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The Oredigger Issue 15 - February 8, 2010

The Oredigger Issue 15 - February 8, 2010



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Published by The Oredigger
The Oredigger Volume 90, Issue 15
The Oredigger Volume 90, Issue 15

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Published by: The Oredigger on Feb 08, 2010
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 Volume 90, Issue 15February 8, 2010
News 2Features 4sports 8opiNioN - 10
~legislature day ~scientific discoveries~geek of the week ~art of science~baseball season preview ~track and field~minds at mines~nhv debate rebuttal
satire  12
~faculty bios~tupac
 The CSM Center for Space Re-sources is located in the GeneralResearch Labs building, but thecenter’s director, Dr. Angel Abbud-Madrid says its best to “think aboutthe Center for Space Resourcesas CSM in space.” The CSR is amultidisciplinary research centerfocused on tackling the challengesfacing space exploration today andin the future. The School of Mines has hada history with the space programbeginning with studying some of the Apollo moon rocks, and for ashort time there was a Center of Space Mining. However there wasno concerted effort to establish aspace research center until 1996with the creation of the Center forCommercial Applications of Com-bustion in Space, as a part of theNASA Commercial Space Centersprogram, to study high tempera-ture reactions and combustion inmicrogravity, and that center lastedfor about 10 years. The true Center for Space Re-sources was created in 2006 in re-sponse to what Dr. Abbud-Madriddescribed as “amajor shift in NASA policy”. In Januaryof 2004, PresidentBush gave NASA the goal to replacethe aging spaceshuttle, and re-turn to the Moon,and send the rstmanned missions to Mars. Thesegoals involve everything from thedevelopment of new technologies,to nding, mining, and utilizing plan-etary resources, and as Dr. Abbud-Madrid said, “That’s exactly whatMines is good at.” Thus the CCACSwas reworked into the contempo-rary Center for Space Resources tobe a multi-disciplinary center for thedevelopment of new technologiesto meet the challenges faced bythe new era of space exploration. The recent budget an-nouncements made byPresident Obama ap-peared to spell out an endfor an American spaceprogram with the cancel-lation of the project todevelop a shuttle replace-ment, and Lunar and Mar-tian expeditions. However, Dr. Abbud-Madrid feels strongly oth-erwise; “It’s actually a great oppor-tunity for us and for universities andfor researchers, because now themoney, instead of being channeledto build the rocket, will be used todevelop technology.” This opensthe door to all corporations to at-tempt to develop their own spacetransportation, and could lead tobetter and more efcient systemsthan would have been producedby NASA directly. So, despite thefears that U.S. spaceight is dyingout, Dr. Abbud-Madrid is hopeful;“When [the budgetreport] came outand I read it, I said,‘this is great.’”Since the Cen-ter for Space Re-sources is sucha multidisciplinaryresearch group, there are a lot of different projects all being workedon at a time. From studying how tocharacterize, and excavate soils,
Dr. Angel Abbud-Madrid, Joe Stevanak, and Ben Webster work on a re-suppression system for spacecraft.
developing sensors, studying newmaterials and how to manufacturethem in space, managing the dustthat plagues planetary research,and developing a new re suppres-sion system. Recently, there havebeen some very signicant devel-opments in a couple of the projects.Dr. Abbud-Madrid noted that “Wedeveloped the rst prototype of alunar excavator…that will work onthe moon”. The group of seniorsworking on that project will head tothe Kennedy Space Center at theend of the semester to competewith a new version of the excavator. Another great developmenthas been in Dr. Abbud-Madrid’sresearch into spacecraft re sup-pression. “We were actually giventhe go-ahead by NASA to developthe re extinguisher that’s goingto be on the new spacecraft fromnow on.” And it will most likelybe adopted in the future by othercorporations for their spacecraft aswell. The system being developedat the CSR is a portable unit thatdisperses water in a very ne mist.“Water is great, because watermist, as opposed to sprinklers, isvery ne droplets - like a cloud,”explained Dr. Abbud-Madrid. “Sothat thing gets to the re, absorbsall the heat, vaporizes very quickly,and doesn’t leave all the destruc-tion that you have after using[sprinklers]”. And with spacecraft’sdehumidifying systems, the waterthat is used to suppress the reis actually recycled, and the extin-guisher can be relled and reusedas well.Down in the lab where the resuppression system was beingtested, two of the students work-ing on the project spoke on thedifficulties of testing asystem that is to be usedin a space environment.Ben Webster, a Junior,majoring in EngineeringPhysics, spoke about thelaborious nature of set-ting up the experiments.“Your normal vacuumsystem, you clean out, and youclean with alcohol, and you bake itdown to get all the uids out,” heexplained. “But with this guy, we’reliterally throwing a waterfall into itevery test… I spend several hoursin there with a vacuum and a heatgun just sitting inside drying it.” Notonly is setting up for a test difcult,but being able to send informationfrom inside the vacuum chamberto a computer was difcult as well.Joe Stevanak, a Senior Engineer-ing Physics major, stated, “Whenyou try to get it down to vacuumpressures, just a few moleculescan make a difference” and so,“any of the feed-throughs [fromthe vacuum chamber to outside]have to be electrically and speciallyisolated so that you don’t have anyleakage of gas.” The Center for Space Resourcesis on the forefront of space researchand is producing the technologythat will continue to keep the UnitedStates, and the rest of the world,headed out of Earth’s atmosphereand into the cosmos.
