Staff and leadership

Space flight programs

Manned programs

X-15 rocket plane

Project Mercury

Project Gemini

Apollo program


Apollo–Soyuz Test Project

Space Shuttle program

International Space Station

Commercial programs

Beyond Low Earth Orbit program


Aerospace is the human effort in science, engineering and business to fly in the atmosphere of Earth (aeronautics) and surrounding space (astronautics). Aerospace organizations research, design, manufacture, operate, or maintain aircraft or spacecraft. Aerospace activity is very diverse, with a multitude of commercial, industrial and military applications.
Aerospace is not the same as airspace, which is the physical air space directly above a location on the ground. The beginning of space and the ending of the air is considered as 100km above the ground according to the physical explanation that the air pressure is too low for a lifting body to generate meaningful lift force without exceeding orbital velocity.
The 19th century saw the creation of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain (1866), the American Rocketry Society, and the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, all of which made aeronautics a more serious scientific discipline. Airmen like Otto Lilienthal, who introduced cambered airfoils in 1891, used gliders to analyze aerodynamic forces. The Wright brothers were interested in Lilienthal's work and read several of his publications. They also found inspiration in Octave Chanute, an airman and the author of Progress in Flying Machines (1894). It was the preliminary work of Cayley, Lilienthal, Chanute, and other early aerospace engineers that brought about the first powered sustained flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903, by the Wright brothers.
Aerospace manufacturing is a high-technology industry that produces "aircraft, guided missiles, space vehicles, aircraft engines, propulsion units, and related parts". Most of the industry is geared toward governmental work. For each original equipment manufacturer (OEM), the US government has assigned a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code. These codes help to identify each manufacturer, repair facilities, and other critical aftermarket vendors in the aerospace industry.
Canada has formerly manufactured some of its own designs for jet warplanes, etc. (e.g. the CF-100 fighter), but for some decades, it has relied on imports from the United States and Europe to fill these needs. However Canada still manufactures some military aircraft although they are generally not combat capable. Another notable example was the late 1950s development of the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow, a supersonic fighter-interceptor that was cancelled in 1959 a highly controversial decision.
France has continued to make its own warplanes for its air force and navy, and Sweden continues to make its own warplanes for the Swedish Air Force—especially in support of its position as a neutral country. (See Saab AB.) Other European countries either team up in making fighters (such as the Panavia Tornado and the Eurofighter Typhoon), or else to import them from the United States.