Spacecraft are vehicles used for travel through space. They may be either manned or unmanned and carry scientific instruments. Their engineering must allow it to pass safely through both Earth’s atmosphere and space itself.
An onboard computer oversees all activities, interprets commands from Earth and gathers telemetry from other instruments on board the craft, while other subsystems may include:
A spacecraft is a vehicle that travels in space.
Spacecraft are any vehicles designed to leave Earth’s atmosphere and travel through space, from satellites orbiting Earth to robots that explore Mars or other planets and sleek spaceships that carry human astronauts into outer space.
Space can be an intensely hostile environment for vehicles. To survive in space, delicate spacecraft components must be protected against extreme thermal variations and micrometeoroid bombardment. Furthermore, spacecraft contain various sensors and instruments for collecting data – for instance an infrared radiometer measures intensity of infrared energy reflected or emitted by targets while an optical polarimeter records direction and extent of polarized light reflection.
An onboard computer of a spacecraft performs many important tasks, from receiving commands uplinked by ground controllers to recording and telemetering science data. A clock (which keeps track of time since launch) serves to synchronize all data acquisition. Telemetry systems relay back information back to Earth containing scientific findings from instruments as well as engineering or health data from within its orbiter itself.
A spacecraft is a manned or unmanned vehicle.
No matter if it is an unmanned Mars rover or sleek spaceships of our dreams, every spacecraft relies on computers to manage its functions – including switch panels, displays and telemetry systems that enable astronauts to control them from distant places.
A spacecraft’s main computer plays a critical role in maintaining timing and interpreting scientific data gathered by its onboard instruments – these cover every spectrum from radio waves to remote sensing devices – providing vital services.
Spacecraft are usually classified based on their purpose. Orbital spacecraft are further subdivided by method of reentry to Earth – non-winged capsules and winged spaceplanes being the two primary options – into non-winged space capsules and winged spaceplanes, respectively. Most orbital spacecraft are expendable; there has been an emerging trend towards reusable ones. When landing on planet or moon surfaces, some spacecraft are equipped with propulsion for powered descent or propulsion/parachute to slow free fall. Landers might also carry propulsion/parachutes/surface penetrators devices capable of surviving landing and sending back environmental data back home from landing on-planet surface penetratorss designed to survive landing and send information back about its surroundings to Earth about their environments after landing and send back information back.
A spacecraft is a vehicle that carries science instruments.
Spacecraft are equipped with science instruments designed to collect data about outer space. This may include cameras, telescopes, particle detectors and particle monitors. Furthermore, a spacecraft must include protective structures and propulsion and navigation subsystems that enable its flight path through space.
Based on its mission profile, spacecraft must withstand launch loads; and if its intended landing site is on planet or moon then subsystems that slow it down and enable safe landing will also be necessary. Such subsystems could include parachute(s), drogues(stored folded until deployed during descent), and descent engines.
Modern spacecraft require power for their subsystems, and this is typically provided through solar panels converting sunlight to electricity. However, long duration missions must ensure their spacecraft can survive periods when eclipses prevent solar arrays from producing power and thus have no influence over power production.
A spacecraft is a vehicle that carries cargo.
Spacecraft must be designed to carry payloads such as scientific instruments (cameras and telescopes), cargo or, for manned craft, astronauts. Furthermore, they must protect occupants against the harsh environment of space, including temperature fluctuations and micrometeoroid bombardment.
Structural subsystems of a spacecraft provide the primary attachment point for all other components, and must be capable of withstanding launch loads as well as, depending on its mission profile, surface impacts, powered descent to or landing on another planet’s atmosphere or body, deployment/detach/recovery of appendages as needed and recovery when required.
Orbiters spacecraft carry science instruments for studying planets and smaller Solar System bodies like asteroids and comets. These include spectrometers, cameras and radar, with some even capable of penetrating bodies like Rosetta’s Philae lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to collect data back to Earth via surface penetrators (such as Philae).