Outlooks in engineering
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an occupational outlook handbook for engineers and other professional and technical careers at stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm. This 2000-01 edition online lists the nature of work, working conditions, distribution of employment by engineering specialty (aerospace engineers make up only 4% or 53,000 of the 1.5 million engineering jobs in 1998), qualifications, related occupations, links to additional information, and best of all, job outlook ("expected to be good through 2008, with increases as fast as the average of all occupations"). Also on the site are links to occupational employment statistics by state so you can see how you stack up with the average engineer in your state or across the U.S.
Take to the
In celebration of the Internet's capacity to offer more than just words on a screen, in this version of Cyberpage our Internet editor had fun looking at applets, virtual reality systems, and some pretty cool videos and animations dealing with the aerospace industry. Take a look at these sites, but remember, it's best to be using Netscape or Explorer 4.x or above and be prepared to download some software to use some of the sites. Of course, many of the links with interactive "stuff" come from NASA...here are a couple of the sites we found to be the most fun!
NASA has a great virtual reality archive (www.liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/vr/vr.html ) with three types of files—Virtus Model, VRML and QuickTime VR in both PC and MAC. (They also offer a download help page!) We found the Mir Space Station (43 KB download) and the Spacelab Module (26 KB download) to be neato-keeno.
Or if movies are your bag, then bookmark the NASA Dryden Research Aircraft Movie Gallery at www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/movie . When we reviewed the site, there were more than 100 video clips from the space shuttle landing research to hypersonic Scramjet research to solar-powered, high-altitude aircraft. There are also some great links to other NASA and aircraft image sites.
And while we can go on about NASA-related sites, we'll stop here with the Mars Pathfinder virtual reality models and animations at www.ksc.nasa.gov/mars/-vrml/vrml.html (download links for software also available). This offers six VRML models of the terrain around the Sagan Memorial Station on Mars, a panorama of the lander area, a look at the lander and rover on Mars, and an interactive Sojourner model.
If simulation is your thing, then surf on over to the Quicktime movies offered by Ohio State University's Department of Aerospace Engineering and Aviation at www.osc.edu/video_library/jetnoise.utml . The site offers several animations including a numerical simulation of jet noise production mechanisms and computational fluid dynamic simulation of a Mach 1.4 jet.
See how GPS works in an applet from the University of Bolivia at www.upb.edu.co/cbasica/roberto/java/gps3d/applet.html . You can put your coordinates in and watch satellites moving around the earth and how they would look from your position.
And check out the major developments in Russian rocketry since WWII at www.russianspace.com/rockets.html. Shown to scale are ballistic missiles and space vehicles. Zoom in for a closer look or click on specific vehicles for details.
Finally, some educational sites worth checking out are the virtual reality exhibit at the Strategic Air Command Museum (www.sacmuseum.org/exh-gtvr.html), a virtual tour of the San Diego Aerospace Museum at www.aerospacemuseum.org, the live webcam of the Garber Restoration Facility of the National Air and Space Museum, www.nasm.edu/nasm/garber/cam/ , and Space School with live webcasts four times a week at quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/ya/index99.html.