Friday, September 27, 2013

Biodiversity and space news from University of Colorado

To mark Floods in Colorado from ABC News and University of Colorado becoming the most read entry of the year so far with 841 page views, placing it in fourth ahead of Second Year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News:, which has 747 page views, I present these two news items from the University of Colorado, Boulder originally included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (IgNobel Prizes).

First, from the university's YouTube channel, Undergraduate researchers at CU-Boulder net rare bumblebee.

Undergraduate researchers working on a CU-Boulder bumblebee survey discover the return of the western bumblebee to the area. The western bumblebee has been in steep decline across most of its range, which stretches across the western United States and Canada.
Good biodiversity news!

Next, DANDE, followed by the press release about the satellite and its launch.

A satellite designed and built by CU-Boulder undergraduate students is slated to launch into Earth orbit over the weekend. Known as the Drag and Neutral Density Explorer satellite, or DANDE, the spacecraft will collect data 200 to 300 miles above the Earth to help scientists better understand drag forces on satellites, including the effects of solar activity that increase atmospheric density, casing satellite orbits to degrade more quickly. Watch as project co-leaders discuss the satellite, its mission and the hands-on experience of building a satellite for NASA.
University of Colorado, Boulder: CU-Boulder student-built satellite slated for launch by NASA Sept. 15 - See more at:
September 11, 2013
A small beach ball-sized satellite designed and built by a team of University of Colorado Boulder students to better understand how atmospheric drag can affect satellite orbits is now slated for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sept. 15.

The satellite, known as the Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer satellite, or DANDE, is designed to investigate how a layer of Earth’s atmosphere known as the thermosphere varies in density at altitudes from about 200 to 300 miles above Earth. There are thousands of satellites orbiting Earth at those altitudes, most of which eventually degrade, lose altitude and burn up in the atmosphere.
DANDE is carrying an accelerometer, a wind and temperature spectrometer, an onboard computer, an orientation control system and radio equipment to send back data to Earth in real time. DANDE, whose primary investigator is COSGC Director Chris Koehler, will launch aboard a commercial Falcon-9 Space-X rocket that also will carry satellites from the Canadian Space Agency, Cornell University and Utah State University.
Good space and engineering education news!

That's it for news from Colorado for this campaign season.  Time to move on to Alabama and Massachusetts, both of which had primary elections this past Tuesday.

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