NASA Langley – TNCC Co-op Students Involved in Newest U.S. Space Craft

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Nearly 20 Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) students are officially part of United States aerospace history. A product of their work at NASA Langley Research Center soared into the stratosphere on October 28 when NASA’s newest craft – its Constellation Program’s Ares I-X test rocket – roared off Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

With more than 12 times the thrust produced by a Boeing 747 jet aircraft, the Ares I-X lifted off for a six-minute flight test. The launch was the first from Kennedy’s pads of a vehicle other than the space shuttle since the Apollo Program’s Saturn rockets were retired, according to NASA officials. This project is among several initiatives that are part of NASA’s new vision for space exploration to replace U.S. space shuttles that have been in flight since the 1980s.

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New Thomas Nelson/NASA Co-op Grooms Students for Careers in Aerospace

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Thomas Nelson Community College is positioning students for careers in the aerospace industry. Beginning this fall, a new SpaceTEC™ cooperative education program developed by the College and NASA Langley Research Center will provide federal work experience for eligible students committed to simultaneously earning an Associate Degree in either Mechanical Engineering Technology or Electronics with a specialization in Electrical Engineering Technology.

The program will provide formal training and salaried on-the-job training as well as a comprehensive benefits package, according to Patricia Taylor, the College’s Dean of Mathematics, Engineering and Technologies. Fourteen students will be selected for the fall semester with paid tuition and books at Thomas Nelson. Those who complete the three-year co-op and pass the SpaceTEC™ certification exam will be considered for entry in a two-year Apprentice Program at NASA, she added.

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TNCC – NASA Co-op Program Creates Opportunities for Experienced Technicians

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Thomas Nelson Community College wants to position eligible people in its service area to play an important role in developing technology for space exploration, aeronautics research, and science through NASA. A new SpaceTEC cooperative education program developed by the College and NASA Langley Research Center seeks experienced technicians who are interested in gaining federal work experience and are committed to earning an Associates Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology at the same time.

Patricia Taylor, Dean of Mathematics, Engineering and Technologies at Thomas Nelson, said two openings are still available and recruiting is ongoing. Established to serve up to six students, the co-op aims to address a “significant” shortage of qualified machinists in the space and aeronautics industry. Those accepted in the co-op can further their education with paid tuition and books at Thomas Nelson while receiving salaried work experience at NASA, a world leader in space and aeronautics.

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