DIGEST

Nation Digest: Work begins on Flight 93 memorial

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaks at the groundbreaking for a memorial to the passengers of United Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pa.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaks at the groundbreaking for a memorial to the passengers of United Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pa. (Gene J. Puskar/associated Press)

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

PENNSYLVANIA

Work begins on Flight 93 memorial

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and relatives of those killed in 2001 on United Flight 93 turned shovels of dirt at a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday for a permanent national memorial at the western Pennsylvania crash site.

"Let's roll," Salazar said, borrowing a phrase from Todd Beamer, the passenger who led a revolt against terrorist hijackers. The memorial is set to open by Sept. 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Gordon Felp of the group Families of Flight 93 said that the victims' courage inspired people to work on the project. The 2,200-acre park will feature a chapel with 40 chimes, one for each of the victims, at its entryway. A path will guide visitors to the crash site.

The plane was traveling from Newark to San Francisco when it was diverted by hijackers with the likely goal of crashing it into the White House or the Capitol.

-- Associated Press

CALIFORNIA

'Space' elevator wins $900,000 prize

A Seattle team has collected a $900,000 prize in a NASA-backed competition to develop the concept of an elevator to space -- an idea spurred by science fiction novels.

The team's robotic machine raced up more than 2,950 feet of cable dangling from a helicopter.

Powered by a ground-based laser pointed up at the robot's photovoltaic cells that converted the light into electricity, the LaserMotive machine completed one of its climbs in about 3 minutes and 48 seconds.


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