Space Tourism Creating Jobs for Engineers

Humans have a need to explore, but with the blank edges of the map filled in long ago, the only uncharted territory is space – the final frontier. While venturing out past the stratosphere had once been restricted to professional astronauts trained by government programs, a number of private companies are now strikingly close to bringing space tourism to the average customer, or at least, the average millionaire.

Visionaries Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Sir Richard Branson are all backing ambitious projects to make space travel a viable business, and UBS forecasts that the space tourism market will hit $3 billion in 2030 as part of an estimated $805 billion space industry.

The nascent space economy presents job seekers great opportunities to get in on the ground floor of a growing field just as it's poised to reach lift-off. Here are a few companies developing technologies to make space tourism a reality and in need of a few good engineers.

Axiom Space

Houston, TX If you’ve got $55 million hiding beneath your couch cushions then you can be one of the first to book a vacation to the International Space Station (ISS) through Axiom. Trips are projected to begin in 2020, and the company, headed by a former NASA official, is building its own commercial station to host researchers and paying guests. Currently, the company has career openings for an avionics engineer, propulsion engineer, electrical power engineer, software engineer, and more.

Blue Origin

Kent, Washington While official fares have yet to be announced, rumors hint that a jaunt aboard Jeff Bezos’ reusable New Shepard rocket will cost a mere $250K, practically a bargain compared to a multimillion dollar lengthy stay. Tickets are reported to go on sale this year for flights beyond the boundary of space where customers will experience weightlessness, before drifting back to the surface via parachute. The company has hundreds of open positions across the country in manufacturing engineering, software development, AERS engineering & systems, supply chain & logistics, and more.

SpaceX

Hawthorne, CABooking your space holiday to the ISS with Elon Musks’ SpaceX and partner Bigelow Aerospace will set you back $52 million. Recreational astronauts looking for the farthest getaway money can buy will be able to spend up to 30 days in orbit. Missions are set to blast off next year. SpaceX’s career page lists numerous openings across its material engineering, vehicle engineering, supply chain management, and test operations departments.

Virgin Galactic

Mojave, CAIf you had hopes of jumping aboard Sir Richard Branson’s rocket to suborbital space then you’re out of luck as all seats have been sold out at $250K a piece. The company banked $80 million in deposits from private astronauts looking to enjoy leisurely 90-minute spaceflights, possibly commencing at the end of this year. The good news is that if want to join the growing company then job opportunities abound within their engineering, quality assurance, production, and supply chain teams.

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