Center for Space Resources puts Mines in space
Alan Downey
Stff Wt 
 alan doWney / oredigger
 “We’re literally throwing a waterfall intoit every test… I spend several hours inthere with a vacuum and a heat gun justsitting inside drying it.”  “When [the budgetreport] came out andI read it, I said, ‘this isgreat.’” 
Dr. Tim Scheibe visited the Colo-rado School of Mines last week aspart of the National Ground WaterResearch and Educational Foun-dation-sponsored Henry DarcyDistinguished Lecture Series inGround Water Science. The lectureseries was established in 1986 tohonor Henry Darcy who, through hisresearch, established the basis forhydrology and groundwater engi-neering. Each year, a distinguishedgroundwater scientist or engineer ischosen by an expert panel to travelthe country and present their work. Tim Scheibe got his start ingroundwater with former DarcyLecturer and current CSM fac-ulty member Dr. Eileen Poeter, whotaught him in an undergraduategroundwater course at WashingtonState University. He then went on toearn a master’s degree from Univer-sity of Washington and a Ph.D. fromStanford. He now works for PacicNorthwest National Laboratory. As part of the lecture circuit,Scheibe delivered a presentationentitled, “Beyond the Black Box:Integrating Advanced Character-ization of Microbial Processes withSubsurface Reactive TransportModels.” This lecture dealt primar-ily with the use of microbes, whichalready exist in the earth’s subsur-face, for bio-remediation of con-taminates to groundwater sources. To start the lecture off, he paint-ed a picture of the diversity thatcan be encountered on our planetand how much local environmentaffects human behavior. “If you wantto know me, you need to knowsomething about the environmentI live in because my behavior isinuenced by my local conditions.I would say the same is true formicro-organisms… Their behavioris strongly inuenced by their localconditions.” The idea of subsurface mi-crobiology is fairly new. In 1985,the US Department of Energybegan funding the study of micro-organisms in the deep subsurface.Before this time, it was thoughtthat life could not exist there dueto the complete lack of sunlight (oranything originating from sunlight).However, diverse organisms havebeen found up to 2.8 kilometersbelow the subsurface. One of these organisms has been foundto survive at temperatures above121 degrees centigrade, strain 121. These microbes eat and live off of rocks. Uranium decay feeds theseorganisms by changing inorganiccarbon, formed from decay, intoorganic carbon. This idea has ledscientists to believe that similarorganisms may exist on Mars. Un-fortunately, the feasibility of settingup a drilling rig on Mars is currentlyoutside of reality.
Groundwater remediationwith microbes
Kevin Lock
Stff Wt 
see groundwateron page 3
NHV coordinator responds to criticism 
see page 10
N e w s
February 8, 2010page 2
 w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t
Oredigger Staff 
Sara Post
Neelha Mudigonda
Managing Editor 
Abdullah Ahmed
Business Manager 
Ryan Browne
Barbara Anderson
Design Editor 
Zach Boerner 
Copy Editor 
Robert Gill
 Asst. Business Manager for Sales and Marketing 
Ian Littman
 Asst. Business Manager, WebContent 
Steven Wooldridge
 Asst. Webmaster 
Mike Stone
Fool’s Gold Content Manager 
Tim Weilert
Content Manager 
Jake Rezac
Content Manager 
Spencer Nelson
Content Manager 
Forrest Stewart
Faculty Advisor 
Headlines from around the world
Local News
Mines women’s basketballteam defeated UC-ColoradoSprings in Rocky Mountain Ath-letic Conference by scoring thehighest number of points in theseason (90 points) on Saturday,February 6
. The Colorado School of Minesswimming and diving teams (bothwomen’s and men’s) earned Col-orado Swimming Coaches Asso-ciation of America Division II TeamScholar All-America honors. Withthe women’s cumulative GPA of 3.43 and the men’s of 3.10 forFall 2009, the teams stood fourthand sixth consecutively in DivisionII schools. The CSM Sweet Adelines andBarbershop are selling Singing Valentines this week; they can bedelivered to any location on cam-pus on Friday, February 12
.Career Day is on Tuesday,February 9
; it will be held dur-ing the day at the Mines StudentRecreation Center. The Coal Creek Canyon En-vironmental Group had a com-munity meeting on February 4thto oppose Denver Water’s Projectand to enlarge Gross Reservoirby sending letters of protest tothe U. S. Army Corps of Engi-neers and to Denver Water. The tickets for Winter Carnivalwill be on sale this week through Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm inthe Student Center Lobby; theWinter Carnival is at Eldora.
