Author Topic: How to get to ESA/NASA/SpaceX  (Read 1484 times)

Offline adam440

How to get to ESA/NASA/SpaceX
« on: 02/03/2017 05:58 PM »
Hello,
I'm currently 15 years old student and live in the Czech Republic (central Europe). I'm interested in 3D printing, cryptocurrencies, and programming (C++).  My dream is to work in an aerospace industry as an electrical engineer. In the best case in organizations like ESA, NASA or SpaceX. I know, that I should focus on science subjects in school now. Then I should go to prestige university and major in el. engineering. And then finally apply to ESA. And if I will be very lucky and somehow get a green card and some other papers, then I can work even at SpaceX or NASA. However, am I missing some important steps there? Should I focus on something or just keep going?  And is there any chance, that I will meet ITAR requirements as a guy from central Europe?

Offline donaldp

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Re: How to get to ESA/NASA/SpaceX
« Reply #1 on: 02/03/2017 06:16 PM »
Unfortunately you are probably currently limited to the possibility of working for the ESA. Both NASA and SpaceX are effectively closed to anyone other than US nationals.

My Nephew who has Dual Canadian/British nationality has a Doctorate from MIT (he is actually a rocket scientist) and he has only just manage to be able to work for a US aerospace company. This was after nearly 3 years of effort and working at a European university on a similar project to the US company.

If you ever wanted to work for NASA, SpaceX or any other related US aerospace company you would probably need to get US citizenship or at least be extremely well qualified and excellent experience.

But good luck and keep studying. With hard work and a strong commitment you never know how far you can go.
« Last Edit: 02/04/2017 12:22 AM by donaldp »

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: How to get to ESA/NASA/SpaceX
« Reply #2 on: 02/03/2017 06:33 PM »
As well as study make sure you get some practical experience, through holiday jobs, internships, or student projects like hyperloop.

It is likely that by the time you are qualified (especially if you do a PhD) that the H1B/Green Card/ITAR regime will be completely different. Perhaps by then there will be cool companies and organisations to work for outside the USA.

France, Germany, Italy and the UK have reasonably large space industries, which are growing, so there are likely to be jobs available outside of ESA.

Offline Mondagun

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Re: How to get to ESA/NASA/SpaceX
« Reply #3 on: 02/04/2017 07:22 PM »
Perhaps by then there will be cool companies and organisations to work for outside the USA.

France, Germany, Italy and the UK have reasonably large space industries, which are growing, so there are likely to be jobs available outside of ESA.
I'd say that there are already plenty of cool space companies outside the USA right now. Consortia of European space companies are for example currently designing/building an interplanetary probe to Mercury, a 900-satellite constellation for worldwide wireless internet and gravitational-wave detector probes just to name a few. Sounds plenty exciting to me. :)





The biggest of these European space companies are Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia and OHB. They take the lead in designing and building most of the spacecraft/rockets for ESA, and employ thousands of people (though not all of them engineers of course). But then there are also still a lot of smaller space companies all over Europe that are often specialized in building a specific type of spacecraft components.

Tip: a great way to already gain some first practical experience in secondary school is to participate in a CanSat competition.
http://www.esero.scientica.cz/cansat
http://m.esa.int/Education/CanSat/The_2017_European_CanSat_Competition_has_been_launched
« Last Edit: 02/04/2017 07:47 PM by Mondagun »

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