Do I need aeronautical or aerospace engineering to become an astronaut in NASA?
I am a Class 10 student. I want to do my BTech in `astronautical engineering' in India and afterwards I want to go to the USA for further studies. I wish to join NASA but at this point of time, our school doesn't offer engineering drawing (ED).
Do I really need ED to get into a BTech course at an IIT? Even if I get ED, people say I can't do well if I don't have basic knowledge of C++.
You don't need to worry about ED or C++ if you wish to become an engineer or an astronaut. There are many people ready to give you all kinds of views on what you must do or not. But if you check the websites of the IITs, any other engineering college or the All India Engineering Entrance Examination, you will learn that you only need to be good at physics, chemistry and mathematics for entry into a BTech course in any field of engineering. While ED and computers are useful subjects, they are neither necessary in Class 12 nor will you suffer in BTech if you have not read these subjects in school. What you do need, however, is good analytical ability and scientific acumen.
Aeronautical or aerospace engineering is offered at the IITs in Kharagpur, Chennai, Mumbai and Kanpur as well as at Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai.
Let me also inform you that aeronautical engineering is not the only route to becoming an astronaut. NASA takes on specialists from different disciplines including computer engineering, instrumentation engineering, electronics and communications, bio-medical engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering, optical engineering and oceanography. You could specialise at the master's level in any of these disciplines and then do a PhD to qualify for NASA. You can also take up BSc in physics, followed by an MSc in astrophysics for a career in space sciences.