Out of this world space races you can have without leaving Earth – Science News


Becoming a NASA astronaut or going to Mars is usually the first thing people think about when it comes to having a space race.

But, while there are more astronaut training opportunities than ever, the actual vacancies to travel in space are still limited.

The truth is that there is much more on offer when it comes to space jobs.

And it's worth considering some of the Earth-based space works now available, many of which are here because of the cheaper satellite technology and a boom in financing the private space industry.

Space Flight Controller

Imagine seeing 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day and chatting with astronauts orbiting the Earth. That's what Andrea Boyd does.

She is the only Australian that works in the control of the mission for the International Space Station (ISS).

Based on the European Space Agency, he works with teams in Europe, Japan, Russia and the USA. UU keep the ISS on the road and support astronauts on board while carrying out scientific experiments and other activities.

Andrea is a Eurocom specialist, which means she has a broad overview of the experiments and acts as a communication channel between the crew. Flight director, and several specialists in the field.

"A Eurocom is the person who talks to astronauts on a day-to-day basis," says Andrea.

Add that astronauts like to know who they are We are talking about going back to Earth.

Every three months there is a different combination of crew and every six months a new series of experiments ranging from medical science to materials.

"We are above politics," Andrea told ABC Canberra.

" It's full of science all day with a break for lunch and they have to do their exercise during the day … There's never a boring day at work "

And it becomes particularly interesting when astronauts they have a problem and the control of the mission has to solve it on the spot.

"Since astronauts are smart people, the problem is probably quite difficult," she says.

Andrea says she learned the word "engineer" at age 10 watching the Chief Engineer of Star Trek Voyager, Belanna Torres, do things in space work.

Andrea studied mechatronics engineering at the university, did volunteer space work, gained experience in robotics and automation engineering, and then worked for many years in mining engineering before landing her tr Satellite Engineer

There are a growing number of jobs in the design and construction of rockets, satellites and spacecraft.

Chris Willshire has one of these jobs: he works at a start-up company called Fleet. where he designs components for satellite systems.

Like Andrea, he also studied mechatronics at the university, and for his degree he invented a new type of autonomous drone that could fly in turbulent gusts of wind.

He was literally walking home after delivering his thesis when he received a phone call with an offer for a job in the space industry.

"Space comes with a series of completely new challenges," he says.

Everything that is sent to space has to survive the launch of a rocket, to begin with. Then there are the extreme extremes of temperature, the lack of gravity and the fact that you have to control everything remotely.

Currently, Chris is working on cubesats, satellites the size of a shoebox, which will allow remote sensing of the environment anywhere in the world. world.

Manage a team that is building & portals & # 39; terrestrials to collect customized wireless signals from nearby sensors and transmits the signal to the satellite 600 kilometers from low Earth orbit (LEO).

Such a system could be useful, for example, on large remote farms where sensors measure soil moisture levels over long distances and send data through the portal to a satellite.

Data can be returned to Earth and via the Internet to a farmer's computer to help them decide whether to irrigate crops or not.

Sensor systems could also be used to control water pollution in the Great Barrier Reef or the temperature of perishable products traveling long distances.

Satellite controller

Beyond the orbit of the International Space Station are satellites in geosynchronous orbit (GEO); they remain at the same point on Earth.

Tim Broadbent controls a series of GEO communication satellites in his work at Optus.

He works 12-hour shifts on a 24/7 list with another 10 and, among other things, has to make sure that the satellites remain in their allocation. A space of 70 kilometers in cubes.

"It's like being an air traffic controller, except that instead of the plane being piloted by a pilot, it is carried by a computer, and it is much further away and never lands."

A typical day for Tim is to perform routine checks, but waiting for emergencies.

He once had to dodge a Russian rocket and on another occasion was involved in the biting process of taking out a bankrupt satellite, firing it into the so-called "cemetery orbit".

When He was a boy, Tim wanted to be a NASA astronaut, but the barriers in his place discouraged him. He graduated in aerospace engineering and has just completed a master's degree in satellite systems engineering.

Although he feels very fortunate to get what he calls a "real" space work without having to go abroad, Tim now wishes he had studied mechatronics, a clbadic title for people who want to work in automation and robotics. [19659019] "In a world that tends towards automation, being one of those who builds and programs robots keeps us usable!"

But, he says, his aerospace title could be useful.

"It could be useful if I'm ever going to work for someone who throws rockets!"

Space entrepreneur

Self-confessed "space evangelist" Solange Cunin grew up in a "very low tech" environment on a farm in northern New South Wales but has been interested in space since she was a child.

Obtained his first telescope of Santa Claus when he was only eight years old, and quickly decided that he wanted to be an astrophysicist, although this soon changed to an engineer.

"He was always doing, fixing and breaking things," he says.

In 2015, while I was in an aerospace engineering program. Solange started a company called Cuberider.

Makes high school students design and conduct experiments on the International Space Station.

Students are responsible for the coding that controls the sensors used in the experiments at the ISS.

Student projects have included the use of microgravity data to create a virtual reality simulation for astronauts or space tourism coaches; using moisture measurements to develop astronaut moisturizer; and using pressure measurements to test the effectiveness of the ISS pressurization system.

"These are children between 11 and 16 years old, so it's pretty amazing," says Solange.

She says the goal is to educate and inspire.

"I do not think there is anything that can succeed when participating in a project that is important for our species and our planet" [19659002] "Even talking about there are billions of stars in our galaxy … that's a unfathomable number, and there are a thousand things like that in space. "

With regard to space racing, Solange is especially enthusiastic about occupations in space medicine and space psychology.

"They have to think of humans trapped in a small space for a long time very far from the rest of humanity," he says.

"As humans become more interplanetary, the amount of work in space will grow, you'll have things like a specialization on Earth or a specialization on Mars."

Space attorney

With the increase of activity in space there is a growing need for space lawyers.

"The growing number of space launch companies in Australia do not have access to specialized space lawyers and struggle to find commercial lawyers with significant experience in space-related transactions," says Donna Lawler.

She works as an badistant general counsel at Optus, advising on regulations and negotiating contracts that determine things like who is responsible when things go wrong with satellite launches.

And space accidents tend to be much more severe than those that occur on the ground, says Donna, so much so that they are called " space calamaties ".

Include rockets or satellites that crash into things on earth or in space, or become dangerous space debris.

And beyond these problems, space lawyers can also be at the forefront. For example, while the 1967 Outer Space Treaty only allows space to be used for "peaceful purposes," Donna says there is a heated debate over whether this means that the military can use weapons in space.

And although it is badumed that no one can own the space, he says that there is a lack of clarity surrounding the exploitation of resources in space, for example, asteroid mining.

Donna recommends that anyone interested in becoming a space attorney should study commercial law, international law and space law. And it's useful to have a science education too, he says.

Donna She is casually married to Steven Freeland, who teaches space law and is dean of Western Sydney University law school. Steven says that although some claim that space begins at more than 100 kilometers, there is really no international agreement on where space starts.

And many activities actually occur at high altitudes below 100 kilometers.

So, if a space tourist flight took people 80 kilometers, could they legally claim to have taken them into space?

Australia is currently rewriting its space law and a panel of experts, in which Steven is involved, is drafting a letter to the newly proposed space agency in the country.

And more …

While space engineering and data badysis can dominate the Australian space job market, being a space attorney is just a space race that does not focus on the physical sciences.

Others include space medicine or space psychology, which involves studying such things as the effects on astronauts of weightlessness, radiation or long periods away from home in a confined environment.

And there are still even space archaeologists and space anthropologists studying different aspects of the interface between space activities and humanity.

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