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April 11, 2008 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-04-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, A pril 11, 2008 - 3

Bush tohalt Iraq
troop withdrawals
President Bush yesterday
ordered an indefinite halt in U.S.
troop withdrawals from Iraq after
July, embracing the key recommen-
dations of his top war commander.
Bush said Gen. David Petraeus will
"have all the time he needs" to con-
sider when more American forces
could return home.
Bush's decisions virtually guar-
antee a major U.S. presence in
Iraq throughout his term in office
in January, when a new president
takes office.
In another major decision, the
president announced he will seek
to relieve the heavy strain on the
Army by reducing the length of
combat tours in Iraq and Afghani-
stan to 12 months, down from the
current level of 15 months. He said
the change would take effect on
Aug. 1, and would not affect U.S.
forces already deployed on the
front lines.
Family members of
Va. Techvictims agree
to $11M settlement
Most families of victims of the
mass shootings at Virginia Tech
have agreed to an $11 million state
settlement that will compensate
families who lost loved ones, pay
survivors' medical costs and avoid
a court battle over whether anyone
besides the gunman was to blame.
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said yes-
terday a "substantial majority" of
families of victims of the Virginia
Tech shootings agreed to the set-
Peter Grenier and Douglas Fier-
berg, who represent 21 families,
said the settlement was worth
more than $11 million, but neither
they nor the governor would dis-
cuss its terms until final papers are
drawn in a few days.
Obama's former
pastor to speak at
NAACP dinner
The embattled former minister
of Democratic presidential hopeful
Barack Obama has been selected as
the keynote speaker for the Detroit
branch of the NAACP's 53rd Annu-
al Fight for Freedom Fund dinner.
The civil rights organization
said yesterday the Rev. Jeremiah
Wright will speak April 27 at the
event - which is slated to seat
10,000 - whose past speakers have
included Obama, Sen. Hillary Clin-
ton and former President Bill Clin-
Wright has been criticized for
inflammatory remarks about ev-
erything from race relations to the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He re-
cently retired from Chicago's Trin-
ity United Church of Christ.
Obama has denounced the most
inflammatory of Wright's com-
ments, but says he shouldn't be
judged solely on a handful of re-

Dalai Lama begins
visit to America
The Dalai Lama arrived in the
United States yesterday for the
first time since the recent tur-
moil in Tibet, serenaded by felow
Tibetans as he prepared to anchor
an ambitious conference on com-
The exiled Tibetan spiritual
leader came here a day after dem-
onstrators disrupted the Olympic
torch run in San Francisco in a.
protest of China's treatment of his
people. The Dalai Lama will be
attending a five-day conference
that begins Friday.
With the Dalai Lama in town,
some community leaders said they
expected counter-demonstrations
from pro-China groups."
The Dalai Lama is slated to visit
the University April 20.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
Number of American service mem-
bers who have died in the war in
Iraq, according to The Associated
Press. There were no deaths were
identified yesterday.

Meal plan to replace Entree Plus,
make credits semester-based

Students to send satellite into orbit;
NASA funding $20,000 in research

MEAL PLAN From Page 1
Block plan $1,805 and the unlim-
ited plan $2,045.
University Housing spokesman
Peter Logan said meal prices will
stay constant despite the changes
to the plans.
Logan said inflation and fixed
costs like dining hall staff wages and
operational costs are the main fac-
tors that determine the price of meal
plans. Students often neglect to take
these costs into account when evalu-
ating meal rates, he said.
The University spent more than
a year developing the new plans, he
During that time, Residential
Dining Services hired a profession-
al consultant, spoke with various
student focus groups on campus
and consulted with the Residence
Halls Association, which acts as
the student government of Univer-
sity residence halls.
Dining services issued a survey
last year to students living in resi-
dence halls and off-campus loca-
tions to evaluate their opinions of

the University's residential dining
After looking at the results, offi-
cials found that "students said that
the meal plans were too complicat-
ed with too many rules," Lee said.
LSAfreshman CassandraYaple,
vice president of public relations
for RHA, said her organization
played a large role in devising the
meal plan changes.
"If we hadn't given the presen-
tations we gave or talked to the
board, some of the changes would
not have been made," she said.
"We gave them suggestions and
feedback to improve plans that
were different from the original
Yaple said that while the new
system might seem confusing at
first, students will ultimatelyben-
efit from the new plan.
"People are confused because
it's so different," she said. "Some
are happy because Block plans
offer more flexibility and con-
venience, but the new divisions
between Dining Dollars and Blue
Bucks can be frustrating."

hardware purchased in local retail
stores that has never been tested in
And instead of ordering circuit-
ry and computer chips from space
products manufacturers, the team
will shop at local electronics stores.
For example, the camera on the
satellite is one commonly used for
security systems in homes and busi-
"It's not the normal way of taking
pictures in space," Dontchev said.
To reduce costs, the University's
Amateur Radio Club will share its
radio communication equipment
with M-Cubed so the group can
communicate with the satellite
while it's in space.
Gmerek said using cheaper,
unspecialized parts has presented
some challenges.
"It'll be risky, but it's worth the
trouble," he said. "We cansavethou-
sands and thousands of dollars."
Through a simplified design, the
project's total cost is estimated at

about $120,000, he said.
The project is the first of its kind
for the University, Dontchev said.
The M-Cubed team is one of
about 60 student groups designing
satellites for the CubeSat Project,
a California Polytechnic State Uni-
versity program which does space-
based university research.
CPSU will cover the $40,000
launch expenses. The National
Aeronautics and Space Administra-
tion will also pick up a good chunk of
the tab in the form of two research
grants - one for $20,000 and a sec-
ond of a value yet to be announced.
Gmerek said outside funding
would cover most of the expenses to
build the satellite.
Rackham student Kartik Gho-
rakavi, one of the chief engineers of
the project, said the team would run
tests on the parts it plans to use in
the satellite to make sure they will
be functional in space.
Tests will imitate the conditions
the satellite will experience, like
intense radiation from the sun, vac-
uum pressure and harsh tempera-

ture extremes.
"There are some glues and plas-
tics that don't hold together in a
space environment because it's a
vacuum," Ghorakavi said. "So we
test them all in a vacuum container,
and we'll fluctuate temperatures
and try to ensure they'll function in
But even with tests and safety
precautions, success isn't guaran-
teed. The satellite's communication
system could fail or hardware could
malfunction, Gmerek said. A rocket
launch failure - which can some-
times end in explosion - could halt
the mission before it begins.
Once its battery life runs out
and S3FL presses the "kill switch,"
Gmerek said, the satellite will con-
tinue to make its way around the
planet for about 24 more years,
when it would incinerate into
Earth's atmosphere.
"We have a lot of momentum,"
Dontchev said, adding that the
group has a lot of work to do before
the launch. "This is really a perfect,
flawless, has-to-work sort of deal."

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