A robot-driven VW Touareg named “Stanley” completed the 132-mile Mojave Desert course of the DARPA Grand Challenge in six hours and 53 minutes, using its computers and sensors to navigate rough desert and mountainous terrain. “Stanley” was designed by a team from Stanford University, and competed in a field of 23 autonomous vehicles. The prize: $2 million. (DR, 10/05/05)
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.