Aerospace engineering is the primary branch of engineering behind the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft.It is broken into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering.The former deals with craft that stay within Earth’s atmosphere, and the latter deals with craft that operate outside of Earth’s atmosphere.
Aerospace engineering deals with the design, construction, and application of the science behind the forces and physical properties of aircraft, rockets, flying craft, and spacecraft. The field also covers their aerodynamic characteristics and behaviors, airfoil, control surfaces, lift, drag, and other properties. Aerospace engineering is not to be confused with the various other fields of engineering that go into designing these complex craft. For example, the design of aircraft avionics, while certainly part of the system as a whole, would rather be considered electrical engineering, or perhaps computer engineering. The landing gear system on an aircraft may fall into the field of mechanical engineering, and so forth. It is typically a large combination of many disciplines that makes up aeronautical engineering.
Aerospace engineering may be studied at the advanced diploma, bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. levels in aerospace engineering departments at many universities, and in mechanical engineering departments at others. A few departments offer degrees in space-focused astronautical engineering.
Flight vehicles undergo severe conditions such as differences 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. These technologies are collectively known as aerospace engineering. Because of the complexity of the field, aerospace engineering is conducted by a team of engineers, each specializing in their own branches of science.
The development and manufacturing of a modern flight vehicle is an extremely complex process and demands careful balance and compromise between abilities, design, available technology and costs. Aerospace engineers design, test, and supervise the manufacture of aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation, defense systems, and space exploration.