The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Ariane 5 lifts off with the Rosetta probe on 2nd of March, 2004.
Ariane 5 lifts off with the Rosetta probe on 2nd of March, 2004.

A spacecraft is a vehicle that travels through space. Spacecraft include robotic or unmanned space probes as well as manned vehicles. The term is sometimes also used to describe artificial satellites, which have similar design criteria.



The term spaceship is generally applied only to spacecraft capable of transporting people.

A spacesuit has at times been called a miniature spacecraft or spaceship, emphasizing its purpose of keeping its wearer alive while traveling in the vacuum of outer space.

The spacecraft is one of the primal elements in science fiction. Numerous short stories and novels are built up around various ideas for spacecraft. Some hard science fiction books focus on the technical details of the craft, while others treat the spacecraft as a given and delve little into its actual implementation.

A few examples of existing spacecraft

Proposed spacecraft

Fictional spacecraft

See List of fictional spaceships

See also

External links

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