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IntroductionHuman beings have studied our solar system for thousands of years, but it was only in the last few centuries that scientists started to really figure out how things work. The era of robotic exploration—sending uncrewed spacecraft beyond Earth as our eyes and ears—is only a little more than 55 years old. A fleet of space robots is out there right now exploring destinations from the Sun to distant planets orbiting faraway stars.
Astronauts pave the way for human exploration beyond our Earth. They are pilots, scientists, engineers, teachers, and more.
Project managers guide missions from concept to completion, working closely with team members to accomplish what they set out to do.
Sample processors protect and preserve samples delivered back to Earth so they can be studied by scientists.
The first thing that fired my imagination for planetary science was when the NASA Voyager spacecraft discovered active volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io.
Melding science with design, artists create everything from large-scale installations to the NASA posters hanging in your bedroom.
Media specialists tells stories across social media and help feature missions and people on TV and in films, books, magazines, and news sites.
Writers/producers capture the incredible stories of NASA's missions and people and share them with the world.
Administrators and directors work out of NASA headquarters, prioritizing science questions and seeking to expand the frontiers of discovery.
Whether it's introducing kids to space or teaching physics to PhD candidates, educators help share their knowledge with the public.
Engineers design and build all types of machines, from what a spacecraft looks like to the software that directs where a rover goes each day.
From an astrophysicist to a volcanologist, scientists of all types pose questions and help find answers to the mysteries of our universe.
I get to see something every day that most people only get to read about in books. I get to be up close and personal with the building blocks of our Universe.