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Mark Fittock
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Mark Fittock

Published: 24 May 2019

Round 3

After SpaceMaster: Project Engineer at DLR (2010)

Near the end of my studies for mechanical engineering, mathematics, and astrophysics in Australia, I learnt about the SpaceMaster programme and thought that it sounded interesting and that, maybe a few years after graduation, it might be a useful programme to join. Luckily for me, I decided to hunt down some more information about the course and, in true “carpe diem” style, realized that the best time to do it was right away.

Beginning the study in Germany, moving to Kiruna (where I stayed for my second year), and moving finally to the north of Germany for my thesis was a huge culture shock for me, the sheer number of cultural backgrounds of the students takes many by surprise. Despite early difficulties, adjustment comes with time and I learnt to appreciate it. With many different cultural and educational backgrounds, there is much to learn from your fellow students, from integration and high-level physics to cocktails that you’ve never seen before! Forming close bonds with many other students was a huge advantage for studying a demanding course in a foreign country; without the friends I made in SpaceMaster, I would not be where I am today.

Now, I work for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) at the Institute of Space Systems. I was lucky enough to participate and launch an experiment on board a high-altitude balloon in the REXUS/BEXUS student programme with four other SpaceMasters. Through this I found a thesis at DLR and after completing my study, was asked to apply for a position. I work as a project engineer for REXUS/BEXUS and other sounding rocket programmes. Every day I use knowledge that I acquired during SpaceMaster, you realize that the hard work pays off though in understanding many facets of the space industry that you would not have been exposed to otherwise.

I’ll always be glad I made the decision to join SpaceMaster. It gave me the boost to launch my career in the space industry.