• Uncrewed spacecraft[edit] Main articles: Uncrewed spacecraft, Satellite, Space telescope, and Cargo spacecraft See also: List of uncrewed spacecraft by program, Timeline of
    artificial satellites and space probes, List of Solar System probes, and List of space telescopes Hubble Space Telescope Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) approaches the International Space Station on Monday, March 31, 2008 Uncrewed
    spacecraft are spacecraft without people onboard.

  • 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.

  • Depending on mission profile, spacecraft may also need to operate on the surface of another planetary body.

  • All spacecraft except single-stage-to-orbit vehicles cannot get into space on their own, and require a launch vehicle (carrier rocket).

  • This spaceplane was designed for a crew and strongly resembled the U.S. Space Shuttle, although its drop-off boosters used liquid propellants and its main engines were located
    at the base of what would be the external tank in the American Shuttle.

  • 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 Earth orbit.

  • Batteries are typically connected to the bus via a battery charge regulator, and the batteries are used to provide electrical power during periods when primary power is not
    available, for example when a low Earth orbit spacecraft is eclipsed by Earth.

  • 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.

  • Typical components of a ground segment in use during normal operations include a mission operations facility where the flight operations team conducts the operations of the
    spacecraft, a data processing and storage facility, ground stations to radiate signals to and receive signals from the spacecraft, and a voice and data communications network to connect all mission elements.

  • The first automatic partially reusable spacecraft was the Buran-class shuttle, launched by the USSR on November 15, 1988, although it made only one flight and this was uncrewed.

  • Spacecraft propulsion Spacecraft may or may not have a propulsion subsystem, depending on whether or not the mission profile calls for propulsion.

  • [13] The Shuttle’s heavy cargo transport role is to be replaced by expendable rockets such as the Space Launch System and ULA’s Vulcan rocket, as well as the commercial launch

  • A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space.

  • Spacecraft types Crewed spacecraft[edit] See also: List of crewed spacecraft and Human spaceflight Apollo 17 command module in Lunar orbit As of 2016, only three nations have
    flown crewed spacecraft: USSR/Russia, USA, and China.

  • Robotic spacecraft used to support scientific research are space probes.

  • Thermal control Spacecraft must be engineered to withstand transit through Earth’s atmosphere and the space environment.

  • In recent years, more space agencies are tending towards reusable spacecraft.

  • [16] Launch vehicle The launch vehicle propels the spacecraft from Earth’s surface, through the atmosphere, and into an orbit, the exact orbit being dependent on the mission

  • A propulsion system is also needed for spacecraft that perform momentum management maneuvers.

  • Typical payloads could include scientific instruments (cameras, telescopes, or particle detectors, for example), cargo, or a human crew.

  • In addition, some spacecraft payloads are explicitly for the purpose of ground–ground communication using receiver/retransmitter electronic technologies.

  • Further information: On-Board Data Handling Communications Spacecraft, both robotic and crewed, utilize various communications systems for communication with terrestrial stations
    as well as for communication between spacecraft in space.

  • [10][11] Apart from its value as a technological first, Sputnik 1 also helped to identify the upper atmospheric layer’s density, through measuring the satellite’s orbital

  • 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).

  • Life support Spacecraft intended for human spaceflight must also include a life support system for the crew.

  • The Space Shuttle was subsequently modified to allow for autonomous re-entry in case of necessity.

  • Structures Spacecraft must be engineered to withstand launch loads imparted by the launch vehicle, and must have a point of attachment for all the other subsystems.

  • Payload The payload depends on the mission of the spacecraft, and is typically regarded as the part of the spacecraft “that pays the bills”.

  • Depending on mission profile, the structural subsystem might need to withstand loads imparted by entry into the atmosphere of another planetary body, and landing on the surface
    of another planetary body.

  • Ground segment Main article: Ground segment The ground segment, though not technically part of the spacecraft, is vital to the operation of the spacecraft.

  • The satellite traveled at 29,000 kilometres per hour (18,000 mph), taking 96.2 minutes to complete an orbit, and emitted radio signals at 20.005 and 40.002 MHz While Sputnik
    1 was the first spacecraft to orbit the Earth, other man-made objects had previously reached an altitude of 100 km, which is the height required by the international organization Fédération Aéronautique Internationale to count as a spaceflight.

  • Special class of uncrewed spacecraft is space telescopes, a telescope in outer space used to observe astronomical objects.

  • US company Boeing also developed and flown a spacecraft of their own, the CST-100, commonly referred to as Starliner, but a crewed flight is yet to occur.

  • Spacecraft subsystems comprise the spacecraft’s bus and may include attitude determination and control (variously called ADAC, ADC, or ACS), guidance, navigation and control
    (GNC or GN&C), communications (comms), command and data handling (CDH or C&DH), power (EPS), thermal control (TCS), propulsion, and structures.

  • Navigation means determining a spacecraft’s orbital elements or position.

  • For spacecraft near the Sun, solar panels are frequently used to generate electrical power.

  • Multiple space probes were sent to study Moon, the planets, the Sun, multiple small Solar System bodies (comets and asteroids).


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