Countdown to lift-off
Most students can only imagine what it feels like for an
astronaut to conduct scientific research while floating
freely inside a spacecraft. This week, for four Johns
Hopkins undergraduates, that fantasy is set to become a
Flying in a NASA jet that produces brief
periods of weightlessness, the students will get a small
taste of space-travel sensations. They'll have to keep
their feet on the ground figuratively, however, because
these periods of microgravity will occur while they're
conducting experiments to learn how liquids mix on a
surface when gravity is not a factor. Their research could
lead to more efficient ways to combine or move fluids
aboard space shuttles and the International Space Station.
Stricter rules affect all JHU
Faced with a quagmire of stricter federal immigration laws
and procedures whose enforcement began this year, offices
that serve Johns Hopkins' international population have had
to adapt by taking on a more proactive and policing-type
role when dealing with the university's more than 5,000
visiting students, faculty and other scholars.
In particular, these offices and their
constituents have been impacted by the new Student and
Exchange Visitor Information System, a rigid tracking
system launched earlier this year, and by various Homeland
security measures that have in some cases considerably
slowed down the processing times for visas.
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