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Space Station Module Relocation Makes Way for Commercial Crew Spacecraft

The International Space Station Program will take the next step in expanding a robust commercial market in low-Earth orbit when work continues Wednesday, May 27, to prepare the orbiting laboratory for the future arrival of U.S. commercial crew and cargo vehicles. NASA Television will provide live coverage of the activity beginning at 8 a.m. EDT.

Read more here:: Space Station Module Relocation Makes Way for Commercial Crew Spacecraft

Partnership between myStrength and the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards to bolster services

LANSING – myStrength, Inc.™ and the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards (MACMHB) announced today that they have signed a partnership agreement, extending myStrength’s web-based and mobile applications to MACMHB members and their associated clinicians and consumers.

The partnership between MACMHB and myStrength is designed to promote the use of technology as a critical treatment extender to better serve the needs of behavioral health clients in the state of Michigan.

myStrength offers clinically-proven behavioral health applications presented in a highly-engaging and client-friendly format. The resources available through the myStrength web and mobile applications reinforce the care that clients are receiving, inviting them to engage with their own personalized home page which is refreshed daily with interactive tools and customized content tailored to each individual. These digital resources are evidence-based and offered through a HIPAA-compliant platform.

myStrength’s round-the-clock resources will complement a range of behavioral health services currently provided by Michigan county mental health services programs (CMHSPs), while offering clients empowering resources to help better manage their emotional health and overall wellness.

“Our members understand that people with mental health and substance use disorders are increasingly looking to use the Internet and online services for education and support,” said Michael Vizena, Executive Director of MACMHB.  “Tapping into this resource has already allowed early adopters within our membership to support current consumers as well as their support network and family members.”

myStrength is already partnering with Michigan-based organizations including Macomb County Community Mental Health, Henry Ford Health System and Centra Wellness Network. Most recently, Genesee Health System has announced plans to integrate myStrength into their care model. “We are excited to introduce myStrength to our consumers, and have high hopes for the benefits it will provide the individuals we serve,” said Brian Swiecicki, Chief Administrative Officer at Genesee Health System.

“The state of Michigan is going through a very exciting transformation of its community-based healthcare system,” said Scott R. Cousino, myStrength Chief Executive Officer. “And we are thrilled to be an innovation partner with MACMHB, Genesee Health System and our other Michigan-based organizations, collaborating to advance the use of consumer-focused technology solutions to extend access and improve care.”

About Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards

The Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards (MACMHB) is a trade association comprised of 46 Community Mental Health (CMH) boards and 80 affiliate members, mainly provider organizations under contract with one or more of the CMH boards.

About myStrength

myStrength, Inc. is an online behavioral health company delivering innovative, evidence-based, scalable solutions for healthcare providers. More than 15 million covered lives now have access to myStrength.com and the myStrength mobile app through our partnerships with managed care providers, employee assistance programs and community behavioral health networks. Learn more at www.myStrength.com.

Senator Stabenow Introduces Bill to Expand Advanced Vehicle Technology

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow introduced legislation to expand an advanced vehicle manufacturing loan program that helps automobile and parts manufacturers to retool their plants to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, authored by Senator Stabenow and signed into law in 2007, allows automakers to produce the next generation of vehicles here at home. The Building Better Trucks Act will expand the ATVM program to allow manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and auto part suppliers to qualify for loans under the program.
‘These retooling loans have helped our businesses innovate, build new high-tech products and create jobs here in America,’ said Stabenow. ‘It just makes sense to open up the same opportunities to auto part suppliers and truck makers who are developing cutting-edge fuel efficiency technology. By giving more companies access to affordable capital, we can create good-paying jobs and help families get better gas mileage on their vehicles at the same time.’ Senator Stabenow authored the ATVM loan program as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Since the program was signed into law, ATVM loans have resulted in the manufacturing of over 4 million fuel-efficient advanced vehicles and the creation of 35,000 jobs. Earlier this month, Alcoa, Inc. in Tennessee received a $259 million loan to support its expansion of lightweight aluminum for cars and trucks. It is estimated 600 direct and indirect jobs will be created through this new project.

Read more here:: Senator Stabenow Introduces Bill to Expand Advanced Vehicle Technology

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NASA TV to Air Announcement of Instruments for Europa Mission

NASA will announce on Tuesday, May 26, the selection of science instruments for a mission to Europa, to investigate whether Jupiter’s icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.

