TESS presents panorama of southern sky

The glow of the Milky Way—our galaxy seen edgewise—arcs across a sea of stars in a new mosaic of the southern sky produced from a year of observations by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Constructed ...

Virgin Galactic goes public and leads space tourism race

Richard Branson rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on October 28 as Virgin Galactic became the first commercial spaceflight company to list on the stock market. It was valued at more than US$1 billion following ...

Lucy mission completes critical design review

The Lucy mission led by Southwest Research Institute is one step closer to its 2021 launch to explore the Trojan asteroids, a population of ancient small bodies that share an orbit with Jupiter. With the successful completion ...

The clumpy and lumpy death of a star

In 1572, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was among those who noticed a new bright object in the constellation Cassiopeia. Adding fuel to the intellectual fire that Copernicus started, Tycho showed this "new star" was far beyond ...

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Spaceflight

Spaceflight is the use of space technology to achieve the flight of spacecraft into and through outer space.

Spaceflight is used in space exploration, and also in commercial activities like space tourism and satellite telecommunications. Additional non-commercial uses of spaceflight include space observatories, reconnaissance satellites and other earth observation satellites.

A spaceflight typically begins with a rocket launch, which provides the initial thrust to overcome the force of gravity and propels the spacecraft from the surface of the Earth. Once in space, the motion of a spacecraft -- both when unpropelled and when under propulsion -- is covered by the area of study called astrodynamics. Some spacecraft remain in space indefinitely, some disintegrate during atmospheric reentry, and others reach a planetary or lunar surface for landing or impact.

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