Secondary Career Profiles

Nutritionists

are in charge of making sure that astronauts’ diet is balanced and nutritious and attends to the dietary requirements of each astronaut. Due to the lack of gravity, there are some food restrictions in space. Food needs to be conserved differently than on Earth and some flavours also taste different, so astronauts’ diet has to be adapted to those conditions.

Graphic Designers

work on the graphic illustrations of space missions for the public and media. They also produce infographics to translate complex ideas into simple graphics and thereby help scientists and engineers communicate their ideas to the public. Their work could be in the form of sketches, scale models, animations, infographics, and various other products.

Space Educators

are concerned with spreading knowledge and raising awareness about space with the general public. Space educators use the vast knowledge generated in the space field to attract students to science and technology, to improve their competences in these fields and stimulate them to pursue a scientific or technical career in the future.

Medical Doctors

test astronauts’ health during training and monitor it in space. The hazardous conditions of space have a strong impact on the body, such as muscle atrophy, loss of bone mass and blood volume, slower wound healing and immune system weaknesses. All of these require a careful monitoring and counter-measures to keep astronauts fit and healthy.

Space/Astronomy Writers

are writers, often freelancers, with a scientific background, who specialise in space-related topics. They write articles for magazines, newspapers, websites and even film scripts and science fiction books. They may write about a recent discovery, describe upcoming missions, talk about the social aspects of space exploration, provide a breakdown of technicalities for the general public, etc.

Astronaut Costume Designers

develop the astronauts’ costumes, taking into account the various requirements of space. They work with textiles that are being developed specifically for space. Costume designers use cutting-edge technologies to satisfy the requirements of both safety and comfort for an astronaut and produce unique and individually tailored costumes.

Space Lawyer

Space Lawyers make sure that everything planned by a space mission is in accordance with the regulations of international space law and is approved by the countries involved. They monitor activity of their companies or government organisations to ensure that everything is in accordance with the regulations written by the United Nations and the various space treaties. Since space exploration is a relatively new field evolving at a fast pace, new legal challenges appear constantly. Space law professionals have recently became in high demand. In a few years we may start to do asteroid mining and attempt to colonise Mars. These activities will give rise to many legal questions for the first time, for which regulations will need to be developed.

Space Psychologist / Astropsychologist

Psychology deals with understanding the mental processes that drive human beings, and how they relate with each other and their environment. It attempts to explain how psychological characteristics such as memory, emotions, and motivation work and develop. Living in space can seem exciting, but astronauts (and future space settlers) often experience a series of stressors (e.g. due to conflict and isolation) that might have an impact on how they think and feel while in space. Such considerations motivate psychologists to learn about human mental processes during space-related activities, and understand how living in space can influences an astronaut’s mood, well being and their performance. Furthermore, psychologists study how space crews on board a spaceship or the International Space Station can best maintain successful collaborations with mission control personnel over long periods.