The UK is on the final countdown to the launch of World Space Week, which takes place from October 4 until October 10. Among the events scheduled is a special feature at the National Space Centre in Leicester. 

Guest speakers will gather on October 5 to explore astronomy, space missions and the exciting space research happening right now in the UK. There will also be planetarium shows, stargazing and live science demonstrations. 

It was a UN General Assembly resolution in December 1999 that declared the first World Space Week. Every year since, international celebrations mark the contributions of space science and technology to the “betterment of the human condition”. 

With more than 5000 events expected to take place in more than 80 countries, the theme for 2019 theme is The Moon: Gateway to the Stars. 

Of course, our enduring fascination with space knows no bounds, as evidenced by the latest Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster Ad Astra. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to be Brad Pitt or Liv Tyler to make your mark beyond Earth. There are many futuristic jobs related to the exploration of the heavens available right now, mostly thanks to emerging technology. 

The UK aerospace sector directly employs 110,000 and many more in the supply chain, with an advanced manufacturing base providing employment for around 3000 companies.  

The government predicts the industry could be worth £40 billion a year to the UK economy by 2030. 

An estimated 44% of the world’s small satellites are already made in the UK with industry leaders claiming Britain could soon overtake European space programmes. 

This follows the commitment of £92 million to creating a rival to the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation project. 

Funding announcements by UK Space Agency (UKSA) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have also confirmed Sutherland will be home to the UK’s first spaceport by the early 2020s. 

Vertical rocket and satellite launches are planned from the A’Mhoine peninsula, with a total funding package of £17.3 million to be invested, including £2.5 million from UKSA and £9.8 million from HIE. The project will create 40 local jobs and 400 in the wider supply chain. 

With all of this vibrant activity, the UK space industry is expanding much like the universe itself . . . and so too are job opportunities. 

More applicants are needed to become involved in a variety of sectors – including research and development, manufacture and design and the maintenance and repair of hi-tech spacecraft and equipment. 

There are also exciting new roles to explore and the number one, beyond doubt, is that of space pilot. 

Several corporations are currently developing space tourism businesses that will see shuttle trips to space or even to the moon. Organisations such as Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk’s Space X will need pilots who can fly these spacecraft.  

Dreaming of becoming an astronaut is suddenly no longer science fantasy! 

And remember, too, with space travel there will be a need for associated professions such as flight attendants and space traffic controllers. 

Once in space, who’s going to design and build the stations and bases on the moon or Mars? That’s the job for space architects and construction experts. 

You’ll have to have special expertise in hostile environments and be able to create structures not only capable of withstanding extreme radiation and sub-zero temperatures but also be fully self-sufficient. 

Robot designers are also in demand. Not only will robots be integral to space exploration – and the building of stations – they already have major applications in our workplaces and private life. Designers will develop the hardware and software that allows seamless interactions between robots and humans. 

Because of the huge distances and unique environments involved, space science generates vast amounts of data that must be analysed to maximise the development of new technologies. That’s why space science data analysts are at the forefront of this specialism and driving the space race. 

As you’d expect, aerospace engineers are the experts who already have the biggest presence in today’s industry. 

Experience in designing and developing satellites, rockets and space shuttles makes them much sought-after. Fitters and assembly operators also play an important role in constructing and assembling spacecraft and related machinery.  

Biotech scientists, meanwhile, are exploring the effects of long-haul space travel on the human body and looking for ways to counteract any effects. Their work will allow longer periods off-planet so that we really can ‘reach for the stars’. 

If you’d like to join the space race, why not launch your career with a role from x1jobs?