Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

University of Michigan launches two satellites into space on back of NASA rocket

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

With 30 seconds to go before two satellites they built were due to rocket into space, the 20 students or so gathered early this morning in a University of Michigan lab grew quiet.

There wasn’t a large celebration when the rocket blasted off.

Instead, there was a sense of fulfillment in the lab and an acknowledgment that the work wasn’t over – the satellites would soon be deployed in space and need monitoring.

U-M put two satellites into space this morning – M-Cubed and RAX. They hitched a ride on a NASA rocket and satellite. U-M was one of three universities across the nation to send satellites into space on this rocket.

M-cubed, which about the size of a square tissue box, – 10 cm by 10 cm by 10 cm – is designed for taking pictures of Earth. But more importantly, it is also flying a prototype of a specialized computer that private industry is testing for future space flights. RAX, which is about three times the size of M-Cubed, will be conducting a variety of experiments and measurements of the atmosphere.

U-M has a long tradition of being involved in the space program. It currently has one satellite in orbit. It has funding for two more missions.

It’s taken four years to build M-Cubed. Ken Gmerek, now a senior and the project manager, joined the team the second week of his freshmen year.

“I’m excited and a little nervous,” he said about 5:40 a.m. this morning, eight minutes before the launch. “I’m also a little relieved to get to this point. It’s been a long time coming.” (more…)

University of Michigan won’t tap endowment to recoup state aid cuts

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

The University of Michigan will not tap its $6-billion endowment to help make up an estimated $47-million cut it is expected to receive in state aid next year, U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said today.

However, Coleman, speaking outside a state House subcommittee hearing on public university budgets, declined to say whether the university will raise tuition to make up for the cuts. She said that decision was still under consideration.

Coleman was one of four university presidents who spent today before House and state Senate appropriations committees explaining the impact the cuts proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder would have on their institutions.

Oakland University President Gary Russi told a Senate subcommittee that previous budget cuts resulted in higher tuition hikes than he would have liked. “We’ve done a lot with what resources we have,” he said. “It is getting harder to address financial aid.”

The presidents argued against further cuts. “You’re going to make heart-wrenching decisions,” Ferris State University President David Eisler said. The state has made a “decade-long disinvestment in students,” he said.

The governor’s proposed budget would cut 15% from each university’s state appropriation. It would also shift funding from the general fund to the school aid fund. (more…)