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Planetary Orbit
In physics , an ORBIT is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an object , such as the trajectory of a planet around a star or a natural satellite around a planet. Normally, orbit refers to a regularly repeating trajectory, although it may also refer to a non-repeating trajectory. To a close approximation, planets and satellites follow elliptic orbits , with the central mass being orbited at a focal point of the ellipse, as described by Kepler\'s laws of planetary motion . Current understanding of the mechanics of orbital motion is based on Albert Einstein 's general theory of relativity , which accounts for gravity as due to curvature of spacetime , with orbits following geodesics . For ease of calculation, in most situations, orbital motion is adequately approximated by Newtonian mechanics
Newtonian mechanics
, which explains gravity as a force obeying an inverse square law
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Space Exploration
SPACE EXPLORATION is the ongoing discovery and exploration of celestial structures in outer space by means of continuously evolving and growing space technology . While the study of space is carried out mainly by astronomers with telescopes , the physical exploration of space is conducted both by unmanned robotic space probes and human spaceflight . While the observation of objects in space, known as astronomy , predates reliable recorded history , it was the development of large and relatively efficient rockets during the mid-twentieth century that allowed physical space exploration to become a reality. Common rationales for exploring space include advancing scientific research, national prestige, uniting different nations, ensuring the future survival of humanity, and developing military and strategic advantages against other countries
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Space Telescope
A SPACE TELESCOPE or SPACE OBSERVATORY is an instrument located in outer space to observe distant planets , galaxies and other astronomical objects . Space telescopes avoid many of the problems of ground-based observatories , such as light pollution and distortion of electromagnetic radiation (scintillation ). In addition, ultraviolet frequencies, X-rays and gamma rays are blocked by the Earth\'s atmosphere , so they can only be observed from space. Theorized by Lyman Spitzer in 1946, the first operational space telescopes were the American Orbiting Astronomical Observatory OAO-2 launched in 1968 and the Soviet Orion 1 ultraviolet telescope aboard space station Salyut 1 in 1971. Space telescopes are distinct from other imaging satellites pointed toward Earth for purposes of espionage , weather analysis and other types of information gathering
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Space Tourism
SPACE TOURISM is space travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. To date only orbital space tourism has taken place provided by the Russian Space Agency , although work continues developing sub-orbital space tourism vehicles by Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic . In addition, SpaceX announced in 2017 that they are planning on sending two space tourists on a lunar free return trajectory in 2018 aboard their Dragon V2 spacecraft launched by the Falcon Heavy rocket. The publicized price for flights brokered by Space Adventures to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft have been US$20–40 million, during the period 2001–2009 when 7 space tourists made 8 space flights. Some space tourists have signed contracts with third parties to conduct certain research activities while in orbit
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Space Colonization
CORE CONCEPTS * Planetary habitability * Space and survival * Space habitat * Terraforming * Interplanetary travel * Interstella
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Spacecraft
A SPACECRAFT is a vehicle, or machine designed to fly in outer space . Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications , earth observation , meteorology , navigation , space colonization , planetary exploration , and transportation of humans and cargo . On a sub-orbital spaceflight , a spacecraft enters space and then returns to the surface, without having gone into an orbit . For orbital spaceflights , spacecraft enter closed orbits around the Earth or around other celestial bodies . Spacecraft used for human spaceflight carry people on board as crew or passengers from start or on orbit (space stations ) only, whereas those used for robotic space missions operate either autonomously or telerobotically . Robotic spacecraft used to support scientific research are space probes . Robotic spacecraft that remain in orbit around a planetary body are artificial satellites
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Satellite Navigation
A SATELLITE NAVIGATION or SATNAV system is a system that uses satellites to provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning. It allows small electronic receivers to determine their location (longitude , latitude , and altitude /elevation ) to high precision (within a few metres) using time signals transmitted along a line of sight by radio from satellites. The system can be used for providing position, navigation or for tracking the position of something fitted with a receiver (satellite tracking). The signals also allow the electronic receiver to calculate the current local time to high precision, which allows time synchronisation. Satnav systems operate independently of any telephonic or internet reception, though these technologies can enhance the usefulness of the positioning information generated. A satellite navigation system with global coverage may be termed a GLOBAL NAVIGATION SATELLITE SYSTEM (GNSS)
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Communications Satellite
A COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio telecommunications signals via a transponder ; it creates a communication channel between a source transmitter and a receiver at different locations on Earth. Communications satellites are used for television, telephone, radio, internet, and military applications. There are over 2,000 communications satellites in Earth’s orbit, used by both private and government organizations. Wireless communication uses electromagnetic waves to carry signals. These waves require line-of-sight, and are thus obstructed by the curvature of the Earth. The purpose of communications satellites is to relay the signal around the curve of the Earth allowing communication between widely separated points. Communications satellites use a wide range of radio and microwave frequencies
