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Troy students get 'out of this world' lesson from RPI grad

TROY - Rick Mastracchio is a 1987 RPI grad who is currently living on the International Space Station.

On Friday, he answered questions from students here on Earth.

After all of his training, one student wanted to know if there is anything surprising about life in space.

"The beauty of the Earth. It's amazing you spend your whole life trying to get off of the Earth," said Mastracchio. "The first thing you do is turn around and look back at the Earth and see how beautiful it was. You miss it almost instantly."

Mastracchio says he was also surprised by how much he enjoys floating in zero gravity.

He says he often eats his lunch while hanging upside down.

Students compete to bring elevator pitch to next level

Students at RPI are working to take their elevator pitches to the next level.

The fourth annual Elevator Pitch Competition takes place Thursday evening.

Eleven different proposals made it to the final round.

The technology proposals range from ways to improve veterinary medicine, to swim coaching or resume building.

Winning prizes range from $500 to $1,500.

More information about RPI’s Elevator Pitch Competition can be found here.

Albany Molecular Research moving jobs to Albany, cutting others

Albany Molecular Research will close its Syracuse plant in July.

However, The Business Review reports that some of the 45 jobs cut will be relocated to Albany, while others will be moved nationally or internationally.

The paper reports the move is to consolidate operations and reduce costs.

The company is best known for discovering the active ingredient in Allegra, an allergy medication.

Meantime, another AMRI facility is planned for Buffalo in 2015.

Scientists, researchers gather at UAlbany to discuss extreme weather

Scientists and researchers attend the conference at UAlbany. - Kumi Tucker / WNYT

ALBANY -- Local scientists are studying recent unprecedented weather swings and extremes in temperatures.

Monday, people came to the University at Albany from all around the state to hear how to protect local communities from severe weather.

The forum had to move from the Rockefeller Institute to the University at Albany because of high demand. Local leaders were among those eager to get information about severe weather, how to prepare for it, and how to respond to it when every minute counts.

"The question is, is anyone prepared? And certainly we saw this with Katrina and we saw it with Sandy and Irene, it's the type of thing that we're seeing things that belie all understanding," said Robert Bullock, Rockefeller Institute Deputy Director for Operations.

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Rotterdam robotics team advances to championship

ROTTERDAM – A group of engineering students from a Rotterdam High School are celebrating a number of wins at a robotics competition.

The MohonBots, a robotics team from Mohonasen High School, competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge East Super-Regional Competition in Pennsylvania.

The competition featured 72 teams from across the East Coast.

The MohonBots won 6 of its 8 qualifiying matches and was the captain of the third place alliance.

In the semifinals, the team lost in third of three rounds, missing the win by just five points.

The team qualified to compete in the FIRST World Championship in Missouri.

They are one of just three teams in New York to advance.

Race for 19th Congressional District officially begins Thursday

Sean Eldridge is taking a position most politicians have not.  In the race for the 19th Congressional seat the 27 year old Democrat is not accepting any financial support from PACS or big business.

"Corporate interests are dominating in Washington and the voice of the middle class families is drowned out by corporate money and special interests," explained Eldridge, outside his Kingston campaign headquarters in Kingston on Thursday.

Eldridge's opponent, two term Republican Chris Gibson, claims that's an easy give for Eldridge.  Eldridge is a multi-millionaire who Gibson acknowledges will outspend him.