Principal Investigator: Nick Haddad

Funders: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

TERC and its partners are developing a resource for high school guidance counselors to introduce high school students to space science careers. Space Science Careers: Building Hinode XRT, A Space X-Ray Telescope contains video footage and interviews with aerospace industry employees who participated in the construction of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s x-ray telescope—which is now orbiting earth attached to the Hinode satellite. When students think about careers with NASA, they typically think of astronauts and engineers—they are much less aware of the large technical workforce that operates behind the scenes to make the space program possible. This resource highlights the work of these technical staffers—who manufacture, assemble, inspect, test, and transport scientific instruments before they are launched into space—in order to present the diversity of career opportunities at NASA and in the space industry.

The DVD resource consists of two disks: a video disk containing video clips about the construction of the Hinode telescope, its applications, and interviews with 18 people who worked on constructing the telescope, and a worker profile disk, which contains additional information in PDF format about nine of the workers interviewed and their individual profiles for distribution to students. The resource provides students with a unique and authentic window into the aerospace industry workplace and an unscripted view of workers collaborating and solving problems as they attend to their specialties.

For more information, please visit http://xrt.cfa.harvard.edu/index.php for more about the Hinode satellite, the x-ray telescope, Hinode’s latest x-ray images of the sun and much more. The resource will be available through Smithsonian’s website late in 2010.

Partners for this project are Len Gittleman Productions in Watertown, MA, and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA.