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College students help NASA by crashing satellite into the Arctic

Laura June

Our idea of a great evening in college was listening to some Operation Ivy and drinking a few brews before heading home to secretly pore over A Literature of Their Own. Other college kids, however, have more on their plates than that, such as those who currently work at LASP -- the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. LASP is partially staffed by undergraduates at Colorado University, providing a low-cost alternative to more experienced labor, while giving students the kind of hands-on experience not normally available to them. One recent task, for instance, involved the crashing of ICESat, a NASA decommissioned satellite, into the Arctic. Most of it burned up in the atmosphere, while some smaller parts made their way to the Barents Sea. The mission was considered successful and, as for the students who carried it out? Well, let's just say that their nerd credentials are now rock solid.

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