Emily Trudell,
Staff Writer 
Jake Rezac,
Content Manager 
Men’s Health Magazine rankedtwo Colorado cities in their list of the top 20
“drunkest” cities
 in the United States. ColoradoSprings was ranked sixteenth,and Denver was ranked seven-teenth, moving back from thenumber one spot a couple yearsago. The ranking was based onthe number of DUI arrests, theseverity of offenses, and on thenumber of deaths caused by al-cohol.Royal Dutch
announcedthat it would cut 1,000 jobs afterfourth quarter revenues dropped75 percent for the energy compa-ny. Shell cut 5,000 jobs in 2009,and plans to cut production by560,000 barrels of oil per day.Republican
Scott Brown
wassworn in by Vice President JoeBiden as a new Senator fromMassachusetts. Brown is replac-ing the spot of Sen. Edward Ken-nedy, who died in August afterserving 46 years. The body of a 22 year old stu-dent of 
Colorado State Univer-sity 
was found on a set of railroadtracks just outside of Keenesburg Thursday morning. The studentwas a member of the Alpha TauOmega fraternity at CSU, andauthorities have found no evi-dence that his death was asuicide.NASA released photosof the dwarf planet
,showing that it undergoesdramatic atmosphericchanges. Experts from thespace agency argue thatthese photos show that Plu-to is not just a ball of rock and ice since it has dramaticseasons and weather. A federal judge orderedCharles McArthur Emmanuel,the son of a
former Liberianpresident
, to pay $22.4 millionin damages to ve citizens whowere brutally tortured during thecountry’s civil war. Emmanuelwas also sentenced to 97 yearsin prison under a United Statesanti-torture law. The American military shipped25
bomb-snifng dogs
to Iraqafter several mechanical bombdetectors were found to be inef-fective. Another 120 dogs arescheduled to be brought to Iraqwithin the next twelve months tocrack down on bombings causedby security lapses. The Global Wind Energy Coun-cil reported that China doubledthe amount of 
wind power
gen-erated from wind farms inthe previous year. China aims toincrease its wind power genera-tion by six times, by 2020, thoughexperts speculate that the nationwill reach that goal far sooner.Despite the increase, wind poweronly makes up 1 percent of Chi-nas energy needs. Akio Toyoda, the CEO andPresident of 
apologizedfor the company’s recall of over4.5 million vehicles over the globefor sticky gas pedals.National Center for Immuni-zation and Respiratory Diseaseswarned that the
H1N1 u
is stilla predominant virus, and urged Americans to get the vaccine.Only an estimated 23 percent of the public have received the vac-cination, and between 7,880 and16,460 deaths related to H1N1occurred since the virus rst be-gan to circulate.
Boulder, CO:
An astronomer inColorado has discovered evidenceto indicate that Pluto has been get-ting more red as time passes. Aftercompleting analysis of images of Plu-to taken by the Hubble Space Tele-scope, the scientist has come to theconclusion that the northern hemi-sphere of Pluto got brighter whilethe southern hemisphere darkened.He hypothesizes that this change isa result of the unequal seasons Plutohas, forced by it’s 284-year orbit. Heis excited about this discovery dueto its implication in the study of ex-tremely cold locations.
Mali, West Africa:
An international team of sci-entists has found that a new malaria vaccine worksquite well in young children. Adults who have beenexposed to malaria their whole lives develop signi-cant amounts of antibodies, helping them ght off the disease. Young children, however, have few of these antibodies. When children are given the vac-cine however, their antibody levels increase to thosefound in adults. About 1 million people – mostlychildren – die each year from malaria, and scientistshope the new vaccine will cut down on that number.
