Is Aerospace Engineering for me?

In summary: Pursuing an aerospace engineering degree can give you a solid foundation in spacecraft design, propulsion, and other related fields, but it is important to remember that you will need to fight for autonomy in your work.
  • #1
Marioqwe
68
4
I WANT to do space research.
My interests are related to space colonization. I am really interested in microgravity environments, astrodynamics, spacecraft design (not to a great extent), etc. I could tell some more but I really don't know the technical name of them in English.

Thank you for that.

Let me reedit then.
 
Last edited:
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  • #2
... Why does physics forums always get these topics.. "is it too late for me?" Why don't you try first and then talk. Why don't you just call the university and ask "is it too late for me?" Why don't you use the search function ? These topics are so stupid. No it's not too late. Thank me when you're an aerospace engineer (if you become one)
 
  • #3
Unless I'm missing something, I don't think the OP ever asked if it was too late. Rather, he asked if aerospace engineering is the right field to suit his interests.

OP, seems like you would be more interested in astrophysics rather than aero. engineering, since those guys just build the rockets/satellites/etc. Can you provide an example of what you would enjoy working on versus what you wouldn't? I'd assume that since you said you aren't interested in spacecraft design to a great extent that you wouldn't want to be an engineer, but I'm not sure if astrophysics may be what you're looking for as well. Astrophysics mainly deals with the 'stuff' in space, mainly stars and where they are, how they're formed, types of stars, the dynamics of how they group together to form galaxies/clusters and black holes. Space colonization is another matter and it doesn't look like there's a particular field for it yet, though there are probably people with jobs that require them to come up with ideas for them.
 
  • #4
It is actually hard to explain since English is not my first language.
I am not really interested in spacecraft design. But I like the idea of building something that will make space travel more efficient. I don't know if jet propulsion is the right term for that; and if it has to do with spacecraft design, or design of something in general, I am willing to bear with it.

I am also interested in microgravity environments and what to do to minimize the effects of it in the human body (like artificial gravity?).

I don't know if I am being a little too futuristic with this, but it passionates me and I'm willing to make something happen. I just don't know which career path will give me a good background.

Perhaps I should say that my ultimate goal is to work a NASA. And, in the best scenario, be selected for the astronaut program.




On a side note, kramer was right. I made a not so intelligent question at first along with the former.
 
  • #5
I'm also very interested in the same thing as Marioqwe (mainly Mars Colonization and the proliferation of 'Manned Space Exploration'). I am just unsure of how I can help my dreams actualize in Aerospace Engineering... it just seems like designing some specific part on some specific engine that relies solely on Government Officials' decisions on when to contract Lockheed/ULA to build them something new.

I feel like if I pursue this path and take a degree in Aerospace Engineering (Astronautics) then I will have no autonomy relating to what I'm doing and that I will end up in some low-level Engineering position at Lockheed Martin or the likes... crunching equations that have no relevance to humans actually exploring space other than me creating some sensor on a satellite or working with antennas (which I don't want to do).

Is this accurate or am I being to harsh on the situation? I really try not to have a romanticized view about what I'm getting into because I know that "Rocket Scientists" are over dramatized.
 
  • #6
You're interested in discovering propulsion techniques related to space flight, such as VASIMR and other systems, which might be used in the future to greatly decrease travel times to other worlds? If that is the case, I would recommend a propulsion-focused aerospace engineering degree, but make sure to focus on a research track rather than an applied track.
 
  • #7
I feel like if I pursue this path and take a degree in Aerospace Engineering (Astronautics) then I will have no autonomy relating to what I'm doing and that I will end up in some low-level Engineering position at Lockheed Martin or the likes... crunching equations that have no relevance to humans actually exploring space other than me creating some sensor on a satellite or working with antennas (which I don't want to do).

Is this accurate or am I being to harsh on the situation? I really try not to have a romanticized view about what I'm getting into because I know that "Rocket Scientists" are over dramatized.

Probably a good portrayal. So don't do that. My advice above applies to you as well. I'm in the same boat you are. I don't want to be a nameless number cruncher either, especially not at Lockheed. My current tentative plan after graduation is to go into commercial space industries, or possibly VASIMR research.
 
  • #8
Yes, I would be very interested in that if you were referring to me. If I am more interested in THAT side of things should I take an undergraduate in something more science/research focused like Physics and then do graduate work relating to Propulsion?
 
  • #9
I suspect it depends on what, exactly, you're hoping to do with VASIMR or related projects. Are you interested in theory or design? An aerospace engineer in a research path may technically be doing research, but it's still design-related research. A physicist would likely be doing something somewhat different.
 
  • #10
At this point I have no idea what I would want to within an exotic propulsion field other than I would like to be doing something with it! I haven't even started my education yet, I'm still finishing Grade 12.
 
  • #11
Well if I were you, I'd take it slowly. The first year of engineering is pretty similar to the first year of physics, at least at my school. You'll know whether you want to switch to physics by the end of it, probably.
 

Related to Is Aerospace Engineering for me?

1. What exactly is Aerospace Engineering?

Aerospace Engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, development, testing, and production of aircrafts, spacecrafts, satellites, and missiles. It involves a combination of aeronautical engineering (dealing with aircrafts) and astronautical engineering (dealing with spacecrafts).

2. What skills are required to be successful in Aerospace Engineering?

Some of the key skills required for Aerospace Engineering include strong mathematical and analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, creativity, attention to detail, and good communication skills. Additionally, knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software and programming languages is also important.

3. What are the career opportunities in Aerospace Engineering?

Aerospace Engineering offers a wide range of career opportunities in various industries such as aviation, defense, space exploration, and research and development. Some of the job roles in this field include aerospace engineer, aircraft designer, avionics engineer, flight test engineer, and research scientist.

4. What educational background is needed for Aerospace Engineering?

Most Aerospace Engineering positions require a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering or a related field such as Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering. Some positions may also require a master's degree or a Ph.D. for advanced research and development roles.

5. What are some challenges faced by Aerospace Engineers?

Aerospace Engineering can be a challenging field as it involves working with complex systems and technologies. Some of the common challenges faced by Aerospace Engineers include staying up-to-date with rapidly advancing technology, meeting strict safety and regulatory standards, and managing tight project deadlines and budgets.

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