British astronauts are being recruited for up to $600,000 (£447,000) to join webuyanyspaceship.com – a website to buy and sell spacecraft .
Webuyanyspaceship.com is launching in January 2023 – but it is not connected with the well-known vehicle sale website webuyanycar.com .
The new website describes itself as “a brokerage for used space transportation assets- enabling same-day sales of all used spacecraft, no matter the location”.
The company says it has already “sold assets in orbit” and that users will be able to get “the best possible price” for their galactic vessels.
Webuyanyspaceship is part of thecarbuyer.ae, based in Dubai – but it is hiring staff in the UK who can work remotely.
It wants to hire astronauts and spacecraft engineers to work on the project and says it has already recruited former NASA and SpaceX staff.
The job advert said: “Our list of future clients will count on us to prepare valuations on crafts from planet Earth to the Moon and Mars and you will help us defend our first-mover advantage in this space.”
The right candidate will have “an in-depth knowledge of spacecraft systems” and be able to assess how much space ships are worth – and how useable they are.
The new hires can be of any position, but webuyanyspaceship says it is ideally looking for rocket scientists.
The job specification said suitable education included a degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering and experience with hardware from NASA or the Johnson Space Centre.
The aim is to view light dated to just 100 million years after the Big Bang, the theoretical flashpoint that set in motion the expansion of the observable universe an estimated 13.8 billion years ago.
The James Webb Space Telescope, built to give the world its first glimpse of the universe as it existed when the earliest galaxies formed, was launched by rocket on December 25 from the northeastern coast of South America.
The device was carried aloft inside the cargo bay of an Ariane 5 rocket that blasted off at about 12.20pm GMT from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) launch base in French Guiana.
The liftoff capped a project decades in the making, coming to fruition after years of repeated delays and cost overruns.
“From a tropical rain forest to the edge of time itself, James Webb begins a voyage back to the birth of the universe,” a NASA commentator said as the two-stage launch vehicle, fitted with double solid-rocket boosters, roared off its launch pad into cloudy skies.
Coasting through space for two more weeks, the Webb telescope will reach its destination in solar orbit 1 million miles from Earth – about four times farther away than the moon.