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I'm just getting back from WWDC13, and had the opportunity to see Bill Nye speak at the last day's lunch session. Of course, I grew up watching him, and left incredibly excited for what lies ahead for humanity ... but at the same time, I'm left wondering how can I, as a "lowly" software engineer, contribute to progress in the space industry.

Of course, there are some obvious choices: I could donate cash to the Planetary Society. Or I could go to college and start doing physics research (I never went, though am really happy with my career arc over the last 14 years).

So, I guess it's a bit of an open ended question, but what areas of opportunity might be available to someone with more time and skills than money that still wants to find a way to contribute?

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closed as not constructive by gnat, Martijn Pieters, GlenH7, Dan Pichelman, Dynamic Jun 17 '13 at 2:53

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Literally an infinite number of ways as you can do an infinite number of things with a computer. –  Dynamic Jun 16 '13 at 14:23
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The answer is straightforward: find a job at NASA or at one of the universities or contractors doing software development for interplanetary missions.

Please note that your skills may be not a match for the positions they have. Yet only the daring succeed.

To get more information from the developers and operational specialists, read and possibly join UMSF (Unmanned Spaceflight forum). Read books and papers on software development for critical missions, write your own robotics software...

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Ahh, thanks for the link to the UMSF :) –  Joel Martinez Jun 17 '13 at 15:15
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