Astronautical engineering encompasses the dynamic and the other fields of advance science and space technology. Space is increasingly important for our economy and national security as well as exploration. Space engineer design and build rockets and missiles, space launches, communication and direct broadcasting satellites, space navigation system, remote sensing, space vehicles for human space spaceflight and planetary probe. They also operate earth orbiting space system from the ground control system.
The engineering is intellectually fit, and blending the science and engineering fundamentals with specialized astronautics knowledge. The graduates in these are prepared to join the space industry and government space research and development centers.
To get in the education of astronautical engineer, you typically need a degree in both engineering or a degree in mechanical engineering with a focused career option in an aerospace engineer.
The engineering enthusiasts who plan to major in aeronautical or astronautical engineering should have a solid background in the high school math and science stream subject. Students should also have a scientific curiosity on be both imaginative and analytical in their thought process.
Job duties of astronautical engineer
• Involves in participation in research and development programs
• Prepare technical report and other documentation such as handbooks or bulletins, for use by engineering staff
• Maintain detailed records relating to the equipment, materials, and performance
• Evaluate and modify existing designs by formulating mathematical models or applying computed based methods
• Plan and conduct environmental, experimental, or operational tests on existing models of aerospace systems.
Astronautical engineers are hired by organizations involved in the development and manufacturing of spacecraft and related equipment and components, such as satellites, weapons, and defense systems. They are also hired by aircraft and space agencies and executive agencies that focus on the scientific research and engineering projects.
They are typically required to be licensed as professional engineers, as their work affects public safety. To be licensed as a professional engineer, one needs to meet the following requirements
• A degree from an accredited engineering program
• Passing score on the fundamental of engineering
• Relevant work experience
Similarities between aeronautics and astronautical engineering
Both the engineering option investigate the aerodynamics, structural aspects, propulsion concepts and flight navigation and control but the major difference arises in the primary focus of each of the fields of aircraft and spacecraft. For example- the airplanes use the air in which they travel to generate lift but rocket encounters the air primarily as drag and at much higher speeds and for a relatively shorter span of “missile time”.