Read more here:: NASA TV to Air Announcement of Instruments for Europa Mission

Senators Stabenow and Thune Reintroduce Bill to Advance Agricultural Research

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee, and John Thune (R-SD), member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, today reintroduced legislation to support agricultural research. The Charitable Agricultural Research Act encourages the creation of public-private partnerships to boost funding and spur innovation for agricultural research. Senators Stabenow and Thune, members of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced this legislation last Congress and co-led the passage of a similar bipartisan measure out the Finance Committee in February.
‘We need to invest in agricultural research if we want to have a strong agricultural industry in America,’ Stabenow said. ‘Farmers and ranchers face extraordinary challenges every day, from pests and diseases to droughts and severe weather. Our bill builds on decades of success, giving incentives to new and creative partnerships to fund research into some of agriculture’s most pressing challenges.’ ‘The Charitable Agricultural Research Act would help facilitate the transfer of much-needed private investment to agricultural research, which would better equip our producers with the tools they need in order to meet the demands of a 21st century global marketplace,’ said Thune. ‘This common-sense legislation creates a new means for generous Americans who wish to dedicate their own financial resources to agricultural research to do so more easily.’
Over the last 60 years, agricultural research has significantly expanded crop, livestock, and food production. Michigan agriculture contributes over $100 billion to the state’s economy and exports $3 billion in farm goods annually. In South Dakota, agriculture contributes more than $25 billion to the state’s economy and generates nearly $4 billion in exports. However, agricultural scientists warn that failing to invest in agricultural research could spell disaster for the future safety and security of American food.
The Charitable Agricultural Research Act seeks to address these challenges by creating agricultural research organizations (AROs) that would work in conjunction with agricultural and land-grant colleges and universities to conduct research in the field of agriculture. The legislation is modeled on medical research organizations (MROs), which were created by Congress in 1956 and have successfully generated billions of dollars of new investment in medical research.
The Thune-Stabenow Charitable Agricultural Research Act is cosponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Thad Cochran (R-MS.), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

Read more here:: Senators Stabenow and Thune Reintroduce Bill to Advance Agricultural Research

Senator Stabenow Introduces Bill to Advance Agricultural Research

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today introduced legislation to support agricultural research. The Charitable Agricultural Research Act, which is cosponsored by John Thune (R-SD), encourages the creation of public-private partnerships to boost funding and spur innovation for agricultural research. This will allow colleges like Michigan State University to continue their work to help make sure there is a safe and steady food supply for the world’s growing population. Senator Stabenow, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, also introduced this legislation last Congress and co-led the passage of a similar bipartisan measure out the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in February.
‘We need to invest in agricultural research if we want to have a strong agricultural industry in Michigan,’ Senator Stabenow said. ‘Farmers and ranchers face extraordinary challenges every day, from pests and diseases to droughts and severe weather. Our bill builds on decades of success, giving incentives to new and creative partnerships to fund research into some of agriculture’s most pressing challenges.’
‘This initiative will encourage more private investment into agriculture research and complement current funding programs,’ said Doug Buhler, Director of Michigan State University AgBioResearch. It will enhance our ability to support food security for our nation now and into the future. Michigan State University supports this effort and hopes that it will become a reality.’
Over the last 60 years, agricultural research has expanded food production significantly. Michigan agriculture contributes over $100 billion to the state’s economy and exports $3 billion in farm goods annually. However, agricultural scientists warn that failing to invest in agricultural research could spell disaster for the future of American food security and safety. The Charitable Agricultural Research Act seeks to address these challenges by creating agricultural research organizations (AROs) that would work in conjunction with agricultural and land-grant colleges and universities to conduct research in the field of agriculture.

Read more here:: Senator Stabenow Introduces Bill to Advance Agricultural Research

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Critical NASA Research Returns to Earth Aboard U.S. SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:42 p.m. EDT Thursday with almost 3,100 pounds of NASA cargo from the International Space Station, including research on how spaceflight and microgravity affect the aging process and bone health.

Read more here:: Critical NASA Research Returns to Earth Aboard U.S. SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft

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NASA, Canadian Agency Renew Agreement to Reduce Aviation Icing Risks

NASA and the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada have renewed a partnership agreement to continue critical research in the area of aircraft engine icing.

