The space industry is growing fast and new jobs are being created every day. Space professionals design components for Mars rovers, develop software that uses satellite data, study images taken by space telescopes, research the effects of microgravity on the human body, and even practise law.
Aerodynamicists investigate the interaction between solids and the air around them. This makes them essential in ensuring a rocket’s successful flight before the vacuum of space is reached. If the mission requires either part of the rocket or the payload to land, the aerodynamicists consider the effect of reentry into the atmosphere.
Agricultural Data Analysts use data and imagery collected by remote sensing to monitor the quality of agricultural land and the changes it undergoes to inform farmers on the most effective use of land and aid environmental and conservation research.
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Astro-ecologists apply technology and methods from astrophysics, engineering, and computer science to help with biodiversity problems on earth. For decades, astrophysicists have used software to look at the night sky, so why shouldn’t we use the same technology to help monitor the climate and wildlife on earth?
Astrobiologists are scientists studying the possibility of life in space, and what life needs to survive.
Astrochemistry is the study of the elements and chemical reactions naturally occurring in space. This concept of space chemistry aims to bring chemistry to space: to adapt or develop chemical processes, synthesis and technologies to be used for space applications.
Astronauts are the people who actually go into space, conduct experiments on space stations like the ISS, and pilot spacecraft like the Space Shuttle.
Astrophotography is one of the earliest types of scientific photography, capturing celestial events and astronomical objects. The field of astrophotography accelerated the accomplishments of astronomical research while engaging viewers with more intrigue and passion for astronomy.
Astrophysicists study objects in the universe, including galaxies and stars to understand what they are made of, their features, their histories, and how they were formed.
Business analysts work within space companies to help them develop the business case for their mission ideas, creating a viable business plan. The role of a business analyst is multidisciplinary, as they blend a business role with a technical one. The field of work itself is rapidly expanding as more space companies emerge each year.
Data Scientist is such a broad term that no two job specifications for this role may look the same. There are a few different categories this position falls under, three of which will be covered here: Research-based; Business-focussed and Development-orientated. In either case, the job of a Data Scientist is to collect, analyse and interpret large amounts of data in line with the project they are working on.
Satellite technology is increasingly becoming critical to disaster response coordination, not only can it be used to monitor how areas have been affected and where aid is most needed, it is also invaluable for communications, vital for the success of relief efforts.
Earth Observation Scientists use remote sensing to gather images and data about the Earth which can then be used to learn more about the natural and built environment and the changes that are taking place.
There are many kinds of engineers in the space sector. Their job is to design components, software, and systems, improving on current designs and creating totally new ones.
In the early days of space travel, there was only room for a select few individuals working at space agencies, with everyone else joining in on the adventure through their televisions. However, since the start of the New Space Age where there is a renewed interest in all things space, entrepreneurs are now paving the way. Entrepreneurs are making rapid advances in areas such as creating reusable rockets, launching cheaper satellites, and even making space more accessible through space tourism.
Similar to human beings, the earth is constantly growing and changing over time. From moving plates, to changing tides, the earth is alive with activity. But how exactly do we keep track of it all? That’s where a geodesist comes in.
Launching rockets into space is risky and expensive, as a space insurer you would be providing cover for spacecraft and satellites in case something was to go wrong, covering space vehicles throughout their life.
Lecturers primarily work in Higher Education institutions teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses, supervising PhD students and also conducting their own research.
Meteorologists study the Earth’s atmosphere allowing them to predict the weather and climate.
The applications of satellite data for the use of navigation has become an integral part of life, whether that be for use for SatNav systems in cars or for tracking shipping.
Oceanographers bring together knowledge from biology, chemistry, physics and geology to study the characteristics of the Earth's seas and oceans. They also use data from remote sensing to research into sea currents and tides.
Planetary scientists study planets and moons like Mars and Titan to try to understand what they are made of and how they are formed.
Space is becoming increasingly important in everyday life as we use it in a variety of public services, such as national security, science, innovation, and communication. Therefore, it is important to have a political decision making process at both local and global levels, for how and why we use outer space - which is where policy makers come in.
Project Managers are responsible for overseeing projects, managing teams and making sure they run to time and keep within a budget.
Research is essential for any advancement in the space industry, whether that be improving technology and our ability to navigate space or learning more about space and our place in the universe.
Science communicators work to increase public engagement in science related topics of interest, focusing on making the field of scientific development more accessible to non-experts.
Space law governs all space-related activities. It covers things like the protection of planets from human contamination, to the rescue of stranded astronauts.
Space medical professionals are doctors and scientists who study the effects of being in space on the human body, viruses, and medicines.
Space psychologists are essential to making human spaceflight safe and successful. They are involved in astronaut selection and training as well as monitoring them, their families and the colleagues supporting them before, during and after the mission. This not only allows the current mission to succeed but also guides future mission planning decisions to improve astronaut performance. The work space psychologists do will be a significant contributor towards the feasibility of long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars.
Spacecraft operators are essential to the success of any space mission. From launching the spacecraft to ensuring that it is running correctly, they efficiently diagnose and solving any problems that occur. They guide and control space flight from their control centres. For example, NASA’s Mission Control centre or ESA Operations Station.
Technicians are at the forefront of building and testing spacecraft and space systems, perfect for someone who is looking for a hands-on career.