What is the Aerospace Industry?
The term aerospace is often misunderstood. Some think it is an area where spacecraft orbit. Aerospace is actually a compression of aeronautics (the science of flight within Earth's atmosphere) and space flight (the movement of a vehicle beyond the atmosphere).
Aerospace embraces the full spectrum of flight, and the aerospace industry manufactures the components and equipment for things that fly.
No single company builds a complete flight vehicle. A production program is organized as a team of specialized manufacturers that each contribute individual parts, components, systems and subsystems. These eventually come together at the plant of the team leader, known as the prime contractor or systems integrator, to be assembled into an end product - aircraft, missiles, or spacecraft - that has hundreds of assemblies and products.