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

Young Jupiter was smacked head-on by massive newborn planet

A colossal, head-on collision between Jupiter and a still-forming planet in the early solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago, could explain surprising readings from NASA's Juno spacecraft, according to a study this week ...

New hard X-ray eclipsing polar identified

Using ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Swift spacecraft, astronomers have found that a hard X-ray source known as 2PBCJ0658.0-1746 is an eclipsing magnetic cataclysmic variable of the polar type. The finding, presented in a paper ...

NASA's MMS finds first interplanetary shock

The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission—MMS—has spent the past four years using high-resolution instruments to see what no other spacecraft can. Recently, MMS made the first high-resolution measurements of an interplanetary ...

Thanks, Gaia: Astronomers spy Europa blocking distant star

On 31 March 2017, Jupiter's moon Europa passed in front of a background star—a rare event that was captured for the first time by ground-based telescopes thanks to data provided by ESA's Gaia spacecraft.

Asteroid's features to be named after mythical birds

Working with NASA's OSIRIS-REx team, the International Astronomical Union's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) approved the theme "birds and bird-like creatures in mythology" for naming surface features ...

Europe prepares for Mars courier

The first round-trip to the Red Planet will see a European orbiter bringing martian samples back to Earth. ESA is opening the door to industry to build the spacecraft that will deliver the precious rocks, dust and gas from ...

First of two Van Allen Probes spacecraft ceases operations

On July 19, 2019, at 1:27 p.m. EDT, mission operators sent a shutdown command to one of two Van Allen Probes spacecraft, known as spacecraft B, from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, or APL, in Laurel, Maryland.

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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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