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NASA global warming satellite crashes after launch

D.C. gets coin, may get vote

Jazz musician Duke Ellington has become the first black American to be prominently featured on a U.S. coin in circulation with the release of a quarter honoring the District of Columbia. U.S. Mint and D.C. officials celebrated the release of the coin Tuesday at a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The Mint rejected a proposed design for the D.C. quarter that included the slogan "Taxation Without Representation," a phrase borrowed by D.C. residents to voice objections that they pay federal taxes without full representation in Congress. Coincidentally, a bill that would give the district a voting member of Congress passed a procedural vote in the Senate and will be debated in the next week.

Higher finance, learning

A survey released today shows colleges raised a record $31.6 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30 — an apparent sign the fundraising engine of American higher education was revving even as the economy slowed. But nearly 27 percent of that went to just 20 institutions. Taking out those 20, fundraising fell 4 percent last year. Here are the top 20:

School Funds raised
1. Stanford $785.04 million
2. Harvard $650.63 million
3. Columbia $495.11 million
4. Yale $486.61 million
5. Pennsylvania $475.96 million
6. UCLA $456.65 million
7. Johns Hopkins $448.96 million
8. Wisconsin-Madison $410.23 million
9. Cornell $409.42 million
10. Southern California $409.18 million
11. Indiana $408.62 million
12. New York $387.61 million
13. Duke $385.67 million
14. Calif.-San Francisco $366.07 million
15. Michigan $333.45 million
16. M.I.T. $311.90 million
17. Minnesota $307.61 million
18. Washington $302.77 million
19. North Carolina $292.39 million
20. UC-Berkeley $285.35 million

Satellite crashes minutes after liftoff

A NASA mission to monitor global warming from space ended Tuesday when a satellite plunged into the ocean near Antarctica minutes after launch. The loss of the $280 million mission came a month after Japan launched the world's first spacecraft to track global warming emissions. The failure dealt a blow to NASA, which had hoped to send up its own satellite to measure carbon dioxide. The crash came just after liftoff from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A Taurus XL rocket carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory blasted off shortly before 2 a.m. Three minutes into the flight, the nose cone protecting the satellite failed to come off as designed, and the extra weight caused the rocket to dive back to Earth, splashing into the ocean near Antarctica. "Certainly for the science community it's a huge disappointment," said John Brunschwyler, Taurus project manager for Orbital Sciences Corp. "It's taken so long to get here." The 986-pound satellite was supposed to be placed into a polar orbit some 400 miles high. The project was nine years in the making, and the mission was supposed to last two years.

NASA global warming satellite crashes after launch 02/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:27pm]
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