Aeronautics and Astronautics

A woman and two men examine and take measurements of a model jet inside a wind tunnel.

Professor Mark Drela and students Nina Siu and Michael Lieu prepare an AeroAstro design for a super-efficient commercial airliner for testing in MIT's Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel. (Photo by William Litant/MIT, used with permission.)

Featured Courses

Professors, students, and researchers come to MIT from all corners of the globe to explore their passion for air and space travel and to advance the technologies and vehicles that make such travel possible.

We build on our long tradition of scholarship and research to develop and implement reliable, safe, economically feasible, and environmentally responsible air and space travel.

Our industry contributions and collaborations are extensive. We have graduated more astronauts than any other private institution in the world. Nearly one-third of our current research collaborations are with MIT faculty in other departments, and approximately one-half are with non-MIT colleagues in professional practice, government agencies, and other universities. We work closely with scientists and scholars at NASA, Boeing, the U.S. Air Force, Stanford University, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Our educational programs are organized around three overlapping areas:

Aerospace information engineering
Focuses on real-time, safety-critical systems with humans-in-the-loop. Core disciplines include autonomy, software, communications, networks, controls, and human-machine and human-software interaction.

Aerospace systems engineering
Explores the central processes in the creation, implementation, and operation of complex socio-technical engineering systems. Core disciplines include system architecture and engineering, simulation and modeling, safety and risk management, policy, economics, and organizational behavior.

Aerospace vehicles engineering
Addresses the engineering of air and space vehicles, their propulsion systems, and their subsystems. Core disciplines include fluid and solid mechanics, thermodynamics, acoustics, combustion, controls, computation, design, and simulation.

Aeronautics and Astronautics Courses

Course # Course Title Level
16.00 Introduction to Aerospace Engineering and Design Undergraduate
16.00AJ Exploring Sea, Space, & Earth: Fundamentals of Engineering Design Undergraduate
16.01 Unified Engineering I, II, III, & IV (Fall 2005) Undergraduate
16.02 Unified Engineering I, II, III, & IV (Fall 2005) Undergraduate
16.03 Unified Engineering I, II, III, & IV (Fall 2005) Undergraduate
16.04 Unified Engineering I, II, III, & IV (Fall 2005) Undergraduate
16.050 Thermal Energy Undergraduate
16.06 Principles of Automatic Control Undergraduate
16.07 Dynamics Undergraduate
16.100 Aerodynamics Undergraduate
16.20 Structural Mechanics Undergraduate
16.21 Techniques for Structural Analysis and Design Undergraduate
16.30 Feedback Control Systems (Fall 2010) Undergraduate
16.30 Estimation and Control of Aerospace Systems Undergraduate
16.36 Communication Systems Engineering Undergraduate
16.400 Human Factors Engineering (Fall 2011) Undergraduate
16.410 Principles of Autonomy and Decision Making (Fall 2010) Undergraduate
16.50 Introduction to Propulsion Systems Undergraduate
16.61 Aerospace Dynamics Undergraduate
16.621 Experimental Projects I Undergraduate
16.622 Experimental Projects II Undergraduate
16.63J System Safety (Fall 2012) Undergraduate
16.652 Inventions and Patents Undergraduate
16.653 Management in Engineering Undergraduate
16.660J Introduction to Lean Six Sigma Methods (January IAP 2012) Undergraduate
16.682 Technology in Transportation Undergraduate
16.682 Prototyping Avionics Undergraduate
16.810 Engineering Design and Rapid Prototyping (January IAP 2007) Undergraduate
16.810 Engineering Design and Rapid Prototyping (January IAP 2005) Undergraduate
16.812 The Aerospace Industry Undergraduate
16.83X Space Systems Engineering (Spring 2002) Undergraduate
16.901 Computational Methods in Aerospace Engineering Undergraduate
16.A47 The Engineer of 2020 Undergraduate
16.120 Compressible Flow Graduate
16.13 Aerodynamics of Viscous Fluids Graduate
16.225 Computational Mechanics of Materials Graduate
16.230J Plates and Shells Graduate
16.31 Feedback Control Systems (Fall 2010) Graduate
16.322 Stochastic Estimation and Control Graduate
16.323 Principles of Optimal Control Graduate
16.333 Aircraft Stability and Control Graduate
16.337J Dynamics of Nonlinear Systems Graduate
16.338J Dynamic Systems and Control Graduate
16.346 Astrodynamics Graduate
16.355J Software Engineering Concepts Graduate
16.37J Data Communication Networks Graduate
16.394J Infinite Random Matrix Theory Graduate
16.399 Random Matrix Theory and Its Applications Graduate
16.412J Cognitive Robotics Graduate
16.413 Principles of Autonomy and Decision Making (Fall 2010) Graduate
16.422 Human Supervisory Control of Automated Systems Graduate
16.423J Aerospace Biomedical and Life Support Engineering Graduate
16.430J Sensory-Neural Systems: Spatial Orientation from End Organs to Behavior and Adaptation Graduate
16.453 Human Factors Engineering (Fall 2011) Graduate
16.456J Biomedical Signal and Image Processing Graduate
16.459 Bioengineering Journal Article Seminar Graduate
16.512 Rocket Propulsion Graduate
16.522 Space Propulsion Graduate
16.540 Internal Flows in Turbomachines Graduate
16.72 Air Traffic Control Graduate
16.75J Airline Management Graduate
16.76J Logistical and Transportation Planning Methods Graduate
16.77J Airline Schedule Planning Graduate
16.842 Fundamentals of Systems Engineering Graduate
16.851 Satellite Engineering Graduate
16.852J Integrating the Lean Enterprise Graduate
16.853 Introduction to Lean Six Sigma Methods (January IAP 2012) Graduate
16.861 Engineering Systems Analysis for Design Graduate
16.862 Engineering Risk-Benefit Analysis Graduate
16.863J System Safety (Spring 2011) Graduate
16.881 Robust System Design Graduate
16.885J Aircraft Systems Engineering (Fall 2005) Graduate
16.885J Aircraft Systems Engineering (Fall 2004) Graduate
16.886 Air Transportation Systems Architecting Graduate
16.888 Multidisciplinary System Design Optimization Graduate
16.891J Space Policy Seminar Graduate
16.892J Space System Architecture and Design Graduate
16.895J Engineering Apollo: The Moon Project as a Complex System Graduate
16.89J Space Systems Engineering (Spring 2007) Graduate
16.910J Introduction to Numerical Simulation (SMA 5211) Graduate
16.920J Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations (SMA 5212) Graduate
16.940J Computational Geometry Graduate
16.982 Bio-Inspired Structures Graduate
16.985J Proseminar in Manufacturing Graduate