The UK Space Industry
What is it?
The UK space industry is a large collection of research institutions and engineering companies, distributed around the UK, that work with many European countries to build satellites that monitor our climate, provide global communications and explore the solar system.
What jobs are there?
There is a wide variety of technical jobs required to run a space mission; from the engineers who design, build, test and launch the satellite, to the operators who guide the satellite to its destination and the scientists who retrieve and analyse the results.
This generally requires students with degrees in either physics or an engineering discipline (usually electronic, mechanical or aerospace). The average annual salary for a full time satellite engineer or space scientist starts from £25k.
There is also a new higher apprenticeship in space engineering designed to help students become technicians which could lead to a full BEng degree.
The UK will need at least 20,000 more scientists and engineers by 2030 to keep up with government ambitions to increase the size of the space industry from £9bn/year to £40bn/year. The main aim of this project is to help cover this shortfall by encouraging students to consider space careers, one of the most rewarding in the solar system!
Can I become an Astronaut?
UK citizens can now become professional astronauts for the European Space Agency.
Most professional astronauts started out by becoming military test pilots or gaining PhDs in science, engineering and medicine.
In order to be selected you need to be healthy, well-motivated, an excellent team player and ready to learn a lot of new skills.
Professional astronauts are currently being trained for long duration stays on the ISS, landings on the Moon, asteroids and even Mars.
Who can I work for?