Topic:Aerospace engineering

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Welcome to the Department of Aerospace Engineering.


Aerospace engineering is a field of engineering that specializes in vehicles that move in fluids. This usually means working with airplanes, satellites, rockets or spacecraft.[1]

NASA engineers, seen here in mission control during Apollo 13, worked diligently to protect the lives of the astronauts on the mission.

To work in Aerospace engineering you must learn a lot. This is done depending on what you want to do. Aerospace engineers (those who design and oversee repair of vehicles) study at a university or college and must earn a degree. Technicians (those who repair and construct vehicles) will do a shorter course and 'on the job' training. Aerospace jobs include astronauts, pilots, and other professionals.[2]

Aerospace engineers design, develop, and test aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles and supervise the production of these products. Those who work with aircraft are called aeronautical engineers, and those working specifically with spacecraft are astronautical engineers. Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation, defense systems, and space exploration, often specializing in areas such as structural design, guidance, navigation and controls, instrumentation and communication, or production methods. They also may specialize in a particular type of aerospace product, such as commercial aircraft, military fighter jets, helicopters, spacecraft, or missiles and rockets, and may become experts in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, orbital mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, or guidance and control systems.

A spacecraft (or spaceship) is a vehicle, vessel or machine designed to fly in space. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo. On a sub-orbital spaceflight, a spacecraft enters space and then returns to the surface, without having gone into an orbit. For orbital spaceflights, spacecraft enter closed orbits around the Earth or around other celestial bodies. Spacecraft used for human spaceflight carry people on board as crew or passengers from start or on orbit (space stations) only, while those used for robotic space missions operate either autonomously or telerobotically. Robotic spacecraft used to support scientific research are space probes. Robotic spacecraft that remain in orbit around a planetary body are artificial satellites. Only a handful of interstellar probes, such as Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, and New Horizons, are currently on trajectories that leave our Solar System. Orbital spacecraft may be recoverable or not. By method of reentry to Earth they may be divided in non-winged space capsules and winged spaceplanes. Currently, only twenty-four nations have spaceflight technology, including: Russia (Russian Federal Space Agency), the United States (NASA, the US Air Force, SpaceX (a U.S private aerospace company)), the member states of the European Space Agency, the People's Republic of China (China National Space Administration), Japan (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and India (Indian Space Research Organisation).

Test Aircraft(Flight Testing) is a branch of aeronautical engineering that develops and gathers data during flight of an aircraft and then analyzes the data to evaluate the flight characteristics of the aircraft and validate its design, including safety aspects. The flight test phase accomplishes two major tasks: 1) finding and fixing any aircraft design problems and then 2) verifying and documenting the aircraft capabilities for government certification or customer acceptance. The flight test phase can range from the test of a single new system for an existing aircraft to the complete development and certification of a new aircraft. Therefore, the duration of a flight test program can vary from a few weeks to many years.

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‘Blended wing’ craft prototype

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  1. Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering. Wiley & Sons. October 2010. ISBN 978-0-470-75440-5
  2. Aerospace jobs in West Virginia