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. Kremlin Guards Don "Spacesuits" In Battle Against Winter Weather

AFP file photo of Russia's Kremlin Regiment.
by RIA Novosti
Moscow (SPX) Feb 03, 2006
The servicemen of Russia's Kremlin Regiment marched into a new era of military fashion Wednesday, throwing off their traditional felt and sheepskin and donning uniforms based on space-age technologies, reports RIA Novosti.

The regiment - officially a special service responsible for guarding top state officials and the Kremlin itself - would be both warmer and more stylish in the new uniforms than in their old Soviet-era outfits, a spokesman said.

Sergei Devyatov, spokesman for the Federal Guard Service, of which the Kremlin Regiment is part, said the traditional valenki, or felt boots, and sheepskin hats and overcoats had been replaced with modern wear made from special water-resistant fabrics and lined with thermoplastic fibers originally developed for spacesuits.

"The outerwear's fabric possesses unique properties. It can withstand strong winds, snow, freezing temperatures, and rain. The special membrane fabric is almost 100% waterproof. Tests have shown it will resist water for more than 500 hours," Devyatov said.

The uniform's designers resisted the temptation to dress the regiment in spacesuit silver, however, and stuck with the regiment's historical colors of emerald green and cornflower blue.

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Ashes Of US Space Pioneer To Launch With Remains Of 'Star Trek' Actor
San Francisco (AFP) Jan 30, 2006
One of the first Americans to orbit the Earth will make a final voyage into space when his ashes are rocketed into the cosmos, the company providing the space funeral said Monday.

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