Humans in Space: Job Opportunities and Future Plans

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“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.” This is one of Les Brown’s most famous quotes. Although it was used by the well-known motivational speaker to encourage us to dream big, it is now a literal possibility for humans to work or even live in space. Between the recent SpaceX launch on June 3rd and NASA’s Moon to Mars mission, careers in this field have never been more essential.

Shoot for the moon
Shoot for the moon

The number and variety of careers in space is about as vast as the number of stars in the sky. There are so many ways to join this ever-growing field. Especially with our exponential developments in technology, job opportunities related to space exploration are constantly expanding, just like the universe. Jobs in the field can include but are not limited to studying the effects of gravity on the human body, explaining the discoveries about the solar system in understandable terms, and building the next generation of telescopes.

The great thing about space work is that it brings different professions together. It is the world where scientists, engineers, technicians, and media and communications workers often collaborate on projects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be around 8,600 job openings between 2014 and 2024 for astronomers, atmospheric and space scientists, and physicists. The numbers are even greater for engineers at 171,900 job openings for aerospace, computer hardware, electronics, and mechanical engineers. Finally, the BLS predicts 44,400 job openings for aerospace engineering and operations technicians.

However, not all jobs in this industry are science-based or technical. Media and communications are equally important when it comes to all things space. It is predicted that there will be 145,800 job openings in the media field. This includes photographers, producers, public relations specialists, and technical writers, just to mention a few.

 

SpaceX Launch

SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. Major achievements of SpaceX include the reuse of orbital-class launch vehicles and cost reductions in the space launch industry.

Elon Musk Portait
Elon Musk

The world came together to watch the SpaceX launch virtually on June 3rd. The event itself was spectacular for many reasons, including this being the first time in history that NASA astronauts have launched from US soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft. Another milestone was the low cost of the launch, at $57 million (less than $2,500 per pound to orbit.) These groundbreaking costs are significantly lower than any that other U.S. launch companies have achieved and even lower than China’s low-cost Long March rocket.

Going to the SpaceX website, you can see that there is no lack of job opportunities. Their career page has 489 mostly full-time jobs with locations in the USA. While most of these are for different types of engineering positions, SpaceX is also looking for technicians, inspectors, and buyers. However, they are also looking for real estate coordinators, cooks, and baristas. It is possible to contribute to SpaceX without being a rocket scientist. There are also internships available for both technical and non-technical students currently enrolled in a four-year university.

 

UAE’s Mars Mission

The countries best known for their initiatives and contributions to space exploration are Russia, Japan, China, and the USA. The USA alone is responsible for nearly one third of the operational spacecraft currently in orbit around Earth. Other major players in space are France, Luxembourg, the UK, India, Canada, and Germany. These countries are great places to consider living if you are interested in a career in space. However, they aren’t the only countries where you can be successful in the field.

Mars and its moons
Mars and its moons

The United Arab Emirates is a young country with a huge passion for space! They hope to celebrate their 50th birthday on December 2nd 2021 by reaching Mars. Their Hope to Mars mission is scheduled to launch on July 15th this year. It has been planned since 2014, and the goal is to study the climate on Mars during an entire Martian year (687 Earth days.)

Since Mars is so similar to Earth, many have looked at it as a Plan B in case anything happens to our planet. What was once science-fiction is becoming more and more plausible. The UAE is hoping to find out more about what led to Mars’s atmospheric loss, including the disappearance of hydrogen and oxygen on the surface. This launch will be the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission and will likely result in more job opportunities in space for people in the Middle East.

 

NASA

NASA stands for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and it was established in 1958. Its predecessor was NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which was founded in 1915. Some of the best-known space exploration missions led by NASA include the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and the Space Shuttle program. NASA also supports the International Space Station.

NASA sign at Cape Canaveral Kennedy Space Center
NASA sign at Cape Canaveral Kennedy Space Center

There are so many career opportunities on the NASA careers website. They are big on pushing the fact that NASA is more than astronauts. They are looking for scientists, engineers, IT specialists, human resources specialists, accountants, writers, technicians and many other kinds of people. It takes all these specialized individuals to work together in order to accomplish NASA’s goals of expanding the frontiers in air and space.

While NASA currently has several missions undeway, one of their more fascinating ones is Moon to Mars. This mission includes various goals including landing on the Moon within five years as well as establishing a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2024. They hope to take the research and data gathered from this first step and use it to take people to Mars. They hope to land people on Mars by 2033, which is a very ambitious goal.

The Artemis Program, which is part of the Moon to Mars mission, is all about sending the first woman and next man to the moon by 2024. The ultimate goal is for there to be a permanent human presence within the next decade. The purpose is to uncover new scientific discoveries and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy. NASA is currently taking the steps necessary to begin this next era of exploration.

 

From an Astronaut to Marketing

What was once a mere dream or a crazy science fiction movie plot is slowly becoming a reality. Humans have always been fascinated by space exploration, and we now have the technology to travel further than ever before. There are many reasons why studying other planets and outer space is important. Understanding our origins can help scientists learn more about the Earth and the possible threats to human existence.

From marketing to astronaut
From marketing to astronaut

There are many job opportunities in the space industry that go beyond astronaut training and volunteering to be part of the Mars colony. There are so many jobs in this field that range from being an astronaut or scientist to writing and marketing. The great thing about working in this field is that there is no shortage of jobs or new opportunities. The possibilities will only expand as we develop new technology and take more leaps into space.

 

Read more from the author.

Photos: Shutterstock


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