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

Japan spacecraft starts yearlong journey home from asteroid

A Japanese spacecraft left a distant asteroid on Wednesday, starting its yearlong journey home after successfully completing its mission to gather soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar ...

NASA's Mars 2020 heads into the test chamber

In this time-lapse video, taken on Oct. 9, 2019, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, bunny-suited engineers move the Mars 2020 rover from a high bay in the Spacecraft Simulator Building into the facility's ...

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 ...

Mars InSight's 'mole' is moving again

NASA's InSight spacecraft has used its robotic arm to help its heat probe, known as "the mole," dig nearly 2 centimeters (3/4 of an inch) over the past week. While modest, the movement is significant: Designed to dig as much ...

Pressure runs high at edge of solar system

Out at the boundary of our solar system, pressure runs high. This pressure, the force plasma, magnetic fields and particles like ions, cosmic rays and electrons exert on one another when they flow and collide, was recently ...

Artemis, meet ARTEMIS: Pursuing Sun science at the moon

By 2024, NASA will land astronauts, including the first woman and next man, on the Moon as part of the Artemis lunar exploration program. This won't be the first time NASA takes the name Artemis to the Moon though. Two robotic ...

NASA's Juno prepares to jump Jupiter's shadow

NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter has successfully executed a 10.5-hour propulsive maneuver—extraordinarily long by mission standards. The goal of the burn, as its known, will keep the solar-powered spacecraft out of what ...

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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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