Zhucheng City, China:
A groupof paleontologists has discovered alarge grouping of about 3,000 dino-saur footprints, all facing the samedirection. The prints were dated tobe 100 million years old and werefrom creatures ranging from tyran-nosaurus rex to hadrosaurs. Scien-tists don’t know why so many foot-prints would exists in a small area,but hypothesis the animals were try-ing to migrate or escape predators.
 Vancouver, Canada:
New studies indicate that birds’feathers help the bird to ‘feel’ around them. Large-feath-ered birds (such as an auklet, with its huge ume) havebeen assumed to have their feathers for mating purpos-es. However, the study indicates that birds with largerfeathers run into things less.
n e w s
february 8, 2010page 3
 w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t
Scheibe’s research of these or-ganisms has focused primarily onexploiting, and essentially farming,them to eliminate substances inthe subsurface which are seen ascontaminants. Many of these mi-crobes reduce metals, which canlead to dissolution through precipi-tation and therefore a cleaner wa-ter source. The microbes can beused to eliminate Uranium pollutionand other toxic elements.By gaining understanding of themicrobes’ metabolisms, Scheibeand his team have been able tofeed and encourage the growthof specic microbes to target spe-cic pollution sources. Through ge-nome studies, Scheibe has been
Legislature Day (L-Day) is anannual event in which studentshave an opportunity to show-case what is going on at Minesto the Colorado State Legislature.In the words of Damian Illing, anorganizer of the event, the pur-pose of L-Day is “to expose [the]Colorado State Legislature to theexciting research and student ac-tivities on campus.” The hope isthat, through L-Day, the misun-derstandings between Mines andthe capital can be resolved andmitigated. At the start of the event Illingexplained, “I hope to have a bunchof legislators come, at least 20...and that they enjoy themselves.”Earlier that morning, Illing and fourother members of ASCSM went tothe capital and handed out pam-phlets to the legislators while ex-plaining to them what they couldexpect at L-Day. Many of themhad attended in years past andmany had already made note of the event on their calendars. The outer perimeter of the roomwas lined with easels, tables, andposter boards. In the center of theroom there were cocktail tables,each with a single candle in themiddle. Blue table clothes were thetheme. Three Tomatoes catered adelicious display of hors d’œuvresand stood by to pour beveragesand keep the scene tidy.Several organizations were inattendance from Mines, including ASCSM, Tau Beta Pi, Blue Key, AEG, SPS, and the Oredigger. There were also some professorsand notables from the administra-tion, such as President Scogginsand Provost Castillo. Unfortunate-ly, only four legislators were ableto attend.Discussions on medical mari- juana and issues regarding steelworkers captured the legislators’attention. Students took the op-portunity to converse amongstthemselves and enjoy the horsd’œuvres. There was also somehealthy interaction between thestudents and the administration.Some students expressed satis-faction at getting to meet thosethat run the school. The facultyseemed to fare similarly in thatthey too enjoyed the opportunityto interact with those present and
Alec Westerman
Staff Writer 
able to model and predict trends of biomass growth and therefore theeffectiveness of bio-remediation. To trigger biomass growth, organiccarbons are injected into the sub-surface. Ethanol, acitate, lactate,and even molasses and vegetableoil have been used. When the bio-mass takes off, the microbes aretriggered by their preferred foodsource, and begin to attack thevolatile substances in the ground-water system, greatly reducing thetarget pollution source. In one of his eld studies, Scheibe was tar-geting Uranium contamination, “If we can stimulate the [microbes]that reduce Uranium, instead of theones that don’t, we may be able toprolong Uranium reduction [at thesite].”had a good time regardless of thelack of legislators. The four legislators seemed toenjoy interacting with the studentsand relating to them on a variety of issues. They circulated enough sothat almost everyone got a chanceto talk with them. They also took the opportunity to catch up withthe administration and faculty per-tinent issues.While hopes for attendancemay have been unfullled, thehope that legislators gain expo-sure to what is going on at Mineswas most certainly fullled. Atthe end of the evening, nobodyseemed to express serious regretat having attended.Looking years ahead, Illing ex-pressed hope and said, “I’d liketo see this become one of thehuge events of the legislature’scalendar.” He described how im-portant L-Day is and that its futuresuccess would do great thingsfor Mines. L-Day is an annualevent, so watch for it next springsemester. It is a good chance tomeet those setting the future of the school and raise awarenessfor whatever organization of whichyou may be a part.
Mines goes to Denver 
To the left, Center for Space Resources director Dr. Abbud-Madrid and Engineering Phys-ics junior Ben Webster check pressure gauges on the vacuum chamber.Below, Engineering Physics senior Joe Stevanak and junior Ben Webster clean and pre-pare the vacuum chamber.
Center for Space Resources, see page 1

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