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Aerospace engineers create extraordinary machines, from
airplanes that weigh over a half a million pounds to spacecraft that
travel over 17,000 miles an hour. They design, develop, and test
aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles and supervise the manufacture of
these products. Aerospace engineers who work with aircraft are called aeronautical engineers, and those working specifically with spacecraft are astronautical engineers.
Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation,
defense systems, and space exploration, often specializing in areas
such as structural design, guidance, navigation and control,
instrumentation and communication, or production methods. They often
use computer-aided design (CAD) software, robotics, and lasers and
advanced electronic optics. They also may specialize in a particular
type of aerospace product, such as commercial transports, military
fighter jets, helicopters, spacecraft, or missiles and rockets.
Aerospace engineers may be experts in aerodynamics, thermodynamics,
celestial mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, or guidance and control
Aerospace engineers typically are employed in the
aerospace product and parts industry, although their skills are
becoming increasingly valuable in other fields. For example, in the
motor vehicles manufacturing industry, aerospace engineers design
vehicles that have lower air resistance and, thus, increased fuel