Is There a Plural For Spacecraft?

plural for spacecraft

Spacecraft are one of the biggest stories of 2022, from lunar missions to an unprecedented asteroid encounter. But do you know whether the term refers to a singular or plural term?

Like Latin and other languages, English forms the plurals of some words by duplicating letters; for instance processes can be distinguished from axes (/’aeksi:z/). But does craft have any plural?


Spacecraft are vehicles designed to travel through space for research, exploration and transportation purposes. Some spacecraft are unmanned while others may carry astronauts aboard for research or transportation missions. A spacecraft’s power source may range from solar energy or chemical fuel. Pressurized flight suits and helmets for astronauts traveling in space can also be included on board; additionally it may feature cameras capable of taking photos from space.

The spacecraft was launched into orbit around Earth. Astronauts boarded it and conducted experiments while scientists used it to explore different planets. Engineers tested out its function before launch into space while mission planners coordinated multiple spacecraft trajectories.

Spacecrafts can transport people into orbit or even to the moon, as well as traveling to other stars within our galaxy. Furthermore, these spacecrafts can detect cosmic rays which contain high-energy particles which help us understand how stars and planets form as well as provide key clues as to how elements are produced by supernovae.

Spacecraft is most often seen used in its plural form, as in “The crew of the spacecrafts left for Mars yesterday.” But there may be cases in which you use it as a singular noun; knowing grammar rules and understanding their application to English helps a great deal when selecting suitable words for specific contexts. Additionally, understanding word meanings helps immensely as you choose appropriate ones accordingly.


Spacecrafts are the plural form of “spacecraft”. While adding an “s” makes intuitive sense for most nouns with clear plural forms (airplanes, ships and vehicles), for others with less obvious plural forms like rafts and crafts it may not make as much sense, and many people may use it incorrectly.

Scientific abbreviations with Latin roots–such as “SN” for supernova, and MS, CAS, and SS for manuscript, chapter, section and volume respectively–typically have separate plural forms when added with an “-e,” such as SNe for supernovas or MSs for manuscripts; this approach may not always apply; in some instances initialisms may simply use periods as the plural (MPs for instance), although an apostrophe may also be employed instead.

Other nouns form their plural forms by adding an affricate consonant or vowel to their singular form: children become children or blice becomes blaces. Some words of English origin also exhibit variation in spelling when pluralizing: for instance octopus and octopi form plural forms while rhinoceros has three: rhinoceroses, rhinoceri, and (incorrectly) rhinocerotes.

Certain mass nouns do not pluralize when spoken aloud in different ways, such as “sand”, “wood”, and “information”. For example, these terms don’t become pluralized when spoken aloud as distinct nouns: for instance sand does not become “sands”, though it may be used for sanding, and information does not pluralized either. Nouns with separate singular and plural meanings, such as highly elliptical orbit and space fence, still commonly refer to themselves as spacecraft anomaly and space object, respectively. Only exception is when these terms are being used in technical context; then, it should be written as original nouns for proper usage. Otherwise, such terms should be avoided altogether and as a general guideline it is wiser to avoid acronyms and abbreviations until all parties involved clearly understand their meaning.

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