Aeronautical or astronautical?

  • #1
nikirock021
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If one wished to enter the field of aerospace engineering what is a good focus- aeronautical or astronautical?
does it make a difference?

(if you could, please write the benefits of each field) thank you
 

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  • #3
nikirock021
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What do you know about the fields?
it is confusing. as far as I could decipher aeronautical engineering deals with the study of things that fly in earth's atmosphere where astronautical engineering is the study of spacecraft.
 
  • #4
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You ask which is better, and I'd like to help, but I don't know what "better" means. What interests you about each field?

Which appeals to you? Why?
 
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  • #5
nikirock021
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You ask which is better, and I'd like to help, but I don't know what "better" means. What interests you about each field?

Which appeals to you? Why?
Both fields hold my interest as they both include the study of objects that fly(aerodynamics) so I suppose when I say better it would be which field has more job opportunities and stability. Perhaps even which field has more freedom(more creative time)
 
  • #6
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From what I've observed, in many branches of engineering it's possible to do reasonably well without exceptional talent. Aeronautics doesn't seem to be one of those branches.
 
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  • #7
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Neither Aeronautics nor Astronautics are known for job stability. However, it does pay nicely when the market is going well.

Most engineering projects start slow and then, as they get closer and closer to the deadlines, you'll have long hours. Free time? Well, you do get that in between projects. Plan on it financially and you'll be fine. Both kinds of work are very project-oriented. So you will have heavy work loads and then things will be quiet for a while. You may also want to have a second line of work ready just in case there is an extended downturn in that segment of the economy. It happened after the Apollo program was terminated; It happened at the end of the Cold War. It happened after the Shuttle made its last flight. There are times when the market reorganizes a lot and everyone is scrambling for the same jobs.

You can also get interesting work with airliner maintenance and accident investigations. It all depends upon what you want want to do...
 
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  • #8
nikirock021
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From what I've observed, in many branches of engineering it's possible to do reasonably well without exceptional talent. Aeronautics doesn't seem to be one of those branches.
What would u describe as exceptional talent?
 
  • #9
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To be honest, what you're describing really is, err, (I detest this term) "Rocket Science."

I'm going to part with Mr. Lewis's comments and say that while it does not require exceptional talent to be an Engineer, you will be rewarded with a learning experience like no other if you screw up. Can you be a mediocre engineer? Sure. Can you still maintain a career in this business in some fashion? Probably. But one can say that of nearly every professional endeavor.

So when someone describes "exceptional talent" I'm thinking of the sort of talent where someone can design something of a sort that has never been tried before and get it right the first time. There are people like Burt Rutan who have designed some amazing aircraft and spacecraft. He's an exceptional talent. An exceptional engineer (whatever you may think of his morals) was Werner Von Braun, the architect and lead engineer of the Saturn V rocket. Exceptional talent would be the Engineers who designed the SR-71 spy plane (look it up and read about it; this aircraft, designed in the 1960s did things that are incredible even by today's standards).

I also know of some aircraft that, well, don't fly as well as they should have. Mediocre engineering in a field like this gets you noticed.
 

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