Young People's Interest Over Aerospace Engineering, Other Space-Related Careers Heightens

First Posted: Aug 01, 2016 05:10 AM EDT

The commercial space race is growing as the number of Central Florida students are enrolling in aerospace engineering and other space-related majors. The launching of the rockets such as SpaceX launches generated more interest in young people. This has lifted the space industry today.

Justin Karl, the program coordinator for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's commercial space operations program said that as launch frequency grows, there is more hype and a lot of kids here see it, too. He further said that they start thinking that maybe the industry isn't so bad after having some low years.

Launches are getting frequent this year with Space X and United Launch Alliance; both are launching rockets on Florida's Space Coast. The University of Florida has an increase of 32 percent in aerospace engineering and physics program majors with space-related curriculum since 2012, according to Orlando Sentinel. Likewise, the Embry-Riddle has an increase of 60 percent since 2012. The Space X, the first private company to send spacecraft to the International Space Station in 2012.

Aerospace engineering is a field of engineering that involves the development of aircraft and spacecraft. It has two major branches namely the aeronautical engineering and the astronautical engineering.

The branches of space science include astronomy and aero engineering, which involves aeronautics. Other space-related interdisciplinary fields are astrobiology, planetary science, forensic astronomy, astrochemistry, micro-g environment, space archaeology and archaeoastronomy. Karl stated that they have to be careful not to be overwhelmed and not let the desire for quantity affect quality. He further said that student interest is growing faster that they can expand.

Micah Walter-Range, the director of research and analysis for nonprofit Space Foundation said that the industry has been on a roll when it comes to recruitment. He stated that the social media is connecting young people to space programs such as NASA's Twitter. He added that Space X boss, Elon Musk has also helped drive more students into the field.

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