Your First Job Could Be Working On The Spacecraft That’ll Supply The International Space Station

Liam Berry
Your First Job Could Be Working On The Spacecraft That’ll Supply The International Space Station
Sponsored by, Sierra Nevada Corporation

How many people wrote in their fifth-grade yearbook that they wanted to be astronauts when they grew up?

Not many of us saw that dream come alive, with most of us in jobs pretty far from our childhood astronomical aspirations. Sometimes we found completely opposite roles (looking at you, deep sea divers!).

Luckily, that’s not always the case. Your first job could be in the space industry and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) might be the perfect place to start.

Here’s a look at SNC’s next generation spacecraft that will deliver critical science and supplies to and from the International Space Station in late 2020—and how you could start your career in the final frontier with SNC.

The Dream Chaser® Spacecraft

SNC’s crown jewel is the Dream Chaser spacecraft.

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Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

With its matte black, smoothly angled body, the Dream Chaser resembles a spacefaring Orca whale. It expertly (and even autonomously) will navigate low-Earth orbit and re-enters Earth’s atmosphere with absurdly little force (protecting everything inside it).  This amazing spacecraft is reusable, capable of a minimum of 15 spaceflights and doesn’t need a crew onboard to operate it.  It is a space-plane delivery drone which delivers care packages to the Space Station, operates as a laboratory in space for weeks at a time, and returns the fruits of the labor to their owners immediately after runway landing.

These traits make it the ultimate cargo vehicle. Come late 2020, it will begin the first of at least six missions to restock, resupply and transport vital scientific assets to the International Space Station and back.

And you could be working on it.

How You Can Work On An Actual Spaceship

SNC recruits top engineering and science talent directly into its internship and entry-level programs. These programs contribute directly to programs like the Dream Chaser spacecraft.

One such early-career engineer is Alexis. She’s a Systems Engineer at SNC who graduated in 2016 from a mechanical engineering program. And she’s already working on the Dream Chaser project.

What’s it like to be working on a real live spaceship so shortly after working in science labs at school?

“Challenging and exciting,” Alexis says.

One of the ship’s groundbreaking capabilities is the ability to land on any normal airline runway. This makes the Dream Chaser ideal for commercial space travel—which she says is something the forward-thinking team at SNC is keeping in mind.

“The Dream Chaser is being designed with new, better capabilities based on lessons learned from past aerospace industry failures and within a commercial industry. This drives creative solutions and new challenges which are changing the industry,” she says.

This puts young engineers like Alexis (and potentially you!) in the driver seat of two extremely important industries: 1) the established business of government aerospace contracts and 2) the burgeoning private spaceflight industry.

Where can Alexis take her career from here?

“The stars” is an appropriate answer.

SNC engineers and scientists don’t just work on the Dream Chaser. They’re also working on electronic weapons systems, space farms, cyber security, and linguistics programs. If you can imagine something futuristic, SNC is probably tinkering with it.

Think you have what it takes to contribute to a company building the future? Check out fun facts, videos and amazing job opportunities from Sierra Nevada Corporation on WayUp right now