Friday, June 24, 2011

Modern engineering marvels

Modern engineering marvels

Modern engineering marvels. You've read about or seen the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt and Machu Picchu. With the recent completion of the International Space Station, we shift our attention from the classic depictions of man-made marvels to more modern engineering feats. Come explore.

International Space Station
Year of completion: 2011

The engineering feat: The largest space station ever constructed, the International Space Station was completed in late May.

o The ISS can be seen from Earth with the naked eye
o No true owner of the station exists
o View a gallery of the universe
Panama Canal
Year of completion: 1914 

The engineering feat: A vital component in international maritime trade, the Panama Canal is a 48-mile ship canal that links the Pacific and Atlantic oceans

* Over 815,000 vessels have passed through this wonder of the world
* The ship responsible for rippling the first waves was a French crane boat
* Panamax (see photos) is the name for the size limit for ships entering the canal
CERN Large Hadron Collider
Year of completion: 2008 

The engineering feat: The particle accelerator that claims the title for largest and highest-energy collider among all others, the CERN Large Hadron Collider seeks to answer several fundamental questions in physics

o The collider was temporarily shut down when this pesky problem arose
o It's one of the most expensive scientific instruments built
o Find out more about the so-called "God particle"
Singapore Flyer
Year of completion: 2008 

The engineering feat: Eat a classy, cabin-side dinner and view the Malay Archipelago atop the Singapore Flyer, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world

o This Ferris wheel mimics another famous attraction, which was constructed earlier.
o See the Singapore Flyer's famous television debut
o Check out tour packages
Millau Viaduct
Year of completion: 2004 

The engineering feat: As the tallest bridge in the world, the Millau Viaduct has a roadway weighing 36,000 tons, a length of 8,071 feet and a whooping height of 1,125 feet.

o The viaduct broke another construction record
o The bridge was featured in this goofy film
o Find out how many runners took part in a race near the viaduct
Palm Deira
Year of completion: on hold, at 80 percent in 2008 

The engineering feat: Destined to be the largest man-made island in the world, the Palm Deira, with a total surface area the size of Paris and all the amenities of a modern luxury locale, is already an international attraction even though it's not completed yet
Channel Tunnel
Year of completion: 1994 

The engineering feat: Also called the Chunnel, this massive throughway connects Folkestone, England, with Coquelles, France, via 31.4 miles of undersea rail.

* The tunnel carries Eurostar passenger trains, among other massive carriers
* Immigrants and asylum seekers have used the tunnel to leave their countries
* Total cross-tunnel passenger traffic peaked in 1998
Three Gorges Dam
Year of completion: 2008 

The engineering feat: The world's largest-capacity hydroelectric power station, the Three Gorges Dam is projected to provide almost 10 percent of China's electrical energy.

o Beyond electricity, the dam increases shipping capacity and reduces the potential for floods
o Critics of the dam point to displaced populations and environmental degradation
o Preview the documentary film "Up the Yangtze"
Burj Al Arab Hotel
Year of completion: 1999 

The engineering feat: The Burj Al Arab Hotel is the fourth-tallest hotel in the world and rated the world's most luxurious.

o It was built to resemble the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel
o Find out how much it costs to book a room
o Several pieces of furniture and fittings inside the hotel are made of gold
Kingda Ka Roller Coaster
Year of completion: 2005 

The engineering feat: Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J., boasts that it has "the world's tallest roller coaster," the Kingda Ka

o Until Formula Rossa opened in 2010, Kingda Ka was the world's fastest roller coaster
o Kingda Ka's layout almost mirrors the design of this thrill seekers' ride
o The ride suffered from "failure to launch" problems -- literally
Year of completion: 2010 

The engineering feat: The Pan-STARRS is a series of cameras and telescopes, along with a computer facility, that continually surveys the sky as the world's largest digital camera

o This system is meant to protect Earth from asteroids, comets and other potential global catastrophes
o It's located on this island
o Beyond its role as "asteroid hunter" the system also may detect dwarf galaxies
Rungrado May Day Stadium
Year of completion: 1988

The engineering feat: With the largest stadium capacity in the world, North Korea's Rungrado May Day Stadium provides a stage unmatched by any in the world.

o The name came from a combination of the Rungra Islet in Taedong River and this well-known holiday
o The stadium came up during plans to assassinate this leader
o The stadium played host to a huge event
Langeled Pipeline
Year of completion: 2006 

The engineering feat: The Langeled Pipeline is the world's longest underwater pipe and brings natural gas from Norway to the United Kingdom.

o It has the capacity to supply 20 percent of the U.K.'s natural gas demands
o Exactly how long is the pipe?
o What was the pipeline originally named?
Oasis & Allure of the Seas
Year of completion: 2010 

The engineering feat: Oasis and Allure of the Seas are the largest passenger ships in the world.

o One of the ships is larger than the other
o The first official voyage of the Oasis of the Seas took place in Haiti
o Both ships are so large they contain gardens, restaurants and shops
Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge
Year of completion: 2010 

The engineering feat: The longest suspension bridge in the world, Akashi Kaikyo isn't just massive; it's also visually stunning.

o How many workers built it in 10 years?
o The bridge is also known as this
o Because the bridge is such a major tourist trap, additional attractions were built
Petronas Twin Towers
Year of completion: 1998 

The engineering feat: As the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers are a major marketing asset for the Petronas oil and gas company.

* How much did it cost?
* Additionally, the towers hold the record for tallest two-story bridge
* How did the architect of the bridge, Cesar Pelli, describe it?
National Stadium
Year of completion: 2008 

The engineering feat: Built for the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, Beijing National Stadium is the largest steel structure in the world

o What is the nickname for the stadium?
o The design for the stadium was based on Chinese ceramics
o How much did it cost to build?
Lake Mead
Year of completion: 1933 

The engineering feat: Lake Mead is the largest man-made reservoir and extends behind the Hoover Dam in Nevada.

o Who is it named after?
o Find out what river it is located on
o What lies beneath the lake?
San Alfonso Del Mar
Year of completion: 2006 

The engineering feat: The world's largest swimming pool is located within San Alfonso Del Mar, a private resort.

o How many gallons of water does it hold?
o If rain threatens your pool time, the resort also has a massive indoor option
o The pool uses water from this body of water
Mare Nostrum
Year of completion: 2005 

The engineering feat: Located within Chapel Torre Girona in Spain, this supercomputer is the most powerful in Europe .

o The primary purpose of the computer is human genome research
o Find out what the name means in Latin
o Project director Mateo Valero won several awards for the project

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