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What is Aeronautics?
Aeronautics is the study of the
science of flight.
Aeronautics is the method of designing an airplane or other
flying machine. There are four basic areas that aeronautical engineers must
understand in order to be able to design planes. To design a plane, engineers
must understand all of these elements.
is the study of how air flows around
the airplane. By studying the way air flows around the plane the engineers can
define the shape of the plane. The wings, the tail, and the main body or fuselage
of the plane all affect the way the air will move around the plane.
is the study of how to design an engine
that will provide the thrust that is needed for a plane to take off and fly
through the air. The engine provides the power for the airplane. The study of
propulsion is what leads the the engineers determine the right kind of engine
and the right amount of power that a plane will need
Materials and Structures.
is the study of what
materials are to be used on the plane and in the engine and how those materials
make the plane strong enough to fly effectively. The choice of materials that
are used to make the fuselage wings, tail and engine will affect the strength
and stability of the plane. Many airplane materials are now made out of composites,
materials that are stronger than most metals and are lightweight.
Stability and Control.
is the study of how to control
the speed, direction, altitude and other conditions that affect how a plane
flies. The engineers’ design the controls that are needed in order to fly and
instruments are provided for the pilot in the cockpit of the plane. The pilot
uses these instruments to control the stability of the plane during flight.
Engineering and Science Careers at NASA
What are the different kinds of careers in aerospace?
NASA Engineering Teams consist of many individuals - engineers, technicians,
and scientists and various support personal.
Engineering and Science Careers offer:
- Challenging jobs
- Good pay and benefits
- Lasting and tangible products
- Help to humankind
- Prestige and status
- Continued educational experiences
Scientists are knowledge seekers. They are inquisitive,
seeking answers to known questions and finding many more questions.
- Medical Doctor
- Systems Analysis
Engineers are problems solvers. They are the people
that make things work and make life interesting, comfortable, and fun.
Technicians are skilled personnel. Their skills are
necessary for the research and development activities of Engineers and Scientist.
- Pattern Making
Preparing for an Aerospace Career
Engineers, scientists, and technicians rely on years of accumulated creative
and academic skills to be part of a NASA Engineering Team. The journey to become
a team member started when you were born and has continued throughout your life.
Most engineering, scientific, and technical jobs require not only a High School
Diploma or equivalent, but an Associate, Bachelor, or Graduate Degree.
While you're in High School you should take:
- Computer Applications / Programming
- Fine Arts / Humanities
- Foreign Language
- Social Studies
For Engineering and Science, Advanced Placement or Honors level
courses are recommended.
Technicians need to meet the same general High School requirements,
but Advanced Placement or Honors courses are not necessary. Drafting, mechanics,
electronics, or similar technical courses are also recommended.
College and Universities seek "well rounded" students.
Extracurricular activities and part time or summer jobs are also important.
Education Beyond High School
To begin a career as an Engineer or Scientist you need to obtain
a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited College or University. Courses are usually
completed in four to five years for full time students. Universities also offer
graduate programs where students can obtain Master's and Doctoral Degrees in
Science and Engineering. A Master's program generally takes two years. An additional
two to four years is needed to earn a Doctorate.
Technicians typically earn a two year Associate of Science degree.
Some may continue for two more years to obtain a Bachelor's degree. A few complete
a five year apprenticeship program offered at some NASA field centers.
Preparing to become a NASA Engineering Team member is difficult.
It requires a considerable amount of time, energy, and dedication... but the
rewards are worth it.
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