What Does Aerospace Engineering Involve?

Quck answer

Aerospace engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on the design, development, and production of aircraft and spacecraft. It involves various disciplines such as aerodynamics, propulsion systems, materials science, and structural analysis. Aerospace engineers work on designing and testing aircraft and spacecraft, ensuring their safety, efficiency, and performance. They also work on developing new technologies and improving existing ones. Aerospace engineering plays a crucial role in the aviation and space industries, contributing to advancements in transportation, communication, and exploration. It requires a strong understanding of physics, mathematics, and engineering principles.

Direct your gaze towards the sky. Can you catch sight of an aircraft or a jet? How about a helicopter or a blimp? At any given moment, there may be an array of flying vehicles soaring above you. And, of course, there are those that are not always visible: satellites, rockets, and even the International Space Station.

Have you ever wondered how all of these objects are capable of flying? If so, you’re in luck! Today’s Wonder of the Day revolves around the field that makes these vehicles possible— aerospace engineering!

What exactly do aerospace engineers do? They may engage in a variety of tasks related to flying vehicles. Many are experts in physics and aerodynamics, aiding in the design of aircraft. Some focus on the structure of vehicles and the materials used to construct them. Others contribute to the development of engines and rockets that propel aircraft. The field is often divided into two branches: aeronautical and astronautical.

What sets these two branches apart? Aeronautical engineers typically work with vehicles that operate within the Earth’s atmosphere. This encompasses airplanes, jets, and similar crafts. Can you guess the role of astronautical engineers? That’s right—they design and construct crafts that travel into space. They may be involved in projects involving rockets and satellites.

The daily tasks of an aerospace engineer depend on the branch in which they work. For instance, aeronautical engineers may design helicopters, drones, gliders, and other comparable objects. They also partake in the testing and building phases of these vehicles. Some even strive to enhance the aerodynamics of cars.

Can you name any renowned aeronautical engineers? If you thought of the Wright brothers, you’re correct! In fact, many consider them to be among the earliest individuals in this field.

And how about astronautical engineers? You’ll find them at establishments such as Blue Origin or NASA. They design, test, and construct objects that travel in space. Without them, none of the vehicles that humans have sent beyond Earth’s atmosphere would exist. They have been instrumental in all modern space exploration.

Pioneers in this field were responsible for constructing the world’s first rockets and missiles. One notable example is Robert Goddard, who developed the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket. Many astronauts have also been astronautical engineers, including Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the Moon.

Does a career in aerospace engineering pique your interest? If you possess a creative mindset and enjoy problem-solving, it may be the right path for you! If so, make sure to pay attention and work diligently in school. Give your best effort in math and science classes. These subjects will provide you with the necessary foundation of knowledge. Aerospace engineers also attend college and earn degrees in their field.

What do you envision for the future of space exploration? How might rockets and space stations become even more advanced? The next breakthrough in aerospace engineering could be brought about by you!

Give It a Try

To delve deeper into aerospace engineering, explore the activities below with a friend or family member!

  • Astronautical engineers are responsible for designing different types of spacecraft. Take a look at Blue Origin’s New Shepard and New Glenn rockets, which are the result of the hard work of these engineers and many others. Find out what similarities and unique features these rockets have. Summarize your findings to share with a friend or family member.
  • If you’re interested in pursuing a career in aerospace engineering, start by learning about aerodynamics. Once you have read about it, create a poster either on paper or using Canva that educates others about this topic. Make sure to include a picture and five intriguing facts about aerodynamics.
  • Imagine how space travel might evolve in the future. Draw and color a picture depicting what spacecraft of tomorrow could look like. Beneath your drawing, write a sentence or two explaining what makes your spacecraft special. If you’d like, you can even draw your spacecraft on a postcard and send it to Club for the Future! They will launch your postcard into space and then return it to you by mail.

Sources of Wonder

  • https://www.aero.psu.edu/academics/undergraduate/what-is-aerospace-engineering.aspx (accessed 27 Apr. 2021)
  • https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/aerospace-engineers.htm (accessed 27 Apr. 2021)
  • https://www.livescience.com/47702-aerospace-engineering.html (accessed 27 Apr. 2021)
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STYw2OTOveY (accessed 27 Apr. 2021)
  • https://learnersdictionary.com/ (accessed 27 Apr. 2021)


1. What is aerospace engineering?

Aerospace engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, development, and construction of aircraft and spacecraft. It involves the study of aerodynamics, propulsion systems, materials science, and structural design to create vehicles that can operate in the Earth’s atmosphere or outer space.

2. What are the main responsibilities of aerospace engineers?

Aerospace engineers are responsible for designing and testing aircraft and spacecraft, ensuring they meet safety standards and perform efficiently. They develop and evaluate prototypes, analyze data and performance, and make improvements to enhance the vehicles’ capabilities. They also work on research and development projects, collaborate with other engineers and scientists, and may oversee the production and maintenance of aerospace systems.

3. What skills are required to become an aerospace engineer?

To become an aerospace engineer, one needs a strong foundation in mathematics, physics, and computer science. Problem-solving and analytical skills are essential, as engineers often encounter complex challenges that require innovative solutions. Additionally, attention to detail, good communication skills, and the ability to work in a team are important for successful collaboration on aerospace projects.

4. What career opportunities are available in aerospace engineering?

Aerospace engineering offers a wide range of career opportunities. Graduates can work in the aerospace industry, designing and developing aircraft and spacecraft for commercial airlines, defense organizations, or space agencies. They can also pursue research and development positions in academia or government institutions, focusing on advancing aerospace technologies and exploring new frontiers in space exploration.

5. How does aerospace engineering contribute to society?

Aerospace engineering plays a vital role in society by enabling safe and efficient air travel, satellite communication, weather forecasting, and space exploration. It contributes to advancements in technology, materials science, and environmental sustainability. Aerospace engineers are also involved in developing technologies for defense and national security, as well as addressing global challenges such as climate change and disaster management.

6. What are some current trends and future developments in aerospace engineering?

Current trends in aerospace engineering include the development of electric and hybrid aircraft, the use of artificial intelligence in flight control systems, and the exploration of reusable rockets for space missions. Future developments may involve the use of advanced materials like carbon nanotubes, the implementation of supersonic and hypersonic travel, and the expansion of commercial space tourism. Continuous research and innovation are driving the field forward, opening up new possibilities for the future of aerospace engineering.

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