Repairs, scaffolding ahead for U.S. Capitol dome

Capitol dome to get repairs

The 150-year-old U.S. Capitol dome will be sheathed in scaffolding for about two years during its first major restoration since 1960, officials said Tuesday. Stephen Ayers, the architect of the Capitol, said the structure may look good from a distance, but up close, more than 1,000 cracks and other structural problems need attention now. The restoration is expected to cost $60 million. The repairs are not expected to affect legislative business and are being designed to minimally affect tours and other events.

New space ride in the works

A new space tourism company, World View Enterprises, announced plans Tuesday to send people up 19 miles in a capsule as early as the end of 2016, lifted by a high-altitude balloon. CEO Jane Poynter said the price for the four-hour ride would be $75,000. While it's not quite space — that starts at 62 miles — the plan requires approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial space. The same team in February proposed a private venture to send a married couple to Mars in 2018.

Condors now streamed live

A solar-powered "condor cam" in the hills of Big Sur, on the central California coast, allows the public to view North America's largest birds from home. The San Jose Mercury News reported that the live-streaming camera went online Monday: ventanaws.org. There are only about 430 of the massive, vulturelike birds alive in the world today.

Times wires

Repairs, scaffolding ahead for U.S. Capitol dome 10/22/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 12:13am]

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