Space Suit Design Engineer
This was a job listing found on Space X’s website. Spacesuits are vital for keeping astronauts alive. Space conditions are harsh for humans, for example, the lack of oxygen. Spacesuits are designed to overcome technical challenges that astronauts face. They are also compatible with the specialised space equipment. For example, control panels and life support systems. This job is both creative and technical. Engineers can express their creativity and even test suits to see how they work.
George Aldrich, NASA’s “nasalnaut” smells substances before they are used in missions. Odours intensify in small, hot space capsules. Astronauts are confined to these spaces and “have no way of escaping” them, Aldrich says. Aldrich is a chemical specialist, who began working at NASA in 1974. His highly sensitised nose can identify dangerous chemicals. These chemicals could have toxic effects and pose serious threats. He has conducted more than 850 smell tests for NASA. His job is to ensure the NASA flights aren’t aborted because of noxious odours in space.
Space Psychologists check astronaut’s mental health. A space flight present a unique psychological challenge to astronauts. They can spend months at a time in cramped conditions and isolation with the same group of people.
Space Psychologists advise selection panels. These panels decide which astronauts are most suited to a team or mission. They support crews before, during and after their flight. They also produce “countermeasures” to help them stay sane during their long confinement!
Space Tour Guide
Many private companies are hoping to be the first to escort tourists into space. ‘Deep-pocketed’ enthusiasts are already on waiting lists. The services of specialist ‘space tour guides’ maybe soon needed. A Space tour guide will need a degree of space knowledge. It may be a good option for those who dream of working in space but lack the technical know-how to be an astronaut.
With depleting resources on Earth, scientists are turning to asteroids for vital substances. There are approximately 9000 known asteroids currently travelling in orbit close to Earth. Each year, thousands more are discovered. A miner could go on a mission to an asteroid cluster or build probes that travel to the asteroids. These probes would search for resources.
This piece has been written by Stemette, Tatjana.