What is Astronautics?
Astronautics is the art or science of designing, building, and operating space vehicles (satellites, probes, and manned spaceships) for space exploration and applications.
Astronautics includes space mission design; spacecraft design and space operations; rocket vehicle design; rocket propulsion; orbital mechanics; spacecraft dynamics and control; space navigation; space science; space environment; space instrumentation and sensors; and numerous other areas of space technology.
Astronautics provides the foundation for space exploration and national security and civilian applications such as space science missions; missions to the Moon and planets; manned space-flight; satellite communications; direct television broadcasting; global positioning and navigation systems; weather monitoring; space imaging; remote sensing; space reconnaissance; early detection of ballistic missile launches; verification of non-proliferation treaties; missile defense systems; and many others.
The Department of Astronautical Engineering (ASTE) is an academic unit of the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC. ASTE operates as an independent department and offers degree programs (Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science Minor, Master of Science, Engineer, Ph.D., Graduate Certificate) in astronautical engineering.
In order to position the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to take full advantage of rapidly growing opportunities in space, I am today announcing the creation of a new Astronautics and Space Technology Division. ... Space technology and astronautics has recently re-emerged as an important sector of economic and engineering activity not only in the Southern California economy but also in the nation as a whole. Both national security applications and space exploration are driving this resurgence. However, recent congressional studies have warned of a looming shortage of engineers in this area.
-- Dean Max Nikias of the Viterbi School, in announcing the creation of ASTE (13 August 2004)
ASTE concentrates on meeting the educational and research needs of the space and defense industries, government research and development centers, and academia.
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History of ASTE