Written By - Sampurna Panigrahi
All of us, at some point in our lives, have thought of space or have been intrigued by the idea of celestial bodies. Remember that innocent dream of going to the moon or any planet and clicking pictures there? Guess what, it is possible to get closer to your dream.
Gone are the days when students were swayed by the creamy layer of career options, such as doctors and engineers, and began pursuing them as soon as they finished their 10th-grade exams. The modern lifestyle and advanced technologies have created a plethora of career opportunities. Space science is one of them.
If new discoveries about the solar system or research into satellites and their connections to the Earth have piqued your interest, now is the time to realize your ambition and make your country proud. The space industry has a lot to offer, whether it's disaster management, weather forecasting, satellite navigation, or global communications.
Space technology, also known as space science, is a broad term that encompasses astronomy and astrophysics, meteorology and aeronomy, earth sciences, and solar system research. Initially, these four disciplines were lumped together under the heading of astronomy, but the recent boom has resulted in the division of space science into numerous sub-branches, including cosmology, stellar science, planetary science, astronomy, and astrology, among others.
This branch of science, or engineering, is concerned with the study of the Universe outside of the Earth's atmosphere. Since the launch of India's satellite Rohini-1 from Sriharikota Island, space exploration and technology have brought the country great honor and respect.
All of this, of course, will necessitate a wide range of professional skills, including space technology, management, media skills, physical and biological sciences knowledge, and so on. As a result, space has become a vast playground for experts from all fields to compete.
Let's take a look at the various careers available if space is a broad area of interest for you. Here's a starting point:
The study of the planets, stars, and galaxies that make up the universe is known as astronomy. Astronomers may investigate phenomena such as black holes and gravitational waves. Astronomers collect data using telescopes to explain scientific concepts about the universe or develop new tools and technology. Stellar astronomers and cosmologists are among the jobs available in this field.
An astronaut is a person who has been trained, equipped, and deployed as a commander or crew member aboard a spacecraft by a human spaceflight program. 600 astronauts have flown in space since 1961. Until 2002, governments, either the military or civilian space agencies, were the only ones who sponsored and trained astronauts.
Space technology encompasses spacecraft, satellites, space stations, and orbital launch vehicles, as well as deep-space communication, in-space propulsion, and a wide range of other technologies, such as support infrastructure equipment and procedures. Many common terrestrial services rely on space infrastructure, including weather forecasting, remote sensing, satellite navigation systems, satellite television, and some long-distance communications systems. Astronomy and Earth science are two sciences that benefit from space technology.
Although astronauts receive the majority of public attention, engineers are the backbone of space exploration. They create spacecraft, launch vehicles, space stations, satellites, and other space-related items. Aerospace, robotics (think Mars rovers!), computer engineering, material sciences, and mechanical and telecom engineering all have a lot of potential.
People from various fields contribute to space research. Astrophysicists (astronomers who study celestial objects and how they interact with other space bodies), biologists (research how spaceflight affects those living in a spacecraft or the space station), biochemists and biophysicists (look into the chemical and physical aspects of all things and their biological actions), geoscientists (study and analyze the physical nature of the Earth), astrobiologists (research life as it exists on Earth to learn about life elsewhere), are all space scientists. There is also teaching in the space industry, in addition to research. You could, for example, work as an associate professor of space physics while also assisting in the analysis of data from spacecraft.
Space law encompasses both international and domestic agreements, rules, and principles that govern space-related activities. Space exploration, liability for damage, weapons use, rescue efforts, environmental preservation, information sharing, new technologies, and ethics are all aspects of space law. Administrative law, intellectual property law, arms control law, insurance law, environmental law, criminal law, and commercial law are all incorporated into space law.
The theory and practice of designing and constructing inhabited environments in space is known as space architecture. The total built environment is considered in the architectural approach to spacecraft design. It is primarily based on engineering (particularly aerospace engineering), but it also incorporates various disciplines such as physiology, psychology, and sociology. The world's space agencies, primarily NASA, have spent a lot of time designing concepts for orbital space stations, lunar and Martian exploration ships, and surface bases.
Living in space may appear to be a dream come true, but astronauts (and future space settlers) face a variety of stressors (e.g., conflict, isolation) that can affect how people think and feel while in space. This inspires psychologists to learn about human mental processes in space-related activities and to comprehend how, for example, living in space affects astronauts' mood, wellbeing, and performance. Psychologists are also looking into how space crews onboard a space ship or the International Space Station can maintain successful collaboration with mission control personnel over time.
Employment opportunities in space science can be found in a wide range of fields. It isn't just about mapping a distant planet or learning something new about the solar system. Job opportunities exist in ISRO, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), National Aeronautical Laboratories (NAL), and the aerospace industry, depending on an individual's qualifications and skills.
A space scientist can work as a professor in a university or on an academic committee, publish papers, mentor research students, write proposals, and referee papers for publication. Government/national observatories, space research agencies, science museums, and planetariums can all use astronomers and astrophysicists.
They can also work at ground-based observatories and space laboratories, where they can design and manufacture telescopes, write software, and perform a variety of tasks. Technical writing is also an option for space scientists. Simulation centers, space tourism operators, spacecraft manufacturing firms, military operations, R&D centers, spacecraft software development firms, and repair and maintenance workshops are some of the other areas where people work.