatched at the zoo’s Bird House early on March 7 after the chick’s father incubated the egg for a month and keepers incubated it for five additional weeks, zoo officials said.

The little bird is being kept in a specially designed brooding box. It will not be on exhibit but can be viewed via a webcam ( /Birds/ Kiwi/default.cfm). The birth marked just the third time in the National Zoo’s history that a kiwi has been hatched. The first, in 1975, was the first to occur outside New Zealand. The second was in 2006.

Although kiwis have existed in New Zealand for more than 30 million years, only about 24,000 North Island brown kiwis are believed to remain in the wild.

From wire reports


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