Career outlook for astronaut
UK Salary Ranges
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You'd fly into space and do scientific research to discover more about our universe.
You’d train to be a spacecraft crew member or pilot with a space agency, such as the European Space Agency. With experience, you could progress to the rank of commander. This means you'd lead a team of astronauts while in space.
Missions on board space stations, such as the International Space Station (ISS), are a big part of the job. These can last several months.
When you're on a mission, your tasks might include:
- doing spacewalks to carry out repairs or experiments
- setting up and monitoring experiments on the spacecraft such as growing ice crystals
- installing or repairing scientific instruments and equipment in space
- cleaning and testing equipment such as air filters or water systems
- looking after oxygen production systems
- packaging and disposing of waste
- taking samples, like blood, from astronauts to check their health
- collecting and sending data and reports back to Earth via satellites
When you’re not on a mission, you could spend time training or promoting space exploration and human spaceflight. This could be through educational events, talks or magazine interviews.
UK employment status
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- Working with technology
- Problem solving
- Attention to detail
- Developing a plan
- Making decisions
- Taking responsibility
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