Spacecraft & Satellite MFG
When asked the question, "What is a career in space?" many would answer "astronaut" or "astronomer" and there the list would end. The space industry is actually a very broad and diverse field, involving participants ranging from a variety of science and engineering streams, to farming, manufacturing, and computer technology. One could even say that the space industry is really a combination of these fields.
The Space Industry Is...
The following list was taken from the 1998 edition of The Space Publication’s Guide to Space Careers (ISBN 1-887022-05-8), written by Scott Sacknoff and Leonard David. It provides general information on the wide variety of fields available in the space industry. Although this list is a great resource to help you determine which fields of work you are perhaps better suited for, it should not be taken as a complete list of careers in space.
Telecommunications is the use spacecraft to relay data from one part of the Earth to another.
- Cable programming distribution
- VSAT private
- Transmission mobile and wireless
- International telephony
- Messaging services
- Direct-to-consumer video and radio
- Weather satellites
These are rockets which are used to place payloads into orbit.
- Expendable launch vehicles
- Space shuttle operations
- Reusable launch vehicles
Ground based equipment used to receive and/or transmit data to and from spacecraft.
- Ground stations
- Computer software and hardware
- High capacity data storage
- Information technology
- Electronic receiving and transmission equipment
Facility design, development, and use; monitoring and controlling spacecraft or launch vehicles.
- Satellite operations
- Health monitoring software
- Component test facilities
- Launch vehicle spaceports
- Telemetry/control hardware and software
- Operations planning software
Global Positioning System (GPS) Services:
A 24/7 satellite system developed by the U.S. military that provides accurate positioning data anywhere on Earth.
- Enhanced air traffic control
- Improved search and rescue devices
- Directional services for cars
The monitoring of the Earth using space-based sensors.
- Weather prediction and forecasting
- Searching for natural resources
- Monitoring of the Earth’s environment
- Use of digital terrain maps
- Analysis of soil and land conditions
- National security and intelligence gathering
Human Space Activities:
Activities related to the human exploration of space and the effects of long and short-duration spaceflight on the human condition.
- International Space Station
- Psychological research
- Medical and physiological research
- Space Shuttle
It is the use of the special environmental conditions of space such as low temperature and low gravity to develop materials or products.
- Production of new/improved materials
- Biomedical drug development
- Enhanced crystals for biomedical research
The study and understand the universe including stars, planets, and interstellar materials as well as effect of the space environment on the Earth.
- Astrophysics and astronomy
Technology Research and Development:
A number of technologies are used in various aspects of the industry.
- Propulsion systems
- Power systems
- Thermal control
- High-temperature materials
- Guidance, navigation and control
- Composite materials
- Administrative support
- Legal and licensing
- Satellite, launch vehicle and in-orbit insurance
- Technical support
- Financial services
- Media and publishing
Links to additional job descriptions:
Links to more Information:
Courtesy: NASA, Boeing, LORAL, Orbital, and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne