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Despite the tough economy, despite the uncertainty, and despite the changing environment for the industry, these may very well be good times for aerospace engineers.
The different types of aerospace engineering programs are general aerospace engineering programs, aeronautical engineering programs and astronautical engineering programs.
Aerospace engineers design equipment such as missiles, planes, helicopters, satellites and spacecraft. While a bachelor's of science in aerospace engineering commands a high starting salary, the prospects for those with graduate degrees can be even better.
Aerospace engineers design machines that fly, from missiles and airplanes to space shuttles and satellites. They do not, however, travel to space. Instead, they use computer models to simulate space flight.
"When people learn what I do for a living, they say 'I want your job!'" laughs John Connolly, an engineer at the Johnson Space Center.
Aerospace engineers design, build and maintain aircraft and the parts and instruments that go into them. They also work at the forefront of technology on space vehicles and satellites.