So You Want to Be a Space Cadet?

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That popular childhood dream many of us had of becoming an astronaut will become somewhat more obtainable in the next two decades. The United Kingdom will soon be implementing an apprenticeship program, which will train students in specific science and engineering related skill sets. Under the direction of Leicester National Space Center’s Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock, the education of future cadets will take place at the National Space Academy, Loughborough College, and the University of Leicester.

What makes this opportunity especially interesting is the possibility of “the space-sector” becoming one of the future’s most promising fields. The growth of the space sector is largely due to our collective interest and dependency on satellite services such as GPS, Television, Radio and Mobile Networking. Logically, the more we consumers use such amenities the more we have support the field.

Space engineering, being a relatively new field, requires a wide knowledge base. The director of the National Space Academy education program, Anu Ojha, explains that “the space sector is growing rapidly and needs highly skilled technicians in a number of engineering disciplines.” The qualifications for such a job as space engineering also require more than a couple degrees. Head of technology at Loughborough College, Dr. Martin Killeen, stated that there are significant issues “regarding graduates emerging universities without the skills mix required for space engineering.” For this reason training in this field will include emphasis on developing work-based skills and knowledge needed in the many facets of the space engineering.

I find it baffling to think that in the next generation or two, humanity will have a steady work force on the other side of our atmosphere. It is also intriguing to think of what other opportunities or careers our last frontier will present to us in the future. I guess it’s our generation’s turn to, literally, shoot for the stars.

– OIA Bloggers

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