Hampton University to Lead $101 Million NASA Project

Black Issues in Higher Education, June 3, 2004 | Go to article overview

Hampton University to Lead $101 Million NASA Project


HAMPTON, VA.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will give Hampton University $101 million to build a satellite to study how clouds form at the edge of space.

After two years of proposals and interviews, Hampton University beat out more than 40 schools to lead the project.

"This is the largest deal for us ever," Hampton University Professor Dr. James M. Russell III told the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk. He worked at NASA for 30 years before moving to Hampton University in 1996 and will be the project's principal investigator.

The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere, or AIM, experiment will determine whether clouds forming in the uppermost atmosphere are a sign the global climate is changing. They are becoming brighter and more numerous and are coming closer to Earth, Russell said, which suggests carbon dioxide is building up and cooling the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide is considered a key ingredient in theories of global warming. But if the clouds grow large enough, they could help slow global warming by reducing the amount of sun reaching the Earth's surface.

Hampton University will act as the prime contractor, managing the development of the satellite and its instruments. …

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