Astronauts are like the quarterbacks in football – they get the headlines, but in truth astronauts hold few of the jobs in space science.
The industry of exploring space generates a wide range of jobs including engineers who design rockets, satellites, space stations, group support equipment, instrumentation and safety equipment.
Employment is also found across multiple scientific disciplines in geoscience, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, meteorology and astrophysics.
NASA alone employs roughly 18,000 workers. Outside of space-based agencies like NASA, positions are available with other federal agencies (United States Department of Defense, The Federal Communications Commission and the National Science Foundation) as well as private companies, with a focus on manned space flight, aerospace, research and engineering.
As of 2021, there were about 2.1 million people in the aerospace and defense workforce in the U.S., and space companies are hiring in force.
Space is a growing sector in large part for its growing importance for humans.
According to NASA, overcoming the challenges of working in space has led to many technological and scientific advances that have provided benefits to society on Earth in areas including health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, energy and environment, information technology, and industrial productivity.
Additionally, energy issues have propelled space technology. Energy is one of the big challenges on Earth and space technology is one of the tools to resolve some of the issues involved.
The space sector is a forerunner in developing renewable energy, for instance, the first major use of solar cells was to power satellites during their operation in space.
Satellites can also be used to monitor the Earth to find the right sites for implementing renewable energy hardware, such as solar panels, windmills, etc. Satellites have also enabled us to use navigation systems that take us from one place to the next in a much more energy-efficient way.
And through teleconferences, also made possible by telecommunication satellites, there is often not even the need to travel, thereby preserving a large amount of energy.
Want to learn more? Just about anything involving the space realm can be accessed in the one of a kind Tonex Space Academy where participants have more than 50 space-related courses to choose from that offer everything from space engineering and space operations to space cybersecurity.
Popular courses include:
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