Spacecraft communicator

Science, mathematics and statistics

Career outlook for spacecraft communicator

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You'd be a crucial part of a space mission, playing a key role from the ground. Imagine providing a familiar and friendly voice for astronauts out in space. You could be keeping them updated with things happening in mission control or giving life-saving instructions during an emergency.

It's important that only one person relays messages between astronauts and the team working from Earth. If everyone was to try and speak to each other, things could get quite confusing! You'd give messages from the mission control team to the astronauts and pass information the other way too.

Being clear and concise is key. You'd need to choose your words carefully so they're easy to understand and relay messages quickly.

What you might do:

  • monitor communication from the mission control team and on board the spacecraft
  • make sure communications equipment is working
  • communicate decisions made by a flight director to the spacecraft
  • be a voice for the astronauts in space, providing their perspective
  • look after astronauts' safety, highlighting issues on their behalf

Working conditions


Your hours of work would vary depending on the needs of the specific mission. Communication between Earth and astronauts needs to be available 24/7. To do this, a space agency might appoint space communicators to work round the clock, in 8-hour shifts. You could work late or through the night to keep in contact with your colleagues in space.


You'd likely work for a space agency, in a busy mission control centre. You'd be sitting at a desk for long periods of time monitoring communication channels. It's a fast-paced environment where you'll need to stay alert. You'll have to react to any issues or complex situations that arise.


You'd likely work from a set base of operations but may need to travel occasionally depending on the needs of the mission. This could include international travel.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Adaptability
  • Cooperating
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Making decisions

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


This is a very specialised role that's often only open to astronauts or former astronauts. Discover more about becoming an astronaut.

Other employees working for a space agency might also be able to do the role. You'd need to have a strong background in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline. This could be a degree or postgraduate qualification in aerospace engineering.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • maths
  • physics
  • engineering science
  • design and technology
  • design and manufacture
  • application of maths
  • practical craft skills
  • practical electronics
  • Skills for Work: Engineering
  • computer science
  • science

You will also need

You'd do further training while working for a space agency to prepare for this role. You'd learn about how mission control centres operate and do simulations of different scenarios you could deal with.

You'd need to have a strong understanding of different aspects of an astronaut's job. This includes being familiar with things like:

  • vehicle systems
  • control systems
  • flight dynamics
  • life-support readings aboard the spacecraft

Helpful to have

Competition for jobs in the space sector is very high. You'll likely need some relevant work experience. Check out the Space Placements in INdustry scheme (SPIN). It offers placements each year to students considering working in the sector.