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Fighting Wildfires in California; Ebola Can Become Global Health Threat; Boeing Getting Contract For Making Space Shuttles; Downs and Ups of Scotland Independence; 3-d Printing Revolution

Aired September 17, 2014 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Today on CNN STUDENT NEWS, the last space shuttle launch in 2011 was a blast from the past. We`ll tell you where NASA is

looking for the future of space exploration.

First up, though, we are taking you to California where firefighters are racing the contained wild fires that are scorching parts of the state.

About 60 miles east of Sacramento, in Eldorado National Forest, one fire had chewed up about 8600 acres by yesterday afternoon. That`s like 8600

football fields. And it was only five percent contained when we produced this show. Thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes, and this

is only one of almost a dozen different fires that are fueled by the state`s historic drought. California sees a lot of wildfires. It has a

wildfire season that runs from May to October. But Cal Fire says this one is on track to be the most destructive season ever.

A heatwave that settled over California this week, isn`t helping.

Jumping cross-country to Atlanta, Georgia. It`s the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it`s where President Obama

spoke yesterday about Ebola.

Several nations in West Africa are losing their fight against it. There are more people with suspected Ebola than there are hospital beds to treat

them. The U.S. has committed $100 million to efforts to help stop the favor from spreading.

But yesterday the president asked Congress to approve an additional 88 million. It would be used to build treatment centers in West Africa and

send more American medical workers to affected regions. Obama administration officials say as many as 3,000 additional U.S. troops could

be send to West Africa as well. The U.N. says Ebola could become a major humanitarian crisis.

NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is calling taxi. Its space shuttle program might have ended three years ago, but it`s using

some of the taxpayer funding it gets to pay private companies to invent space taxis: vehicles that could potentially get Americans to the

International Space Station, maybe beyond.

They`ll launch from Florida`s Kennedy Space Station starting in 2017. So, who will be making them?


RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A major milestone has been met in the new private space race. Boeing was awarded the majority of NASA`s commercial

crew contract to replace the space shuttle.

ANNOUNCER: And lift off, the final lift off of Atlantis .

CRANE: Boeing CST-100 will ferry American astronauts back and force to the International Space Station. This is a big deal, since NASA canceled the

shuttle program in 2011, we`ve had to rely on Russia to get our astronauts into space.

Seats on the Russian Soyuz capsule cost over $70 million each.

Now, I`ve actually been inside the CST-100. And while it`s designed for safety, it`s actually pretty cramped in there. It can fit up to seven, but

it`s configured to only fit five right now.

Boeing bid out two other private companies to win this contract: Sierra Nevada and Elon Musk`s SpaceX, which won a smaller contract to develop an

alternative to Boeing`s capsule, the Dragon.

NASA turned to the private sector to reduce cost and risk in both the long and the short term. That set off a new private space race. And the

announcement marks are big win for Boeing. Boeing officials told me they believe this industry could be worth $20 billion over the next 20 years.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, if you can I.D. me. I`m a term for both a currency and a unit of weight. Currently, I`m worth just over $1.60 and

made up 100 pence, and I`m used in the United Kingdom.

I`m the pound or officially the pound sterling. And I`m the world`s oldest currency that`s still being used today.

AZUZ: But will Scotland, currently part of the U.K. still use the pound, if it separates from the U.K.? That`s one question ahead of this

Thursday`s vote. But the biggest one will be on the ballot: should Scotland be an independent country? Polls show Scottish voters are split

on the issue. U.K. government leaders are asking Scotts to stay part of Britain and promising them more power in the government if they do.

Independents movement leaders say it`s time to break away from Britain and give Scotts total control over their country`s taxes and spending. But

getting back to the currency question:


ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What`s the cost of independence? The United Kingdom has been united for 307 years, but on September 18, the

Scotts will vote on whether to break free and form their own country. Now, if they do end up getting a divorce, it could be expensive, no one knows

exactly how this is going to play out, but it`s e(INAUDIBLE) both the economies of the U.K. and a newly formed Scotland will take a short time


Here are some facts that you should know about.

