Credit: Andrew Bacon


Andrew Bacon

Space systems engineer at Thales Alenia Space UK (TAS-UK).

What does your job involve?

Designing new systems for satellites and studying new technologies for the next generation of solar system explorers.

What interested you in working in the space sector?

Science fiction had a big effect upon me when I was younger, but I realised that the planets in our solar system are even stranger and more surprising than those seen in books and movies like Star Wars. This gave me a desire to get involved with designing explorers can survive and explore the unknown.

What do you do in a typical day?

Mainly it is spent thinking! But on the practical side I also talk to other experts and design and experiment with systems and technologies in a variety of different ways including circuit design, particle simulations, CADCAM and hands-on prototyping.

Are there any other interesting aspects to your work?

The breadth of the studies and technologies involved require me to meet with other engineers and scientists from many different disciplines all over the country.

What is it about your job that fascinates or inspires you?

The idea of building systems that are designed to look at the universe in new ways and visit places that no other system could survive or has been before.

Why is what you do important?

The UK may be falling behind in other industries but with space we have a real chance to become world renowned for our ability to do achieve the amazing with limited resources. Also, space exploration and utilisation is key to understanding the universe and making the Earth a better place to live.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in space?

If you are still in secondary school then it is vital to study maths and physics and really make sure you grasp the basics if you want to study space engineering. If you are at university then getting involved with space youth groups like UKSEDS and the SGAC is a great way to make the friends and contacts you will need to find the job for you. Always keep an eye out for technical competitions that you can enter as they are a great way to push your limits and the prize usually involves meeting potential employers (it worked for me!).


UK Space Agency

UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is an executive agency of the Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for the United Kingdom's civil space programme.

This article contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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