Aerospace engineering first started to appear in Italy in the mind of Leonardo Da Vinci. Soon after balloon flight was invented, Ben Franklin suggested a propulsion device to move the balloon in a forward motion. Gliders soon became more popular until the Wright brothers questioned the laws of physics with their new ideas of man-powered flight. The first major impetus of air flight was WWI in the form of fighter planes. Later, after the second world war, airplanes would be used for commercial travel. Soon after, we broke the sound barrier with jet propulsion leading to outerspace travel and the moon landing during the space race in 1969.
Aerospace engineering is the combination of both aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Aeronautics is the study of air flight, while astronautics is the study of space flight. These two fields can be applied to any type of air flight including balloon flight, sailplanes, and propeller and jet propulsion flight. Aerospace engineers help to build missiles, rockets, satellites, and even more fuel efficient cars. These engineers help to develop technologies that can travel farther and faster into the deep outerspace in search of forms of life.
Aerospace engineering is split into different more specified fields. These fields include aerodynamics, propulsion engineers, structural engineers, control systems, and orbital engineers. Aerodynamics is the flow of air over a streamlined surface or body. Propulsion engineers help to produce cleaner engines and new technologies for engines. Structural engineers help to create new alloys, composite, and new materials for more efficient and maneuverable flight. Control systems operate the aircraft. Orbital engineers decide where to place a satellite in order for it not to plunge through an atmosphere of a planet. All of these specific areas require a basic knowledge of physics and mechanical engineering.