What is Space craft: Definition and 17 Discussions

A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space. A type of artificial satellite, spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, Earth observation, meteorology, navigation, space colonization, planetary exploration, and transportation of humans and cargo. All spacecraft except single-stage-to-orbit vehicles cannot get into space on their own, and require a launch vehicle (carrier rocket).
On a sub-orbital spaceflight, a space vehicle enters space and then returns to the surface, without having gained sufficient energy or velocity to make a full orbit of the Earth. For orbital spaceflights, spacecraft enter closed orbits around the Earth or around other celestial bodies. Spacecraft used for human spaceflight carry people on board as crew or passengers from start or on orbit (space stations) only, whereas those used for robotic space missions operate either autonomously or telerobotically. Robotic spacecraft used to support scientific research are space probes. Robotic spacecraft that remain in orbit around a planetary body are artificial satellites. To date, only a handful of interstellar probes, such as Pioneer 10 and 11, Voyager 1 and 2, and New Horizons, are on trajectories that leave the Solar System.
Orbital spacecraft may be recoverable or not. Most are not. Recoverable spacecraft may be subdivided by method of reentry to Earth into non-winged space capsules and winged spaceplanes. Recoverable spacecraft may be reusable (can be launched again or several times, like the SpaceX Dragon and the Space Shuttle orbiters) or expendable (like the Soyuz). In recent years, we are seeing more space agencies tending towards reusable spacecraft.
Humanity has achieved space flight but only a few nations have the technology for orbital launches: Russia (RSA or "Roscosmos"), the United States (NASA), the member states of the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan (JAXA), China (CNSA), India (ISRO), Taiwan (National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, Taiwan National Space Organization (NSPO), Israel (ISA), Iran (ISA), and North Korea (NADA). In addition, several private companies have developed or are developing the technology for orbital launches, independently from government agencies. The most prominent examples of such companies are SpaceX and Blue Origin.

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    I Voyager Spacecraft beginning to Power Down

    An interesting article on some of the history of, and discoveries by, the 44+ year old Voyager spacecraft s. The bean counters originally planned a 4 year mission for Voyagers 1&2. However, the scientists and engineers involved saw a golden opportunity that wouldn't repeat for another 176...
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    Astronauts landing on the planet Mars

    Summary:: Astronauts landing on Mars When will the Crewed space mission for Mars exploration event taking place in future? Do you feel that in case life exists for survival on Mars planet, the future generations may actually visit and stay there for many years? Do you feel there will be a...
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    I Could a Smoke Detector Serve as a Sail for Spacecraft Propulsion?

    Looking at a humble smoke detector - a metal plate with some alpha source on one side. I guess the fission products / apha etc emitted in one direction are absorbed into the metal, and the opposite direction go into space. So there should be a minute net force ? Would that be useful as a "sail"...
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    Limits to accelerate a spacecraft by spinning it in a circle

    The basic concept is to have your space probe(s) - likely nanocraft [1] on a spinning object in space which allows you to preserve the momentum you give it while accelerating it faster. Then once you are at a speed you can simply release the nanocraft in the direction you want it to go in. More...
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    Artificial gravity on a ship without the whole ship rotating

    I know that rotation can cause there to be artificial gravity. But I was thinking of making a floor plan that is all horizontal with the generation ship having a rocket shape and with it being longer than it is wide and wider than it is tall. So I was thinking of giant centrifuges on every...
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    Resultant Force and Acceleration of Space craft

    Homework Statement https://isaacphysics.org/questions/gcse_ch2_13_q10 https://www.physicsforums.com/attachments/213735 https://i.imgur.com/WnZkt83.jpg The thrust generated by a rocket engine is equal to the mass of propellant burnt each second multiplied by the exhaust velocity of the gas...
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    Create artificia gravity in space craft by using centripetal

    creating artifical gravity by using centripetal force what is the formula g value
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    MHB Why is there a Mass Term in the Denominator of the Spacecraft's Motion Equation?

    How does the solution have a m in the denominator next to c? A perfectly reflecting solar sail is deployed and controlled so that its normal vector is always aligned with the radius vector from the sun. The force exerted on the spacecraft due to solar radiation pressure is $$ \mathbf{F} =...
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    Is making photon Engine possible ? :A different thought to power space craft

    Is making photon Engine possible ? :A different thought to power space craft! Now a days Scientists are working on photon engine. They are trying to power engine from light. Thought is looks great but there is practical engineering problems with it. Ya it is true that photons have momentum...
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    Is light speed attainable for space craft from Jupiter's magnetic field is a joke?

    I heard that light speed is attainable for a spacecraft from Jupiter's magnetic field and by Lorentz force. in this concept electric charge is turned on in a spacecraft orbiting Jupiter and Lorentz force caused by Jupiter's high magnetic field causes spacecraft to rotate around Jupiter faster...
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    How do nuclear powered space craft generate thrust?

    I've heard talk of some of the probes that NASA has planned for the future.(I can't remember what the mission was) just that they said Nuclear powered and that it would be pretty fast. My question is, If's nuclear powered.how would that propell a space craft? Is it from making electriity that...
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    Two space craft are flying towards a planet

    Homework Statement Two spacecraft are flying towards a planet at 0.9c and 0.3c relative to the planet, respectively. If they fire their laser beams simultaneously from a range of 109 m, which will strike the planet first and what will be the delay before the other beam strikes? Homework...
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    Power Required to Accelerate Space Craft to Near Light Speed

    I hope I can explain my question clearly enough for someone to answer. Suppose we wish to estimate the power required to accelerate a spacecraft from say 0.9c to 0.9999c in a certain time. By basic definition: Power = Change in Energy / Change in Time. Due to special relativity, there is...
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    Acceleration of space craft in space?

    In space if a spacecraft in the absence of a gravitational field stopped using whatever propulsion system it was using, would the craft instantly stop accelerating and stay at whatever velocity is was at?
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    Sailing Through Space: The Technical Challenges of Interstellar Travel

    I have read about interstellar "sailing ships" that rely on radiation presuure. My question is not really technical, just something to mull over. But I figure that if we set a sailing spacecraft from earth, I don't think it will be able to get to another solar system. Sailing ships use...
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    Can naked singularity actually move the space craft in PAST?

    Can naked singularity actually move the spacecraft in PAST? A singularity is a place where the laws of physics break down. So if singularities can interact with the outside Universe, then anything is possible. For instance, it would be possible to send a spacecraft round such a naked...
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    Could Magnetic Circulation Be the Key to Propelling Spacecraft?

    Hello, Thanks in advance. I have an idea. But I know nothing in this field. Is it possible to use a revolving mechanized magnet to change the force of gravity? My idea: If it were possible to use magnetics to circulate a material to a speed soo fast that it could influence the...