Aeronautics and astronautics are two closely related disciplines, sometimes found under the joint term aerospace, that have progressed at a formidable pace during the 20th century. Their impact on society is overwhelming. For example, the aeroplane, the core of aeronautics, has been identified as one of the three major inventions of that century. On its turn, satellites have paved the way for modern globalization. Major drivers leading this progress have changed from the classical motto ‘higher, further, faster’ to the current ‘more affordable, cleaner, quieter’, but safety has always been kept the undisputed number one. The underlying key factors for progress have been and still are excellence and co-operation. Both aeronautics and astronautics are multidisciplinary in nature and, accordingly, this review summarizes relevant advances and trends in pertinent fields: aerodynamics, structures, propulsion, and so on. All these fields are still very healthy and the 21st century will witness again a new era of astonishing aerospace developments.