Not unlike the structure of a card tower, NASA works byhaving many professions, all which are equally important, work together to accomplishthe goals under the four mission directorates: Aeronautics Research, HumanExploration and Operations, Science, and Space Technology.
From the Chapter TwoReading Assignments, students were able to learn that teamwork enables for eventhe most daunting tasks to be feasible with a cohesive unit. An astrophysicistis a part of the Science Mission Directorate and works to solve the mysteriesof the universe. From learning the nature of black holes to finding forms of lifeelsewhere in the universe, an astrophysicist furthers their knowledge of theuniverse to answer the questions pertaining to the human race’s origins. In thispaper, the readers shall be informed on the role of an astrophysicist in NASAand how learn more about what it takes about to be one.
By the end of readingthis, they should have a deeper understanding of the profession and how itrelates to teamwork in a professional environment. Therefore, the readers wouldhave effectively explored this possible future career in NASA.Role in the Aerospace IndustryUnder the Science Mission Directorate, the Astrophysicsdivision works to learn more about our universe (NASA Astrophysics, n.d.).
Eachday, astrophysicists look to the stars and analyze data in order to answer thequestions that have been boggling the minds of the human race since the dawn oftime. In other words, if one were to attribute this job to a part of the humanbody, an astrophysicist would be the nervous system, for it takes data from theoutside world and relay it to the brain so that the entire body can understandthe information being received. According to the Ariel Balter (2017), anastrophysicist strives to answer three questions: How does the universe work;How did we get here; and Are we alone.
Before the invention of Galileo’stelescope, humanity had limited access to the universe and could not answerthose questions. Therefore, when Galileo first made an improved version of thetelescope, one that could look to the stars, science was changed forever. Sincethen, the field of astrophysics has made significant contributions to theAerospace industry. The first, and possibly most significant, contribution wasthe heliocentric theory, which placed the sun in the center of the universerather than the Earth. Now, astrophysicists work directly with other divisionsfor missions in space. For example, in 2016, the Origins SpectralInterpretation Resource Identification Security – Regolith Explorer spacecraftlaunched from the Earth to travel to an asteroid near Earth named Bennu. In2018, the spacecraft will reach the asteroid and come back to Earth with asample in 2023 (Garner, 2017). From the sample, astrophysicists shall analyzeand study it to see if it holds any keys to the origins of the solar system.
However,this is only the tip of the iceberg. Every day, astrophysicists utilize fourGreat Observatories (these being powerful space telescopes such as the HubbleSpace Telescope) to look far into the galaxy and discover new celestial bodiesor learn more about the ones already known. In essence, one could say thatastrophysicists are the true explorers, for while astronauts may be thepioneers of space, astrophysicists give humanity access to knowledge that wouldotherwise be lost forever.Perquisites Inorder to become an astrophysicist, one must be skilled in math and science (“Module2 Reading Assignment”, n.d.
). One must also have at least a bachelor’s degreewithin their respective fields. However, if one were to become an astrophysicist,it is recommended that they receive a Ph.D. in either physics or astronomy (Bureauof Labor Statistics, 2017).