This past week I got an email from a college student who wanted to write for NASA. She took the time to read my page full of advice regarding the space-writing life and still wanted to know more. More to the point, she wanted specifics about the mechanics of applying for a job to the U.S. space agency. As is my practice, I responded to my reader by email and will now share with the rest of you what I shared with her. I’m helpful that way. 🙂
Good evening Mr. Leahy,
I came across your article and hyperlinks on your experiences with being a space writer and I was so incredibly inspired. I never knew that my two strongest passions were molded into one career path and I wanted to thank you for being such a helpful source. I have many dreams I want to accomplish in the near future and being a space writer for NASA is one of them so I wanted to email you for more information. How did you come across such an amazing opportunity? How could I do the same? I am yearning to know. As a journalism major at the University of Georgia who writes for The Red & Black, inching closer to this dream has me up at nights restless. If you are available for a phone call, or a simple email response, I would be forever grateful. Thank you so much!
How did you find a job at NASA?
I did focused keyword searches “technical writer NASA” by specific cities (Huntsville, AL, Cape Canaveral, FL, etc.). I suspect, given your background and interests, that you’re looking to do public affairs writing.
How do I apply for a contractor public affairs writing job at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Kennedy Space Center (KSC), or NASA Headquarters?
As it happens, the same contract that handles technical writers at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC–get used to acronyms! 😉) also handles PA writing. The company that currently supports that contract is Media Fusion. The only job I saw there recently was Communications Manager, but that changes now and then. Media Fusion just won the contract in 2020, I believe. I don’t know which company has the contract for Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The company I supported at NASA HQ is now called Bryce Space & Technology. However, that was more report writing than public affairs writing.
Are there internships at MSFC?
Take a look at this link. You’ll probably have to do some more digging after that. MSFC is in work-from-home mode like much of the rest of the country, so I don’t know how they’re handling everything, but you won’t know until you ask.
How do I apply for civil service jobs at NASA?
You might try USA Jobs. They’re the central clearing house for government (civil servant) jobs. No idea if they handle internships, but I’m sure an enterprising reporter can poke through the site and learn the truth.