Astro, Bio, Chemical Engineering
Space exploration demands the skills of a variety of scientists. Chemists, biologists, and astronomer all can find a number of career opportunities in the field of space exploration. Often, positions in this field require knowledge of multiple scientific disciplines, so all of these science field scientists should expect to know or learn about other areas of science. In the United States, NASA is the main organization charged with space exploration, but there are many private companies that are also interested in space that may have need for chemists.
Liquid Propulsion Systems Engineer
Part of space exploration is finding ways to propel objects such as a space shuttle up and out of the earth's orbit. The propulsion system to accomplish such a feat requires very powerful fuel and an engine that is capable of burning such fuel without malfunction. NASA hires aerospace engineers to help design such systems. A degree in chemistry along with a year of experience working on turbomachinery subsystems qualifies a person for this position at NASA.
Astronomers require a strong background in chemistry to do their jobs. An astronomer studies distant starts and uses chemistry to determine their composition. He/she may also use chemistry in the study of molecular clouds in space, also called nebulae. The way an astronomer determines the composition of distant objects is by analyzing the spectral light that the objects emit. From the light spectrum, she can determine the different chemical components in the body she's studying.
Lunar geologists study moon rocks to learn more about their composition. They also study the surface of the moon and the composition of its core. A lunar geologist often designs experiments for astronauts to perform during a moon landing and may even determine the safest place to land on the moon. He uses chemistry, physics, engineering and mathematics to accomplish his job duties.
Biochemistry is a science which involves the examination of various chemical processes as they are found in living organisms. These can range from the processes involved in cell division to the signals sent by neurons to coordinate the workings of the nervous system. Many tasks in biochemistry have to take place in a laboratory environment with special equipment, because there is no other way to study biochemical processes which take place on the cellular or even molecular level.
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