My Major: Astronautical Engineering

emily-2013 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I wrote a blog last year about Astronautical Engineering in my own words, what it meant to me, why I chose it, and my experience thus far. ]

The first “invention” I ever had was this: a large reflector in sun-synchronous orbit that would concentrate light in space, beam in back to earth to a solar cell facility, which would be 100x more efficient than using ambient light. The drawing above is probably less sophisticated that the one I made when I was 12.

The point is that I’ve always been interested in space. A huge part of engineering, in my opinion, is recognizing how to tap into underutilized resources, and in my opinion, extraterrestrial resources are the wave of the future.

Maybe you’ve heard of the new company, Planetary Resources, and their plan to make money by mass producing factories in space. Instead of the current model where every spacecraft is built custom to the mission, the company plans to manufacture multiple telescopes and robots that can find and harvest asteroids for water and precious metals.

This kind of problem is what makes Astronautical Engineering so exciting to me!! Our generation will see the space revolution, and I believe that more and more people will turn their eyes outside the Earth’s atmosphere as the population density continues to rise and our natural resources continue to dwindle. I am planning on being in a position to handle some very exciting problems!

For now, I’ve accepted a job with Boeing right here in California working on satellites. Most people don’t know that Boeing is one of the major manufacturers of spacecraft, especially the commercial ones like GPS, DirectTV, XM Radio. What I love about my job is 1) the unique and extreme challenges to build an extremely complex machine that operates at extreme temperatures and vacuum 2) the spacecraft can never be brought back to Earth, so everything must be done right the first time 3) with a degree in Astronautical Engineering, I know enough about the spacecraft in general to move around and try different jobs and finally 4) people who are passionate about space technology are the most interesting!!

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