Rocket Girls Leading the Space Generation

This piece was coauthored by Stephanie Wan, Co-Chair at Space Generation Advisory.

When you think of space and astronauts, usually you would imagine NASA, Captain Kirk, and men from the Apollo or Shuttle-era programs. Gone are the days of the Cold War and the space program has evolved into an international cooperative arena, but with a bit of friendly “co-opetition.” While the Kennedy days have passed and a good portion of that generation has retired, the space sector is far from gone. Instead, organizations have been fervently trying to fill the knowledge gap with mentorship programs and fresh-out engineers. As international collaboration becomes a necessity in space missions, especially in maximizing resources in an uncertain financial climate, learning to speak beyond Klingon has proven to be an asset.

The organization we co-chair, the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), is an international network of students and young professionals that was created through a United Nations (UN) recommendation to have a voice in space policy – and it includes a permanent observer member seat at the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna, Austria. As the organization has grown to over 4,000 members from over 100 countries (all volunteers except for one paid staff), the trouble is no longer about giving the youth a voice in the space world, but tackling different interests and technology applications in the space sector — from Global Navigation Satellites System to being a space entrepreneur (or merging both!), it is an opportunity for professional development and fostering long lasting relationships at the global level with your peers.

The space sector needs human contributions from all countries and backgrounds to join in order to live long and prosper in space: lawyers, architects, medical doctors, biologists, publicists, materials experts — not just engineers. Whether they —> Read More