There are many skills needed in space. As we look towards a future where humans live more of their lives in the great beyond outside of the bounds of our atmosphere, it would behoove us to look at how civilians will begin to play a much larger role in space travel.
Are we looking more at space plumbers or space doctors? Is the future of your career off the ground?
Let’s explore the skills you need on the new frontier.
Space and Infrastructure?
When exploring any new frontier, we should look at how we are going to build infrastructure to allow us to explore. The Oregon Trail was the path out west. Trade winds brought ships to the Americas. And Carnegie libraries, radio waves, and the internet brought new waves of information availability to the frontiers. Infrastructure is vital. For a viable space program, that may mean outposts built throughout the solar system.
This means utilizing trade labor on a massive scale. For outer space welders, plumbers, pipers, steel workers, and fabricators to be trained in the specialized safety that space requires may seem like a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve put welders under the ocean and in nuclear reactors, so space isn’t a huge leap away. It’s about finding a good training, pay, and of course, safety regulations. If we want huge spinning space outposts with thriving communities, we have to recruit and train people who can build them.
A big part of space growth would be a surge in safety protocol. While OSHA can go a little too far, like requiring laws in dairy farms that manure will make the ground slippery, there are huge gaps in the safety of workers. For example, if your company employees fewer than 10 people, you could shoot your employees up into space and wait for their relatives and friends to sue you for distress. But it’d be easier if you met with the safety specialists of OSHA, who will consult with your business for free. There would need to be more regulations created to keep your amazing space workers safe, but obvious things like, preventable low-level falls, which contribute to a lot of workplace fatalities, may not be something that you think about. And in space, not thinking about your workers’ safety is a big deal.
Having an on-staff doctor would be vital to worker safety in space. For those who work in remote locations currently, emergency transport is crucial for employee health emergencies. Similarly, once we move to working/living in space, having an on-property emergency care would give your workers better health outcomes. Space communities would have to be just that: an actual community with self-contained food sources, hospitals, and workers. This means that space can be for almost everyone when looking to create a community of workers to send up and create a Space Force.
Learning From Other Frontiers
Learning from other desolate frontiers we’ve explored on this planet can help us plan a future in the void that is space. We know that safety in dangerous environments is important. We know that if we can pay someone enough to do it, we can accomplish it. We know that small comforts go a long way while in an unavoidably uncomfortable environment.
We could go to space. Like any frontier, having a “space highway” set up would allow us safer travel across the solar system. Setting up that vital infrastructure requires increased worker safety and training. We can do it.