Number one, administrative costs: Scotland will need a new Defense Department, a foreign affairs department, economic regulators and a new tax

system, among other things. Now, one estimate from academics pegs a cost up to 200 million pounds. That`s about 40 pounds per Scott. But another

estimate puts the price tag more than ten times higher, at 2.4 billion pounds, that`s almost four billion dollars. That`s only the tip of the


The big question is whether or not a new Scotland will use the U.K. pound. Independence campaigners say yes, the U.K., however, says no. Does that

mean that Scotland would use the currency without permission? It`s creating serious uncertainty for businesses and trade, another option would

be to use the euro, but that would take time. Or will they create their own currency.

And that brings us to a third point, which is debts. The debate is raging over Scotland paying its share of U.K. debt, like the upwards of 100

billion pounds, but on top of that, will investors lend to a new Scotland?

Those are just some of the costs and risks of independence. Now, pro- independence campaign has argued that a break will give Scottish lawmakers

more power to create long term prosperity for the nation and support local industry. And, of course, independence is never only about economics. But

change is hot and markets certainly don`t like change, so the short term might be costly.

For CNN Money, I`m Zain Asher.


AZUZ: We are traveling all over North America for today`s call of the roll. Atikameg, Alberta, Canada, is where we are starting. Glad to be part of

your day at Atikameg School.

Next, we`ll run with the Mustangs of Somers Middle School. Found them in Somers, Montana. And in Charlottesville, Virginia, how about the Mustangs

of Monticello High School, turning up the horse power on today`s roll.

It`s neat to think that if your little brother is missing a lego block or you need a new case for your phone, or you can`t find a certain size

measuring cup, you could just print it up, right there in your house. 3-d printers aren`t new, but they are getting more affordable.


LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Traditionally when you think of printing, you think of printing out something on a piece of paper using

ink. Well, 3-D printing is actually printing out a physical object.

You have a digital image that you can create using a different animation modeling software. You connect this image with your 3-d printer, and it

actually takes that, analyzes it, and it prints it out in physical form: layer by layer. If you think about traditional printing, you have syringes

with ink.

With the, 3-D printing you can have syringes filled with all different types of liquid consistency. So, this could be plastic. This could be

rubber. Some are more advanced when they are using metals.

Manufacturers have been using 3-D printing for decades, and you can print out car parts, an airspace industry uses this, but also more and more you

can print out really creative things. Doctors are printing out prosthetic limbs, you can now print out organs. We spoke to a fashion designer who

was able to actually -D print sun glasses that he put on his models for fashion weeks.

It used to be that the average person couldn`t own one, because 3-D printers were really, really expansive. We are talking like half a million

bucks. But now, a couple of different companies came in and said, you know what: we want to make this. So average people can have this. You can

probably get one for about 1,000 bucks. So, let`s say I had a jacket and I lost my button. Instead of going in and trying to go to a store and find a

new button, I could actually download the blueprint, connect it with my 3-D printer and I could print out a new button. The people at the forefront of

this movement, they said they want this to be as common in people`s homes as the toaster oven. So, you can only imagine that five, ten years down

the road, a lot of folks are going to have 3-D printers in their home.


AZUZ: So, last week we covered a contractor who was planning to 3-D print houses. What about a car? Done and done. Sort of. The engine, lights

and windshield had to be made the old-fashion way, but the car (INAUDIBLE) everybody was printed up in less than two days. We are not sure if it`s

street legal, it`s top speed is only 40 miles per hour, and it`s electric, so it`s range is limited to 120 miles in a charge. The cost between 18 and


So, it`s kind of like a wheely pricy golf car. But if the idea drives further innovation, the technology accelerates while the price throttles

down, things could speed up for 3-D printed vehicles, signaling a new era in automobiling. At least it`s a Nobel transmission statement.

I`m Carl Azuz, and I`m hitting the road.