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Images from 100 years of MIT aeronautics and astronautics By William Litant

“President Maclaurin stated that he believes (MIT) should lead in the study of aërial navigation in the United States.” Technology Review, July 1909

With that statement, MIT President Richard Maclaurin set the stage for what, in 1914, would become Class 13.72 Aeronautics. That same year, an aeronautics master’s degree course was approved. In 1926, Aeronautics became a course (Course 16) in the Mechanical Engineering Department. In 1939, Course 16 became a department unto itself. Over the ensuing years, Aeronautics and Astronautics alumni have led the engineering programs of most U.S. aerospace corporations and served as astronauts, presidential advisors, NASA administrators, and US Air Force Secretaries and chief scientists. Department milestones range from foundational research unpinning the current air transportation system to creating the technology that made lunar exploration possible. We are a vibrant department focused on aerospace vehicle and information engineering, and the engineering of large-scale complex aerospace systems. Through our educational programs and research we are advancing the stateof-the-art in transportation, exploration, communication, national security, and energy and the environment. Throughout 2014 and into 2015, the MIT Department of Aeronautics is celebrating 100 years of educational achievement, technological accomplishments, and remarkable students, faculty, and staff. Following are a few highlights from our first 100 years. For more on the Department’s history, visit

Images from 100 years of MIT aeronautics and astronautics


Aeroastro magazine 2013 14  
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