Not life elsewhere in the universe, an astrophysicist furthers

Not unlike the structure of a card tower, NASA works by
having many professions, all which are equally important, work together to accomplish
the goals under the four mission directorates: Aeronautics Research, Human
Exploration and Operations, Science, and Space Technology. From the Chapter Two
Reading Assignments, students were able to learn that teamwork enables for even
the most daunting tasks to be feasible with a cohesive unit. An astrophysicist
is a part of the Science Mission Directorate and works to solve the mysteries
of the universe. From learning the nature of black holes to finding forms of life
elsewhere in the universe, an astrophysicist furthers their knowledge of the
universe to answer the questions pertaining to the human race’s origins. In this
paper, the readers shall be informed on the role of an astrophysicist in NASA
and how learn more about what it takes about to be one. By the end of reading
this, they should have a deeper understanding of the profession and how it
relates to teamwork in a professional environment. Therefore, the readers would
have effectively explored this possible future career in NASA.

Role in the Aerospace Industry

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Under the Science Mission Directorate, the Astrophysics
division works to learn more about our universe (NASA Astrophysics, n.d.). Each
day, astrophysicists look to the stars and analyze data in order to answer the
questions that have been boggling the minds of the human race since the dawn of
time. In other words, if one were to attribute this job to a part of the human
body, an astrophysicist would be the nervous system, for it takes data from the
outside world and relay it to the brain so that the entire body can understand
the information being received. According to the Ariel Balter (2017), an
astrophysicist strives to answer three questions: How does the universe work;
How did we get here; and Are we alone. Before the invention of Galileo’s
telescope, humanity had limited access to the universe and could not answer
those questions. Therefore, when Galileo first made an improved version of the
telescope, one that could look to the stars, science was changed forever. Since
then, the field of astrophysics has made significant contributions to the
Aerospace industry. The first, and possibly most significant, contribution was
the heliocentric theory, which placed the sun in the center of the universe
rather than the Earth. Now, astrophysicists work directly with other divisions
for missions in space. For example, in 2016, the Origins Spectral
Interpretation Resource Identification Security – Regolith Explorer spacecraft
launched from the Earth to travel to an asteroid near Earth named Bennu. In
2018, the spacecraft will reach the asteroid and come back to Earth with a
sample in 2023 (Garner, 2017). From the sample, astrophysicists shall analyze
and 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 four
Great Observatories (these being powerful space telescopes such as the Hubble
Space Telescope) to look far into the galaxy and discover new celestial bodies
or learn more about the ones already known. In essence, one could say that
astrophysicists are the true explorers, for while astronauts may be the
pioneers of space, astrophysicists give humanity access to knowledge that would
otherwise be lost forever.


order to become an astrophysicist, one must be skilled in math and science (“Module
2 Reading Assignment”, n.d.). One must also have at least a bachelor’s degree
within 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 (Bureau
of Labor Statistics, 2017).