Spacewalk for Olympic torch
For the first time in history, the Olympic torch will be taken on a spacewalk. The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics torch will be sent to the International Space Station on board a Russian spacecraft this week. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazanskiy, who are part of the space station's current crew, will take the torch into open space Saturday when they venture outside the station. Returning crew members will bring the torch back to Earth on Monday, when Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency plan to land in Kazakhstan. The Olympic torch has flown into space before — in 1996 aboard the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis for the Atlanta Summer Olympics — but it has never yet been taken outside a spacecraft.
Online vote for panda name
How does Bao Bao sound? That's "precious" or "treasure" in Mandarin Chinese. How about Ling Hua — "darling" or "delicate flower"? These are two of the five names that the National Zoo said Tuesday are candidates for the name of its female giant panda cub. Until Nov. 22, panda fans can vote for their favorite name at Smithsonian.com. The cub will receive the name that gets the most votes. The winning name will be revealed Dec. 1, when the cub is 100 days old. It is tradition in China to celebrate when a baby turns 100 days old, the zoo said. The other choices are Long Yun (Long is the Chinese symbol of the dragon and Yun means "charming"); Mulan (the name of the 1998 Walt Disney animated movie and a legendary 5th-century female Chinese warrior); and Zhen Bao (meaning "treasure" or "valuable"). Times wires