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What does a technical or aerospace job involve?

Posted by: Texan - Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:14 pm
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What does a technical or aerospace job involve? 
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Space Walker
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Post What does a technical or aerospace job involve?   Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:14 pm
I am a highschool student who wants to get involved in the budding private launch industry.

I do not have any mathematical aptitude, are there any technical jobs that do not involve alot of math?

Or do they all?


What sort of jobs are available in the aerospace industry now? What will be available in the next 20 years?


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Space Station Commander
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:23 am
kindred soul here, except that i do have mathematical aptitude. really, all aerospace jobs involve pretty high-order math in one way or another. basically you have to be either an engineer, a physicist, a chemist (probably combustion), a material scientist, a programmer, or preferably a combination of the above in order to be in aerospace, though i suppose economics is a possibility, and for the less mathematically-inclined, marketing, political science, and law all have their places.

EDIT: i'd guess that it'll pretty much be the same in 20 years for aerospace/launch industry itself, but there will probably be lots of other industries in space by then.

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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:44 am
I was considering a law degree.

Do all types of engineers need to be math wizzes?


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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:37 pm
Comon, somebody here has to actually HAVE a technical job...


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Spaceflight Trainee
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:57 pm
Yes, all types of engineers need to be math whizzes.

That said -- the marketing, lobbying, and lawyering aspects of the private space business are actually MORE vital than the engineering aspects.


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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 4:37 pm
Hmm...

But the launch industry needs MORE engineers than lawyers, and lawyers are less needed to fly into space.


I want to live in space. What is the best way to get into space without having a mathematical job?


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Space Station Commander
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 4:49 pm
Either become immensely wealthy or sew yourself into one of the ballast bags for SS1's upcoming (?) X-prize attempt.

I recommend, however, that you do your homework and improve your aptitude for numbers.

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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:48 pm
hmmm.... ballast bags eah....

*homer simpson voice*

Of course ss1 does not have ballast bags...


Hmm

Law degree sounds good right now....


Pilotes don't need special math skills right?

Of course the demand for pilotes will probably be even worse than the demand for lawyers--I mean how many pilotes do you need to launch stuff into space?


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Spaceflight Trainee
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:43 pm
I'm a journalist, I'm currently working in financial journalism but I did a lot of work for the defense and aerospace sector. I used to cover FIDAE air and space shows. A friend from that time does Public Relations for Chile's biggest aerospace company. That's an option. You could work for an organization like the Ansary X Prize Foundation. You would not need to be a math wizard, but you still need to learn enough to avoid looking like a fool in front of the engineers.

And yes, pilots need to know a lot of math so they can study aerodynamics, navigation and stuff. For personal experience maybe you can opt for something else like parachuting?

You don’t necessarily need to fly to be important to an aerospace company. Astronauts can’t sell their ships by themselves, after all.

As for law and space, yes that’s a big field too. Aerospace law very much started in 1944 in the Chicago International Convention on Civil aviation. Read that to see if it’s the kind of thing you would be interested in studying.


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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:01 pm
thanks for the information


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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:47 am
Maths isn't all that difficult really though Texan. It's all rules, that make pretty patterns. Personally, I'm rubbish at mental math, it takes me ages, but I know the how and why of things, enabling me to use a calculator. Don't be put off, there's so many opportunities that need math.

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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:38 pm
Maybe i'll get a technical degree plus Law instead of a History degree plus Law.


What does an engineer actually DO?


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Spaceflight Trainee
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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:54 am
As an ex-engineer, I can personally attest that if you can't crank the serious numbers, don't go there. That said, I really don't think law would be the second best option for a non-number cruncher to get into space.

Best case, you're more likely to end up arguing lawsuits regarding intellectual property, liability for the space tourists who will unavoidably get killed, and maybe even asteroid property rights - all on the ground. The best way for a lawyer to get into space would be to make millions and then buy a ticket.

Pilots do need to know math, but not quite at the same level as engineers. Perhaps you do have enough aptitude - check it out. Even if you fly as a space tourist you'll likely be required to have some related training.

Good luck.


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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:15 am
Try geography/geology. Its got almost no complex maths and involves lots of travel and colouring-in! It will get you on space-flights even though you will initially know no more than anyone else about where you are going and may be no help when you arrive!

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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:39 am
become a botanist, and think up cool experiments that can be done in low grav.

Or any profession where an experiment with in an orbital facility would be nesessary. We nearly had a teacher in orbit.

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