Aerospace engineering is the primary branch of engineering concerned with the research, design, development, construction, testing, science and technology of aircraft and spacecraft.
It is divided into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and aeronautical engineering.
Aeronautics deals with aircraft that operate in Earth's atmosphere, and astronautics deals with spacecraft that operate outside the Earth's atmosphere. Founded by pioneers such as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the field reached its maturity with launching of first artificial satellite, first man in space and first step on the Moon.
Aerospace Engineering deals with the design, construction, and study 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.
Aeronautical engineering was the original term for the field. As flight technology advanced to include craft operating in outer space, the broader term "aerospace engineering" has largely replaced it in common usage. Aerospace engineering, particularly the astronautics branch, is often referred to colloquially as "rocket science", such as in popular culture.
Scope for Aerospace Engineering
Aerospace engineers are employed by:
Aircraft and aircraft component manufacturing companies;
The armed forces, including the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force;
Government research agencies such as the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS);
The further and higher education sectors;
Regulators such as the Civil Aviation Authority
Airline operators etc.
There is also a growing market for maintenance, repair and overhaul of military and commercial aircraft. Many engineers choose to undertake sub-contract work, giving them the opportunity to experience work in different companies and countries.