by Andrew Trostle
Higher Education (College)
I plan to go to the University of Texas at Austin, although Texas A&M or even MIT are other possibilities. I would probably get a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. I could go for a Master's degree as well, but it isn't necessary. So, I could spend 4-8 years in college.
"It's Not Rocket Science"
What does An Aerospace Engineer Do?
Aerospace Engineering consists of astronautical (space, orbital mechanics) and aeronautical (sky, aerodynamics) fields. While I do have a preference towards astronautical engineering because of NASA, both of them actually have much in common. I would be designing vehicles that leave the ground and possibly the atmosphere. If I choose aeronautics, I will mostly design wings and engines for commercial plane companies like Boeing. If I choose astronautics, I will design spacecraft and their engines as well as other technologies within them. I would also study the patterns of planets to predict possible trajectories to visit new planets. I would be like the characters from The Martian.
Other important Information
Where I Will Live
I honestly haven't thought too much about this, but I would really love to work for NASA. I would probably live in Houston near the Johnson Space Center. However, with a job like this, I may move very often to other space centers for each project. Another possibility is to work for a company like Boeing and design aircraft. No matter what Boeing center I choose to work at, I will likely get to stay in one place. Still, Boeing and NASA both have little in the way of job security, but they both make up for that with their high salaries.
Why I Chose This Career
For a long time, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. All I knew was that I was excellent in math and had a good understanding of physics and dynamics. After searching careers in the STEM field, Aerospace Engineering seemed the most challenging as well as having the largest impact on society as far as aiding in our understanding of the universe.