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List Of Solar System Probes
This is a list of space probes that have left Earth orbit (or were launched with that intention but failed), organized by their planned destination. It includes planetary probes, solar probes, and probes to asteroids and comets, but excludes lunar missions, which are listed separately at List of lunar probes and List of Apollo missions . Flybys (such as gravity assists ) that were incidental to the main purpose of the mission are also included. Flybys of Earth are listed separately at List of Earth flybys . Confirmed future probes are included, but missions that are still at the concept stage, or which never progressed beyond the concept stage, are not
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List Of Lunar Missions
As part of human exploration of the Moon , numerous space missions have been undertaken to study Earth's natural satellite. Of the Moon landings ; Luna 2 was the first spacecraft to reach its surface successfully, intentionally impacting the Moon on 13 September 1959. In 1966, Luna 9 became the first spacecraft to achieve a controlled soft landing , while Luna 10 became the first mission to enter orbit. Between 1968 and 1972, manned missions to the Moon were conducted by the United States as part of the Apollo program . Apollo 8 was the first manned mission to enter orbit in December 1968, and was followed by Apollo 10 in May 1969. Six missions landed men on the Moon, beginning with Apollo 11 in July 1969, during which Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon
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Earth Observation Satellite
EARTH OBSERVATION SATELLITES are satellites specifically designed for Earth observation from orbit , similar to spy satellites but intended for non-military uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology , map making etc. Most Earth observation satellites carry instruments that should be operated at a relatively low altitude. Altitudes below 500-600 kilometers are in general avoided, though, because of the significant air-drag at such low altitudes making frequent orbit reboost maneuvres necessary. The Earth observation satellites ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat of European Space Agency as well as the MetOp spacecraft of EUMETSAT are all operated at altitudes of about 800 km. The Proba-1 , Proba-2 and SMOS spacecraft of European Space Agency are observing the Earth from an altitude of about 700 km
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Spy Satellite
A RECONNAISSANCE SATELLITE (commonly, although unofficially, referred to as a SPY SATELLITE) is an Earth observation satellite
Earth observation satellite
or communications satellite deployed for military or intelligence applications. The first generation type (i.e., Corona and Zenit ) took photographs, then ejected canisters of photographic film which would descend to earth. Corona capsules were retrieved in mid-air as they floated down on parachutes . Later, spacecraft had digital imaging systems and downloaded the images via encrypted radio links. In the United States, most information available is on programs that existed up to 1972, as this information has been declassified due to its age. Some information about programs prior to that time is still classified , and a small amount of information is available on subsequent missions
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Robotic Spacecraft
A ROBOTIC SPACECRAFT is an uncrewed spacecraft , usually under telerobotic control. A robotic spacecraft designed to make scientific research measurements is often called a space probe . Many space missions are more suited to telerobotic rather than crewed operation, due to lower cost and lower risk factors. In addition, some planetary destinations such as Venus
Venus
or the vicinity of Jupiter
Jupiter
are too hostile for human survival, given current technology. Outer planets such as Saturn
Saturn
, Uranus
Uranus
, and Neptune
Neptune
are too distant to reach with current crewed spaceflight technology, so telerobotic probes are the only way to explore them. Many artificial satellites are robotic spacecraft, as are many landers and rovers
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Satellite
In context of spaceflight , a SATELLITE is an artificial object which has been intentionally placed into orbit . Such objects are sometimes called ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES to distinguish them from natural satellites such as Earth's Moon
Moon
. In 1957 the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 . Since then, about 6,600 satellites from more than 40 countries have been launched. According to a 2013 estimate, 3,600 remained in orbit. Of those, about 1,000 were operational; while the rest have lived out their useful lives and became space debris . Approximately 500 operational satellites are in low-Earth orbit , 50 are in medium-Earth orbit (at 20,000 km), and the rest are in geostationary orbit (at 36,000 km). A few large satellites have been launched in parts and assembled in orbit
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Spaceport
A SPACEPORT (or COSMODROME) is a site for launching (or receiving) spacecraft , by analogy with seaport for ships or airport for aircraft. The word spaceport, and even more so cosmodrome, has traditionally been used for sites that are capable of launching spacecraft into orbit around Earth or on interplanetary trajectories. However, rocket launch sites for purely sub-orbital flights are sometimes called spaceports, as in recent years new and proposed sites for suborbital human flights have been frequently referred to or named 'spaceports'. Space stations and proposed future bases on the moon are sometimes called spaceports, in particular if intended as a base for further journeys. The term ROCKET LAUNCH SITE is used for any facility from which rockets are launched. It may contain one or more launch pads or suitable sites to mount a transportable launch pad. It is typically surrounded by a large safety area, often called a ROCKET RANGE or MISSILE RANGE
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Rocket Launch
A ROCKET LAUNCH is the takeoff phase of the flight of a rocket . Launches for orbital spaceflights , or launches into interplanetary space , are usually from a fixed location on the ground, but may also be from a floating platform or from an airplane. Launches of suborbital flights (including missile launches), can also be from: * a missile silo * a mobile launcher vehicle * a sub