Exciting news for fans of NASA, space travel, or anything else science related: Today, NASA announced plans to help bring manned space travel back to the U.S.!
Since the space shuttle program was taken out of commission a few years ago, NASA astronauts who needed to get to the ISS did so by way of Russian spaceflights. Those rides were expensive, and of course, they also meant that we were dependent on another country’s space program to get our astronauts into the great beyond.
Today’s announcement, however, confirms suspicions that NASA has plans to bring manned space travel back to the U.S. through outside contracts with Boeing and SpaceX. Boeing and SpaceX will manufacture “space taxis”–modern space shuttles, to put it simply–that NASA will use to send astronauts to the ISS starting as soon as 2017. It’s a very exciting time for space travel!
As fans of space travel ourselves, we have to say that we’re very excited about this news. But that’s not all! This could also be very exciting for the field of manufacturing. Someone is going to have to make the machines and technology necessary for manned space flight, and manufacturers are going to be a large part of that process. Boeing, one of the companies NASA will use for space taxis, already employs manufacturers across many disciplines, and we expect that employment to grow with the announcement of these exciting new contracts.
Even if you’re not an astronaut, there are plenty of ways to get involved in the space industry–and manufacturing is one of them. So take a moment, soak it all in, and reflect on your career options. With the right skills and education, you could soon be manufacturing NASA’s new space taxis!