NASA does not employ many “astronomers.” There are a lot of World’s Best Houston Astros Mom shirt: persons who analyze the data being returned by NASA missions to the various parts of our solar system. Planetary science is quite distinct from astronomy, since the methods of planetary science are largely a subset of the methods used in earth science. That is, we can observe the earth and its atmospheres and oceans from satellites, just as we have observed Mars from orbiters, Venus from landers, and the outer planets from fly-bys. To get an idea of what planetary scientists do, browse the table of contents of the journal Icarus, or look on Amazon for my book, Fish Stories by a Scientific Nobody, a humorous treatment.
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Of course, NASA also employs a great many engineers, whose job is to design and World’s Best Houston Astros Mom shirt, manned or (mostly) unmanned. And NASA employs a tiny number of astronauts, whose undergraduate majors may be in any physical science and who are rarely “astronomers.” Astronomy operates mostly by making inferences from the spectra of bodies that are many light-years away. The two fields began to overlap in the 90’s when the community of planetary scientists came to accept the discoveries of hundreds of extra-solar planets. Now those planets are much more a part of “planetary science” than of astronomy, even though we cannot visit them.