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

OSIRIS-REx reveals asteroid Bennu has big surprises

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid's surface. Bennu also revealed itself ...

Saturn hasn't always had rings

One of the last acts of NASA's Cassini spacecraft before its death plunge into Saturn's hydrogen and helium atmosphere was to coast between the planet and its rings and let them tug it around, essentially acting as a gravity ...

Enormous dwarf satellite galaxy of Milky Way discovered

Using data from ESA's Gaia spacecraft, astronomers have discovered a new Milky Way satellite in the constellation Antlia. The newly found dwarf galaxy, named Antlia 2, is several times larger when compared to other systems ...

'Flawless': NASA craft lands on Mars after perilous journey

A NASA spacecraft designed to drill down into Mars' interior landed on the planet Monday after a perilous, supersonic plunge through its red skies, setting off jubilation among scientists who had waited in white-knuckle suspense ...

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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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