Read more here:: NASA, Canadian Agency Renew Agreement to Reduce Aviation Icing Risks

Stabenow, Peters Call for Permanent Administrator to Lead Pipeline Safety Agency

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters (MI) joined eight of their Senate colleagues to send a letter urging the White House to nominate a permanent administrator to lead the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which plays a vital role in protecting communities across Michigan from spills and accidents while ensuring the safe flow of energy products. The most recent permanent PHMSA administrator left the position in October, more than 220 days ago.
‘Given PHMSA’s responsibilities of regulating approximately 2.6 million miles of pipelines that carry natural gas, crude oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids all over our country, and the critical role the agency plays in regulating crude-by-rail, we are concerned that we still do not have a permanent administrator to lead the Agency,’ wrote Senators Stabenow, Peters and their colleagues. ‘PHMSA’s responsibilities are incredibly important, and we need a fully empowered administrator to lead this agency.’
The letter highlights the importance of having a permanent administrator to ensure accountability, develop long-term plans and respond quickly when things go wrong. In 2010, a pipeline break in Michigan sent more than 800,000 gallons of heavy crude oil into the Talmadge Creek and Kalamazoo River. It was the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history, impacting more than 38 miles of the Kalamazoo River and 4,435 acres of adjacent shoreline habitat.
Earlier this year, Stabenow and Peters introduced an amendment that would have ensured PHMSA has the resources required to oversee petroleum pipelines, including aging pipelines around the Great Lakes such as those running through the Straits of Mackinac, where a pipeline break could have disastrous impacts on the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. The amendment would have required PHMSA to certify that they have the resources necessary to conduct proper oversight of pipelines in the Great Lakes before approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and require PHMSA to develop recommendations for special conditions to apply to pipelines in the Great Lakes, similar to the 59 special conditions developed for Keystone. The full text of the letter is available below, or click here: President Barack ObamaThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write regarding the absence of a permanent head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). This Agency plays a vital role in protecting communities across our states and supporting economic development. We respectfully request that you act quickly to nominate an administrator for PHMSA so that the Senate can confirm an individual to this key position.
The most recent permanent administrator left the position in October, more than 220 days ago. Given PHMSA’s responsibilities of regulating approximately 2.6 million miles of pipelines that carry natural gas, crude oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids all over our country, and the critical role the agency plays in regulating crude-by-rail, we are concerned that we still do not have a permanent administrator to lead the Agency. PHMSA’s responsibilities are incredibly important, and we need a fully empowered administrator to lead this agency.
Our states have unfortunately experienced first-hand what happens when old pipelines break. These types of spills highlight the importance of proper oversight and sensible regulations. We rely on pipelines to transport a wide array of products across the country and expect them to be delivered safely. That responsibility grows in size and scope every year as our infrastructure ages and our oil and gas production increases. The recently released Quadrennial Energy Review highlights the substantial need to upgrade the United States’ aging energy infrastructure. Additionally, several of our states have experienced crude-by-rail accidents in recent years, emphasizing the need to work to prevent future accidents and reduce the impacts to our communities and the environment when accidents do occur.
We realize that having a permanent administrator is not a cure-all, and that the Agency needs adequate resources to carry out its mission. However, Congress provided increased funding to the Agency this year, and we support the Administration’s request to significantly increase funding for pipeline and crude-by-rail safety. It is not realistic to think we can expect PHMSA to drastically increase inspections or keep up with these evolving industries without making sensible investments in the Agency.
It is important to states like ours that PHMSA have a permanent administrator to ensure accountability, to develop long-term plans for pipeline transport and crude-by-rail safety, and to respond quickly when things unfortunately go wrong. We rely on this Agency to protect our citizens and our environment from damaging spills and accidents, while also ensuring the flow of energy products to those who need them. Accordingly, we respectfully ask that you submit a nomination for PHMSA administrator as soon as practical.
Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Read more here:: Stabenow, Peters Call for Permanent Administrator to Lead Pipeline Safety Agency

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NASA Announces Opportunities to Advance ‘Tipping Point’ and Emerging Space Technologies

NASA announced Thursday two opportunities for public-private partnerships to achieve the agency’s goals of expanding capabilities and opportunities in space. Through both solicitations, NASA is seeking industry-developed space technologies that can foster the development of commercial space capabilities and benefit future NASA missions.

Read more here:: NASA Announces Opportunities to Advance ‘Tipping Point’ and Emerging Space Technologies

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