- Associated Press - Saturday, February 22, 2014
NASA OKs Marquette for launch of tiny satellite

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Students at Marquette University have received NASA permission to send a tiny satellite into space that will photograph the Earth for about three months.

The satellite will be part of a NASA program that encourages research in engineering and technology. The space agency allows a handful of institutions each year to produce cube-shaped satellites, or CubeSats, that it launches into low orbits. It approved Marquette’s proposal and 15 other projects this month.

The Milwaukee school’s nanosatellite, which will be about the size of a coffee mug, will be called Golden Eagle 1 after the university mascot. Its pictures will largely replicate those NASA already has on hand, but the point of the project isn’t photography so much as to have students apply scientific concepts to a real-life situation, said Bob Bishop, the dean of Marquette’s college of engineering.

“The idea that you can design a spacecraft that actually orbits the Earth, and that you can communicate with it, is in some ways a dream come true,” Bishop said. “It stimulates the imagination of students and it also prepares them to solve the tough technological challenges facing the world.”

NASA sets very precise specifications for CubeSats. In general, they have to be cubes about 4 inches in length and weigh no more than 3 pounds. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for extra parts.

Golden Eagle 1 will contain two tiny cameras that transmit photos back to Earth. One will take standard pictures and the other will take heat-imaging photos. The satellite will have some hardware for memory and communications, but not much else.

Peter Jorgensen, a graduate student who has managed Marquette’s CubeSat program since it began three years ago, said the photos won’t be of extraordinary quality because the cube’s size prevents the use of large lenses. But he said the goal was more to generate publicity and interest in the program than to reveal new feature of Earth’s topography.


UW-Stevens Point chef vies for top cooking honors

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) - The top chef at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point will be competing in a culinary challenge to find the best college-campus cook in the country.

Angel Alcantar was selected to square off in the National Association of College & University Food Services’ competition, which will be held March 2 at Michigan State University. Alcantar, UWSP’s executive chef for the past five years, said he’s confident about his chances, Stevens Point Journal Media reported (http://spjour.nl/1mAcRXAhttp://spjour.nl/1mAcRXA ).

The competition requires chefs to create their own menus given a specific list of ingredients. They’ll be judges based on a broad range of factors including creativity, craftsmanship, portion sizes, flavor and nutritional balance.

Alcantar qualified after submitting a lobster dish. An Arizona native, he incorporated southwest spices to create a jicama and green apple slaw with lobster, a lobster gazpacho and lobster fritters.

“The best of the best compete (in the competition), and chefs are all competitive. We all think that we have the winning dish,” he said. “When we found out that the protein of choice is lobster, I said, ‘OK, how are other chefs going to use lobster?’ and at that point I did my own thing.”

While dorm food and college eateries are stereotypically bland, Alcantar said he takes pride in his campus’s dining options. He oversees most of the operations, with a staff made up almost entirely of UWSP students, and said he takes special pride in representing UWSP.

“If I can put UWSP as saying, ‘Here we are. We just won the nationals in culinary,’ it only makes more people want to come here,” he said. “I think our food speaks for itself.”


No charges after Wis. speeder kills woman, 85

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - A man who was going more than three times the speed limit when he plowed into another vehicle last summer, killing an 85-year-old woman, won’t face charges because he’d apparently had a seizure, Wausau police said.

The driver was going about 83 mph in a 25-mph zone in June when his SUV plowed into the car of Frances Wilk, who was waiting at a red light. Prosecutors investigated for eight months before deciding not to file charges, Daily Herald Media reported (http://wdhne.ws/1fjWjz5http://wdhne.ws/1fjWjz5 ).

The 51-year-old won’t even be cited, the police department said in a statement Friday.

“No criminal statutes were violated,” Wausau Police Capt. Ben Bliven said. “Because of the medical condition, a speeding citation will not be issued.”

Police say privacy laws prevent them from releasing the man’s name.

Medical records say the man’s neurologist believes the man had a seizure while driving, which ultimately caused the crash, police said.

The man has multiple sclerosis and a history of seizures, according to police.


Wis. snowfall boosts snowmobile registrations

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - The heavy snowfall in Wisconsin this winter has led to a boost in the number of snowmobile registrations.

The Department of Natural Resources says registrations are up in many north-central Wisconsin counties.

A WSAW-TV report (http://bit.ly/MNB1h6http://bit.ly/MNB1h6 ) says nearly 229,000 riders have registered snowmobiles this year. That’s 4,000 more than last year, but still behind the record 235,000 set four years ago.

Many trails opened in December and have stayed open, thanks to steady snowfall and cold temperatures.

DNR spokeswoman Joanne Haas says it’s not surprising that Wisconsin is such a popular snowmobiling destination with its 25,000 miles of groomed trails.

Vilas County leads the about 10,600 snowmobile registrations, 300 more than last year. Marathon County has about 8,800 registrations.


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