A spacecraft is an orbital vehicle that travels to outer space. Communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, and planetary exploration are some of a spacecraft’s uses. Except for single-stage-to-orbit spacecraft, all other vehicles require a carrier rocket (launch vehicle) and cannot travel to space autonomously. Spacecraft designed for human spaceflight onboards crew or passengers from the start. In June 1944 a German V-2 was the first spacecraft, reaching an altitude of 189 km. Sputnik 1 was launched by the Soviet Union on 10/4/1957 as the first spacecraft to orbit the earth. Russia, USA, European Space Agency, Japan, China, India, Taiwan, Israel, Iran, and North Korea are the nations with the technology for orbital launches.

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Spacecraft Guides
Browse through our curated Spacecraft Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Spacecraft. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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