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Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (AOEAS)

Orbital Plane_NASA_052222A
[Orbital Plane - NASA: An orbital plane is the flat, disk-shaped space that connects the center of the object being orbited with the center of the orbiting objects. Because all planets in our solar system share a similar orbital plane, planets don't run in to each other.]

A New Age of Space Exploration is Beginning: 

Space Data Fuels a New Space Age.



 - Space Science and Technology

Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the American crew to land the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC. Six hours and 39 minutes later, at 02:56 UTC on July 21, Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the lunar surface; Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. 

The moment Armstrong stepped on the lunar surface inspired awe, pride and wonder around the world. The moon landing is an aberration, and achieving it is not an end in itself, but a means to demonstrate the extraordinary capabilities of the United States. 

The next 50 years will look very different. Falling costs, new technologies, the ambitions of China and India, and a new generation of entrepreneurs herald a bold age for space development. It is almost certain that tourism will provide a rich and better communication network for all; in the long run, it may involve mineral extraction and even mass transportation. 

Space will become more and more like an extension of Earth - an arena for corporations and individuals, not just governments. But to fulfill this promise, the world needs a system of laws to govern the heavens—whether in times of peace or in times of war.


- Earth Science

Earth science is the study of the structure, properties, processes and biological evolution of the Earth over 4.5 billion years. Understanding these phenomena is critical to sustaining life on Earth. An expanding world population requires more resources; faces increasing losses from natural disasters; and releases more pollutants into the air, water, and land. 

Sustaining our existence requires a scientific understanding of the natural materials and processes that connect the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. On the Earth's surface where these environments intersect, life thrives or fails. 

In general, the term "earth science" usually includes the study of the earth's atmosphere (meteorology or atmospheric science), the water that flows up and down the surface of the continents (hydrology), and the earth's oceans (oceanography or marine science). Today, we live in a time when the Earth and its inhabitants face many challenges. Our climate is changing, and this change is caused by human activity. 

Geoscientists recognize the problem and will play a key role in efforts to address it. We also face the following challenges: Develop new energy sources with minimal climate impact; find new metals and other mineral resources as known resources are depleted; and, determine how Earth's growing population lives and avoids volcanic activity, earthquakes, mountains Landslides, floods and other serious threats. 

These are just a few of the problems for which solutions rely on a deep understanding of Earth science.

Mount Rainier_Washington_052622A
[Mount Rainier, Washington]

- Atmospheric Science

Atmospheric science is the study of weather analysis and predictability, climate and global change, atmospheric circulation associated with weather systems and their impact on Earth, air quality and other atmospheric processes that affect us. 

Atmospheric science discoveries and understanding are critical to our resilience and preparedness to address the most pressing challenges facing our atmosphere-dependent systems.

The main branches of atmospheric science are:

  • Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics involves the study of the movement of air that leads to thunderstorms, frontal systems, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
  • Atmospheric physics applies the principles of physics to the study of atmospheric processes such as cloud formation, light scattering and energy transfer.
  • Atmospheric chemistry applies chemical principles to study atmospheric processes such as air pollution, ozone depletion and aerosol formation.

Climate science studies changes in weather statistics from seasons to millennia and beyond, addressing phenomena such as El Niño, global warming, and ice ages.

- Ocean Engineering

 The ocean has long been recognized as an essential part of our global environment. Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface and directly or indirectly affect all life on Earth. 

Ocean engineering involves the development, design and analysis of man-made systems that can operate in offshore or coastal environments. Such systems could be used in transportation, recreation, fishing, extraction of oil or other minerals, and recovery of heat or wave energy, among others. 

Some systems are bottom-mounted, especially those at shallower depths; others are mobile, such as ships, submersibles or floating rigs. All systems should be designed to withstand harsh environments (wind, waves, currents, ice) and operate efficiently while remaining environmentally friendly. 

Ocean engineering research, as a major research field of mechanical engineering, needs to meet the core requirements of ocean hydrodynamics and ocean structure. Disciplines supporting ocean engineering include materials and manufacturing, control and robotics, continuum mechanics, dynamical system theory, design methods, mathematical analysis and statistics. 


[More to come ...]


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