What Kinds of Jobs Do People Have at JPL?
Engineers test the range of motion of the Mars Science Laboratory rover’s robotic arm joints. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Full caption
It takes a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience to explore planets, study galaxies and monitor Earth from space. Here are just a few examples of our scientists and engineers:
• Planetary geologists study the terrain of other planets through images and science instruments. They also study rocks and terrain here on Earth.
• Vulcanologists study volcanoes on Earth, other planets and moons. Jupiter’s moon Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system.
• Software engineers program computers so spacecraft will follow our instructions.
• Mechanical engineers think about how the spacecraft and instruments will work as a whole system and they help build them with that in mind.
Careers at NASA and JPL, however, are not only for scientists and engineers.
• Business people help plan and pay for projects.
• Animators, writers and Web developers illustrate and explain what our missions do.
• Educators teach science and math ideas and activities to teachers and students.
The jobs are as creative as the mission of space exploration.