I am an undergraduate student (scientific section) living in Qatar. I have a big interest in astronomy and astrophysics and have participated in the IOAA (International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics) and many other local olympiads.

Unfortunately here in Qatar we don't have Astronomy or Astrophysics as a major so I decided to go for Chemical Engineering to start. I'd like to ask:

  1. What aspects of Chemical Engineering are likely to be useful in Space Exploration? What are the "hot topics" or issues where chemists are needed?
  2. What steps might one take after finishing a Bachelor's degree in CE to advance a career in space sciences, exploration or spacecraft technology and differentiate it from that of a typical chemical engineer?
  • $\begingroup$ I think you could first become a very good chemist in same close-to-space topic (very hard), then try to get a job in the USA (again very hard). After you accustomed there, try to get a job by a space-related company (again very hard). $\endgroup$ – peterh Jul 18 '20 at 20:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ These astronauts had chemical engineering degrees: ichemeblog.org/2014/10/08/a-path-to-the-stars-day-121 $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jul 18 '20 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ Houston, where NASA Mission Control is, is also home to lots of oil production and refineries. NASA has to offer special benefits to keep employees from getting jobs in that field. Furthermore, I know for a fact that some of the cooling systems on the Space Suits were designed by a petrochemical company. Also, NASA will hire people from many different fields to help with design (they have hired fashion designers before to help with spacesuits), so I think in the case of Space, it is possible. $\endgroup$ – BarrowWight Jul 18 '20 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ To get into the space world, my advice would be: 1. Learn about and learn to love space 2. Apply for jobs in the space industry that have job descriptions that fill your skillset. The industry is going though a bit of a revolution now that private company get into space. Lots things are being re-thought. (Granted I do not work in space, so there is fairly general advice) $\endgroup$ – BarrowWight Jul 18 '20 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Stack Exchange! I've made some edits to your post so that it better matches the way the site works, feel free to edit further. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 19 '20 at 2:49

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