The Plural For Spacecraft

Spacecrafts or spaceships are vehicles designed for interstellar travel. Spacecraft is often the standard plural, while you could also say spaceships.

Spacecraft from Earth may take years before returning to Mars, which now appears cold, dry and potentially lifeless.

Memorizing the rules governing plurals of irregular nouns must become second nature; their rules differ significantly from most others.

1. A vehicle designed to travel in space.

Spacecraft are vehicles designed to travel through space. Their main components include propulsion systems for altering their trajectory, solar panels or nuclear reactors for providing energy, as well as instruments required for their mission.

Spacecraft designed for human spaceflight must include special accommodations to enable their crew members to survive safely in space, including food, water, air quality monitoring and control of their craft. The first such vessel built was by the Soviet Union: Vostok capsule which carried first human into space: Yuri Gagarin.

Cargo or resupply spacecraft provide space stations with food, fuel and other essential supplies they require for operation – such as Russia’s Progress spacecraft; America’s SpaceX Dragon and Cygnus vehicles; and China’s Tianzhou.

2. A vehicle designed to travel in orbit around the earth.

Spacecraft are vehicles designed to travel into orbit around Earth. To accomplish this task, spacecraft require various means of propulsion that range from traditional chemical rockets and nuclear engines to ion drives and ion engines; as well as support systems such as communications and navigation.

Spacecraft are vastly varied in their sizes and complexity. They are often classified according to function or design into program families; examples include Explorer, Galaxy, Iridium Milstar Navstar Astra Hotbird in the US; Gorizont Molniya Resurs Soyuz Soyuz from Russia and Eutelsat Radarsat Anik from Europe.

Spacecraft are launched from Earth or by space shuttle in low-Earth orbit and may then travel through our solar system or space. Once on their course, these spacecraft may use aerobraking techniques to slow down without using additional fuel; aerobraking involves altering their trajectory by changing their thrust to pass through a planet’s or moon’s atmosphere.

3. A vehicle designed to travel through the solar system.

Spacecraft are exposed to harsh environments during their mission in outer space for minutes, days or years at a time; such environments include high vacuum levels, microgravity conditions, extreme variations in temperature fluctuations and strong radiation exposure. As with most designs of this nature, lightweightness and functional reliability should be primary concerns when developing spacecraft designs.

Spacecraft range in size, shape and complexity; those similar in design or function are often classified into spacecraft families. Satellites that transmit data back to Earth fall under one of several families of spacecraft: Navstar, Gorizont Explorer Milstar Astra or Hotbird are common examples. Also of this category is the International Space Station.

Since Sputnik 1 was launched in 1957, many unmanned and manned spacecraft have been sent into our solar system to explore its planets and stars. Through these missions, we have learned a great deal about our Sun, its stars, and other celestial bodies; increasing scientific understanding, national security concerns, and telecommunications capabilities considerably.

4. A vehicle designed to travel on the moon.

In this video, an astronaut wearing a white spacesuit navigates his vehicle across lunar terrain with ease. As it bounces over every bump and kicks up a plume of dust, its wheels bounce over each one to increase efficiency on lunar missions. Engineers have long dreamed up ways to enhance astronaut mobility on lunar missions; some have proposed mobile home designs as crew quarters or traveling workspaces while others suggest centipede or worm-inspired vehicles that distribute weight more evenly to prevent sinking into its dust.

All spacecraft require onboard sources of electrical power for their equipment to function. Most use solar cells while deeper-space probes like Voyagers and Chandra X-ray observatories use radioisotope thermoelectric generators.

Most spacecraft are launched into space via rocket. Once in space, these vessels may enter an orbit or land on one or more celestial bodies depending on their mission and can either be manned or unmanned depending on its design and mission requirements.

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