For those of us born pre new millennium (2000) – space was a deep unknown. You could count the number of people who had been there on one hand. It was a mystery that most of us thought would stay that way for the majority of our life-spans. Now with ever-increasing gains in technology, funding and interest – it is rapidly becoming the next big frontier for explorations, industry and indeed – jobs and careers.
With news of the recent discovery of liquid water on Mars, I was prompted to explore a bit into where the space scene is all at – I must admit to being fairly up-to-date myself as this is an area of profound interest for me. And it blew me away! There are huge economic industries in the construction of space-faring ships, equipment and research. There are plans for the commercialisation of space tourism (which is already well under way – incidently did you know Australia is being looked at for a potential Spaceport?). There are colonisation plans with the Mars One program and companies that build and launch satellite delivery systems for repair, restock and new parts and quipment to astronauts and space stations. The VERY REAL possibility of future employment with a space programme is now a reality. But let me break this down.
Builders and Launchers:
There are several companies that specialise in the construction and launch of payload delivery systems. Meaning – they launch rockets into space that other companies pay for to get whatever it is they want up there…….up there! Now you mention these things and everyone immediately thinks of NASA – but with government funding on the decrease and the realisation of the potential money to be made in such venture apparent – the privatisation of these initiatives has shot up. The most prominent of these “at the moment” is Space X. This company has received direct contracts from NASA to delivery cargo and supplies to the Space Station programs, and it also is heavily involved with satellite delivery for a myriad of systems relating to GPS and private enteriprise. This particular company’s CEO is Elon Musk – who also happens to own Tesla (the car company), is a founder of Paypal and is the proposer of the new “Hyperloop” train system in the U.S. The man is worth $13 Billion and is obviously not in the business of dealing with non-profitable maybe’s. This is a valid, profitable enterprise that has spawned a raft of similar companies. Space X’s direct contenders include:
- Armadillo Aerospace
- Sealaunch – GroundLaunch
This is not only now a budding idea – but a fully fledged industry being powered by steel suppliers, electronics manufacturers, plastics producers and all the associated labour that those industries themselves require.
Have a look at Space X’s website and building model Here:
Which leads me to the next interesting aspect – Space Tourists! Yes this is a thing, and most of us are probably aware of the big plans that VIRGIN GALACTIC are trying very hard to get into motion. The thing is, 7 “Tourists” have already bought and experienced a holiday to space through SPACE ADVENTURES, which is directly associated with NASA and the International Space Station. This IS a thing. Virgin Galactic, founded by Virgn’s Richard Branson, is very close to having a commercial product available. Admittedly, its going to initially cost a fortune to go for a spin, but as more and more people take the “GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND”, this is going to become more and more affordable.
The current base of operations for Virgin Galactic is in New Mexico, and I mentioned earlier that Australia is being examined as a secondary base. Let’s just think of all the non-astronaut associated jobs that come part and parcel with holiday touring platforms like ocean liners. There are all the H.R people involved with organising the trips, there are the employees that need to run and maintain the ground base (cleaners, cooks, managers, engineers, mechanics, admin, receptionists, landscapers, builders, I could go on for a while), there are the pilots themselves, the training co-ordinators to bring travellers up to speed on how to travel through space. This in itself is a large industry that will create a whole new plethora of job opportunities. So that also magnifies when you look at the number of similar companies attempting to weigh in on this opportunity like:
- Virgin Galactic
- Space Adventures
- Rocketship tours
You’ll realise how achievable this is, and not very far away when you have a look at:
Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, is the new field of colonisation. An absolute pipe-dream until about 5 years ago, when we realised that not only was the trip to Mars and other celestial bodies possible, but that we could land people there and have them survive. Which is exactly what the new “Mars One” program is about. To paraphrase their mission statement…”goal of establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars”. A concept so mind-bogglingly exciting (tell me I’m not the only one!) that its made huge headline news globally and went crazy of social media forums when they were narrowing down their astronaut and explorer candidates. This is actually going to happen, with the website having laid out a ROADMAP identifying each step of the process. For example, in 2016:
“Groups selected from the first batch of applicants will train together until the launch in 2026. The group’s ability to deal with prolonged periods of time in a remote location is the most important part of their training. Thus, they will learn to repair components of the habitat and rover, train in medical procedures, and learn to grow their own food in the habitat. Every group spends several months of each training year in the analogue outpost to prepare for their mission to Mars. The first outpost simulation location, a Mars-like terrain that is relatively easy to reach, will be chosen. A second training outpost will be located at a more remote environment like the Arctic desert.”
During this period until 2026 – all sorts of professions will be required to advance technologies in habitation, life-support, materials for clothing, stores, structures, research into human hazard resilience etc. The future generation of university and private enterprise researchers are more than likely going to be indirectly involved with Humanity’s foray out to the stars.
For more information (and it’s a very interesting read) – Head to the Below Link:
Possiblers! This is such an exciting time to be alive. Like the great explorers that we all learned about in school, going out to explore and map the world – so we enter the next stage of human exploration and knowledge. The new opportunities, for employment, commercialisation and general interest are boundless and will only grow as world-wide enthusiasm grows. It is truly an exciting time to be alive and show what we, humanity are capable of achieving, capable of making possible, as a collective.
Reach for the Stars Team Possible, its now not as far as it used to be! 🙂