NASA will announce a new challenge to engage the public in the agency’s journey to Mars Saturday, Sept. 20, at the World Maker Faire in New York City. NASA Chief Technologist David Miller will announce the details of the new challenge during a talk in the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) Auditorium at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
Read more here:: NASA Announces a New Challenge at World Maker Faire
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared that seven Northern Michigan counties are free of bovine tuberculosis, which is a serious threat to Michigan’s agriculture industry and rural economy. Since Sen. Stabenow’s initial call on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in 2011 to address the spread of the disease, Michigan livestock producers have received increased resources to battle the epidemic. USDA’s announcement that seven more counties are ‘tuberculosis free’ is welcome news for livestock producers and Michigan’s economy.
‘Today’s announcement proves that hard work pays off,’ Stabenow said. ‘Producers in Northern Michigan have continued to make changes to prevent this harmful disease from spreading on their farms. I will continue to work with federal and state officials to make sure Michigan producers have the funding they need to get rid of bovine TB for good.’
USDA announced that Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Otsego, and Presque Isle counties have been tuberculosis free since 2011 and will no longer need to test for bovine tuberculosis in cattle and bison, which will eliminate the need for costly record keeping and animal testing practices. Chairwoman Stabenow, who has been at the forefront of the battle against bovine TB in Michigan, urged the USDA in 2011 to allocate additional resources to address the spread of the disease.
Cattle are Michigan’s fifth most valuable commodity, reaching over $541 million cash receipts in 2013, up 13 percent from 2012. Michigan’s TB Free status was revoked in 2000 following a comprehensive surveillance of livestock, but was granted split-state status in 2004 to allow eradication efforts to focus on the area affected and the surrounding buffer zone.
Read more here:: Agriculture Chairwoman Stabenow: Seven More Michigan Counties Declared Free of Bovine Tuberculosis
Senate Republicans today blocked legislation co-authored by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow that would lower the student loan payments of more than 25 million Americans, including nearly one million in Michigan alone. The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, introduced by Senator Stabenow, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and others, would allow people to refinance their existing loans at the lower rates available to new borrowers during the 2013-2014 school year. The effect would be significant savings for borrowers on their monthly loan payments. The legislation is fully paid for and would save taxpayers billions of dollars by enacting the Buffett Rule, which ensures that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes. Senate Republicans also blocked the passage of this bill in June.
‘It’s outrageous that Senate Republicans refuse to even vote on a common-sense bill that would allow nearly one million people in Michigan to save money on their student loan payments. Once again, they stood up for the wealthy and well-connected and ignored the needs of millions of American families.’ said Stabenow. When you’re under a mountain of student loan debt, you can’t afford to buy a car, a house, or start a family. Michigan families can’t afford this kind of debt, and the country can’t afford this kind of drain on our economy.’
According to the Project on Student Debt, Michigan ranks in the top ten of states with the highest average student loan debt. In Michigan, the average student loan debt among those who borrow to get a bachelor’s degree is nearly $29,000, and 62 percent of Michigan students have debt when they graduate. Many borrowers are stuck with unsustainable levels of student debt for two or even three decades of their lives.
Under the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, a borrower with $29,000 in public loans at a 7 percent interest rate would save over $5,400 in interest payments over ten years. A borrower with $100,000 in private loans at a 14 percent interest rate would save nearly $155,000 in interest payments over twenty years.
Read more here:: Senate Republicans Block Bill to Lower Student Loan Payments for Millions of Americans
Researchers at the University of Michigan will receive a federal grant of $653,097 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to develop tools to predict water quality and forecast harmful algal blooms (HABS) in the Great Lakes, U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin announced today. The grant will also support outreach activities to let the public know about the presence of HABS.
‘The Great Lakes are critical to Michigan’s economy and our way of life,’ said Stabenow. ‘This grant will help University of Michigan researchers develop tools to better understand the effects algal blooms have on our Lakes and help prevent future blooms like the one that recently contaminated drinking water in Southeast Michigan.’
‘When I was a member of the Detroit City Council, I helped pass the first local phosphorus restrictions,’ said Levin. ‘We are still fighting harmful algal blooms today, and this grant will help make that fight more effective.’
Harmful algal blooms occur when blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, grow rapidly due to a combination of warm water temperatures, high nutrient levels such as phosphorus and nitrogen, and sunlight. HABS contain toxins that can kill fish, foul coastlines, and pose health risks to humans.
Levin is co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force and Stabenow is one of the vice-chairs of the task force.
Read more here:: Stabenow, Levin Announce Grant for Forecasting Harmful Algal Blooms
U.S. astronauts once again will travel to and from the International Space Station from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts NASA announced Tuesday. The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, respectively, with a goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017.
Read more here:: NASA Chooses American Companies to Transport U.S. Astronauts to International Space Station Selection
A planet may be causing the star it orbits to act much older than it actually is, according to new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This discovery shows how a massive planet can affect the behavior of its parent star.
Read more here:: NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory Finds Planet That Makes Star Act Deceptively Old
Over the past few decades, average global temperatures have been on the rise, and this warming is happening two to three times faster in the Arctic. As the region’s summer comes to a close, NASA is hard at work studying how rising temperatures are affecting the Arctic.
Read more here:: NASA Airborne Campaigns Focus on Climate Impacts in the Arctic
NASA will make a major announcement today at 4 p.m. EDT regarding the return of human spaceflight launches to the United States. The agency will make the announcement during a news conference from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Read more here:: NASA to Make Major Announcement Today About Astronaut Transport to the International Space Station