June 11, 2011

FAA Approval Advances SpaceTEC Aerospace Technician Certification (Source: SpaceTEC)
The FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation has given safety approval for SpaceTEC's Certified Aerospace Technician credentialing process. This milestone is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work and years of effort and a significant investment by the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education Program.

The Safety Approval includes SpaceTEC's Core Certification and and three Concentrations. It is valid for five years. "This FAA approval will broaden and enrich our opportunities to support the emerging commercial space industry and our value to the educational and credentialing activities that will become a part of that effort," said SpaceTEC Managing Director Al Koller. (6/11)

KSC Visitor Complex Offers XCOR Lynx Flights in Sweepstakes (Source: KSCVC)
Visitors to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be invited to participate in a mission to win over $300,000 in prizes including two suborbital trips to space in the Launch of a Lifetime Sweepstakes. Sponsored by TripAlertz.com, two lucky winners will be drawn for a trip to space aboard the XCOR Aerospace Lynx Vehicle, including space flight training.

Each package includes round trip airline tickets for each grand prize winner and a guest, five night hotel accommodations, six day rental car and select meals. Prize drawings of merchandise certificates from The Space Shop, admission tickets, Special Interest Tours and Lunch With an Astronaut tickets will be held daily and weekly for registered guests. Click here. (6/11)

House Subcommittees To Examine LightSquared Wireless Plan (Source: National Journal)
Congress will take another look at the growing fight between the GPS industry and LightSquared over the wireless company's plan to build a broadband network. Two subcommittees of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced a joint hearing to examine potential interference between LightSquared's technology and GPS systems on aircraft.

Witnesses will include government officials and industry representatives, according to the announcement. GPS companies, as well as some federal agencies like the Defense Department and Federal Aviation Administration, worry that LightSquared's planned wireless broadband network will overpower GPS receivers. (6/11)

Nearby Galaxy Boasts Two Monster Black Holes, Both Active (Source: NASA)
A study using NASA's Swift satellite and the Chandra X-ray Observatory has found a second supersized black hole at the heart of an unusual nearby galaxy already known to be sporting one.

The galaxy, which is known as Markarian 739 or NGC 3758, lies 425 million light-years away toward the constellation Leo. Only about 11,000 light-years separate the two cores, each of which contains a black hole gorging on infalling gas. (6/11)

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