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Aerospace Engineering

SpaceX_Human_Spaceflight_053020A
(Returning Human Spaceflight To The U.S. at 3:22PM, May, 30, 2020 - SPACEX)
 

 

 - Overview

Space technologies are being put up by a host of government and non-government actors now jockeying for space in space. In the 21st century, space has become an increasingly democratized environment. More countries, non-state actors, international organizations, and corporations are harnessing space capabilities and employing them in a myriad of ways. 

Civilian government organizations, such as NASA and NOAA, use satellites to keep track of changing climates, monitor natural disasters, and take images of far-away galaxies. Military uses of satellites include reconnaissance, navigation, and communications. Commercial industry deploys satellites to provide a variety of services, including satellite television and navigation, and are using innovative space technologies to provide internet and cell phone coverage across the globe. 

As if that wasn’t enough, innovations in satellite designs have allowed for smaller satellites to be put into orbit at lower cost, making space more accessible to a larger number of satellite operators.

 

- Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering is the primary field of engineering concerned with the design, development, testing, and production of aircraft, spacecraft, and related systems and equipment. The field has traditionally focused on problems related to atmospheric and space flight, with two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering.  

  • Aeronautical Engineering focuses on the theory, technology, and practice of flight within the earth’s atmosphere. 
  • Astronautical Engineering focuses on the science and technology of spacecraft and launch vehicles.

 

- Main Focuses

Aerospace engineering is largely the design, construction and maintenance of aircraft, spacecraft, missiles and weapons systems. Main focuses can include flight safety, fuel efficiency, operating costs and environmental impact. Avionics engineering is similar, but deals with the electronics side of aerospace engineering.

Flight vehicles are subjected to demanding conditions such as those caused by changes in atmospheric pressure and temperature, with structural loads applied upon vehicle components. Consequently, they are usually the products of various technological and engineering disciplines including aerodynamics, propulsion, avionics, materials science, structural analysis and manufacturing. The interaction between these technologies is known as aerospace engineering. Because of the complexity and number of disciplines involved, aerospace engineering is carried out by teams of engineers, each having their own specialized area of expertise.

 

 

[More to come ...]

 

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