Space Operations Officer ... (Military - Officer)  What They Do

Just the Facts


Manages space flight planning, training, mission control, and other activities involved in launching and recovering spacecraft. May be an astronaut.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster National Security pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Manages activities of the flight control facility, including mission planning and training.
  • Manages operation of guidance, navigation, and propulsion systems for ground and space vehicles.
  • Develops space flight simulation exercises to train astronauts.
  • Plans space stations.
  • Directs space center launch and recovery activities.
  • Commands and pilots space shuttles.
  • Performs in-orbit tasks and experiments aboard spacecraft.
  • Monitors foreign space flights and missile launches.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work