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How do I get a career in Space Technology?

  1. Dec 11, 2014 #1
    I am an undergraduate Physics major, and I cannot decide if I want to go to grad school fro Astrophysics or Electrical Engineering; I love them both. I want to combine the two, and so my ideal job would be working on the electronics and technology used in space. I would love to work on projects like Hubble, or work for NASA contracting companies building systems for space ships. My question is how do I go about obtaining a career like that?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2014 #2

    Doug Huffman

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    First! First do not disparage your security clearance background investigation.
     
  4. Dec 11, 2014 #3
    Sounds like there's a story behind that advice?
     
  5. Dec 11, 2014 #4

    Doug Huffman

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    LOL Sure I am a long retired nuclear field federal civil servant, and a pro-gun activist legally armed citizen. I am stunned with the casual disrespect of the law.
     
  6. Dec 11, 2014 #5
    If graduate school is your intention, I suggest finding a school which commonly works on those types of projects. There are plenty of funding opportunities through NASA fellowships, as well as in general space technologies.

    The NASA fellowships sometimes even require you to do internships at the various NASA centers, which gives you a better chance of being hired in the end. The funding issues NASA faces has made it very difficult to hire any non-Ph.D.s. You actually don't necessarily need a security clearance to work at NASA

    Other contractors like Boeing, Lockheed build a lot of the technology and NASA only manages the science. John's Hopkins Applied physics lab is contracted to build probes as well.

    In summary choose your advisor on the basis of what projects they are working on. It will increase your odds.
    It will probably very difficult to find an advisor interested in Astrophysics and Electrical engineering. Academia is much more corporate and funding driven than you probably expect.

    My background is I am a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering working in electromagnetics. In my past I have worked as NASA and SpaceX. I am currently funded by a NASA project, but I do not have a fellowship.
     
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