Related topics: nasa · international space station · mars · earth · space

Juno maps water ice across northern Ganymede

Jupiter's moon Ganymede is the largest planetary satellite in the solar system. It's also one of the most intriguing: Ganymede is the only moon with its own magnetic field, it is the most differentiated of all moons, and ...

NASA's Juno mission expands into the future

NASA has authorized a mission extension for its Juno spacecraft exploring Jupiter. The agency's most distant planetary orbiter will now continue its investigation of the solar system's largest planet through September 2025, ...

Study finds meteoric evidence for a previously unknown asteroid

A Southwest Research Institute-led team of scientists has identified a potentially new meteorite parent asteroid by studying a small shard of a meteorite that arrived on Earth a dozen years ago. The composition of a piece ...

Solar Orbiter prepares for festive Venus flyby

Solar Orbiter is getting ready for the first of many gravity assist flybys of Venus on 27 December, to start bringing it closer to the sun and tilting its orbit in order to observe our star from different perspectives.

Chinese craft returns to Earth with Moon rocks

An unmanned Chinese spacecraft carrying rocks and soil from the Moon returned safely to Earth early Thursday, completing another chapter in China's effort to become a space superpower.

Japan's space agency finds ample soil, gas from asteroid

Officials from Japan's space agency said Tuesday they have found more than the anticipated amount of soil and gases inside a small capsule the country's Hayabusa2 spacecraft brought back from a distant asteroid this month, ...

Solar Orbiter: Turning pictures into physics

Solar Orbiter's latest results show that the mission is making the first direct connections between events at the solar surface and what's happening in interplanetary space around the spacecraft. It is also giving us new ...

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Spacecraft

A spacecraft is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. On a sub-orbital spaceflight, a spacecraft enters space then returns to the Earth. For an orbital spaceflight, a spacecraft enters a closed orbit around the planetary body. Spacecraft used for human spaceflight carry people on board as crew or passengers. Spacecraft used for robotic space missions operate either autonomously or telerobotically. Robotic spacecraft that leave the vicinity of the planetary body are space probes. Robotic spacecraft that remain in orbit around the planetary body are artificial satellites. Starships, which are built for interstellar travel, are so far a theoretical concept only (aside from a handful of interstellar probes such as Pioneer 10 and 11, Voyager, and New Horizons).

Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and space tourism. Spacecraft and space travel are common themes in works of science fiction.

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