A career in Space Science & Technology

India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh
India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh

The recent successes in space missions like Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan and in space endeavours like satellite launching by Indian scientists, have infused space fever in the youth. No doubt, working for such space missions is very satisfying. At the same time, pushing the limits of science and technology often comes with high stakes: minor errors can be costly resulting in the loss of multimillion dollar projects — or even lives.

Following the Chandrayaan 2 mission, the HRD Ministry is encouraging students to take up careers in aerospace engineering. Its ‘Swayam’ online portal will offer courses on the subject which will help students acquire skills and knowledge on designing, manufacturing and maintenance of spacecraft, rocket propulsion, etc.

What’s this career about?

Scientists and engineers work on a Mars orbiter vehicle at ISRO’s satellite center in Bangalore
Scientists and engineers work on a Mars orbiter vehicle at ISRO’s satellite center in Bangalore

There are many opportunities to work in outer space-related fields, ranging from actual travel to the outer limits to creating the vehicles that take people there. A space agency employs several other scientists, technicians, and experts you might never have heard of.

Astronauts may be the first professionals that come to mind when most people think about careers in space science, but they make up only a very small number of all space science employees. To become one, you must meet the stringent physical fitness criteria and undergo rigorous training. Competition is fierce, and only the most exceptional candidates make it to the training programme for astronauts.

Engineers design spacecraft, space vehicles and space stations, and also create the space satellites that predict weather and climatic conditions and facilitate broadcasting and communications.

Scientists from diverse streams make up the research and development team. Space Science is an interdisciplinary field of pure and applied sciences, and includes opportunities for experts from almost all streams. They can be astrophysicists, biologists, chemists, geologists, meteorologists or physicists.

Technologists and technicians often work closely with engineers and scientists to build, test and improvise upon various kinds of space projects and technological innovations.

Experts in Space Science and Technology often get to work on innovative technologies and space secrets such as: developing advanced technical infrastructure needed for space exploration, mapping distant planets and stars, studying galaxies, making new discoveries about the solar system, and studying satellites and how they affect Earth, etc.

PLUS!

  • How do I get there?
  • Key skills
  • Institutes
  • Employment prospects
  • Pay packages
  • How to get into ISRO?

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Dr Vibha Gupta

Dr Vibha Gupta is a Ph.D. in Mathematics from IIT Roorkee. Her book 'Careers: A Pathfinder' and articles in various publications attempt to guide students in choosing a career according to their natural strengths, talents and skills.
Dr Vibha Gupta

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Dr Vibha Gupta

Dr Vibha Gupta is a Ph.D. in Mathematics from IIT Roorkee. Her book 'Careers: A Pathfinder' and articles in various publications attempt to guide students in choosing a career according to their natural strengths, talents and skills.