You probably think aerospace engineers design, test, and develop the systems that control things like fighter planes and commercial airliners or rockets, drones, and satellites that blast into outer space. That’s what most aerospace engineers do.
But some aerospace engineers are concerned with other kinds of objects that move through air and water. Like high-speed trains, for example, or windmill blades, or hydrofoils, which are boats that “fly” just above the surface of the water. Other aerospace engineers turn their talents to designing skyscrapers and power plants.And guess what? Aircraft and spacecraft have a lot in common with sports equipment. All use strong, lightweight materials and need good aerodynamics, which means moving smoothly through the air. Good aerodynamics is just what a soccer ball needs to make it sail higher and farther, what skis need to zip down the slopes, and what race cars need to zoom around the track.
Interested in aerospace? Check out these videos:
A Station in Space
What weighs more than 1 million pounds, has research labs, is a temporary home for humans and is floating around in space? The International Space Station. It’s the largest and most complex international science project in history. Since 2000, crews—including engineers—have been living at the station, doing research in medicine and science that will help everyone. Sometimes, they even take a little walk in space. Chalk one up for aerospace engineers! Try to catch a glimpse of the station some clear night.
Check out heavens-above.com for information on when it’s visible from where you live.