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Spaceplane
A spaceplane is an aerospace vehicle that operates as an aircraft in Earth's atmosphere, as well as a spacecraft when it is in space. It combines features of an aircraft and a spacecraft, which can be thought of as an aircraft that can endure and maneuver in the vacuum of space or likewise a spacecraft that can fly like an airplane. Typically, it takes the form of a spacecraft equipped with wings, although lifting bodies have been designed and tested as well. The propulsion to reach space may be purely rocket based or may use the assistance of airbreathing jet engines. The spaceflight is then followed by an unpowered glide return to landing. Five spaceplanes have successfully flown to date, having reentered Earth's atmosphere, returned to Earth, and safely landed — the North American X-15, Space Shuttle"> Space Shuttle, Buran, SpaceShipOne, and Boeing X-37. All five are considered rocket gliders
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Aerospace
Aerospace is the human effort in science, engineering and business to fly in the atmosphere of Earth (aeronautics) and surrounding space (astronautics). Aerospace organizations research, design, manufacture, operate, or maintain aircraft and/or spacecraft. Aerospace activity is very diverse, with a multitude of commercial, industrial and military applications. Aerospace is not the same as airspace, which is the physical air space directly above a location on the ground
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Amphibious Aircraft
An amphibious aircraft or amphibian is an aircraft that can take off and land on both land and water. Fixed-wing amphibious aircraft are seaplanes (flying boats and floatplanes) that are equipped with retractable wheels, at the expense of extra weight and complexity, plus diminished range and fuel economy compared to planes designed for land or water only
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Drag (physics)
In Fluid dynamics">fluid dynamics, drag (sometimes called air resistance, a type of friction, or fluid resistance, another type of friction or fluid friction) is a force acting opposite to the relative motion of any object moving with respect to a surrounding fluid. This can exist between two fluid layers (or surfaces) or a fluid and a solid surface. Unlike other resistive forces, such as dry friction, which are nearly independent of velocity, drag forces depend on velocity. Drag force is proportional to the velocity for a laminar flow and the squared velocity for a turbulent flow
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Orbital Speed
In gravitationally bound systems, the orbital speed of an astronomical body or object (e.g. planet, moon, artificial satellite, spacecraft, or star) is the speed at which it orbits around either the barycenter or, if the object is much less massive than the largest body in the system, its speed relative to that largest body. The speed in this latter case may be relative to the surface of the larger body or relative to its center of mass. The term can be used to refer to either the mean orbital speed, i.e. the average speed over an entire orbit, or its instantaneous speed at a particular point in its orbit. Maximum (instantaneous) orbital speed occurs at periapsis (perigee, perhelion, etc.), while minimum speed for objects in closed orbits occurs at apoapsis (aphelion, apogee, etc.)
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Atmospheric Reentry
Atmospheric entry is the movement of an object from outer space into and through the gases of an atmosphere of a planet, dwarf planet or natural satellite. There are two main types of atmospheric entry: uncontrolled entry, such as the entry of astronomical objects, space debris or bolides; and controlled entry (or reentry) of a spacecraft capable of being navigated or following a predetermined course. Technologies and procedures allowing the controlled atmospheric entry, descent and landing of spacecraft are collectively abbreviated as EDL.
Animated illustration of different phases as a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere to become visible as a meteor and land as a meteorite
Atmospheric drag and aerodynamic heating can cause atmospheric breakup capable of completely disintegrating smaller objects
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Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System
The Space Shuttle thermal protection system (TPS) is the barrier that protected the Space Shuttle Orbiter"> Space Shuttle Orbiter during the searing 1,650 °C (3,000 °F) heat of atmospheric reentry
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Atmosphere Of Earth
The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gases, commonly known as air, that surrounds the planet Earth and is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere of Earth protects life on Earth by creating pressure allowing for liquid water to exist on the Earth's surface, absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night (the diurnal temperature variation). By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.04% Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere">carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of Water vapor">water vapor, on average around 1% at sea level, and 0.4% over the entire atmosphere
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Runway
According to the Aviation Organization">International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and takeoff of aircraft". Runways may be a man-made surface (often Asphalt concrete">asphalt, concrete, or a mixture of both) or a natural surface (grass, dirt, gravel, ice, or salt).

Helicopter Landing Pad
A helipad is a landing area or platform for helicopters and powered lift aircraft. While helicopters and powered lift aircraft are able to operate on a variety of relatively flat surfaces, a fabricated helipad provides a clearly marked hard surface away from obstacles where such aircraft can land safely. Larger helipads, intended for use by helicopters and other vertical take-off and landing aircraft, may be called vertiports. An example is
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Water
Water is a transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance that is the main constituent of Earth's streams, lakes, and oceans, and the fluids of most living organisms. Its chemical formula is H2O, meaning that each of its molecules contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms that are connected by covalent bonds. Strictly speaking, water refers to the liquid state of a substance that prevails at standard ambient temperature and pressure; but it often refers also to its solid state (ice) or its gaseous state (steam or Water vapor">water vapor). It also occurs in nature as snow, glaciers, ice packs and icebergs, clouds, fog, dew, aquifers, and atmospheric humidity. Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface. It is vital for all known forms of life
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Snow
Snow refers to forms of ice crystals that precipitate from the atmosphere (usually from clouds) and undergo changes on the Earth's surface. It pertains to frozen crystalline water throughout its life cycle, starting when, under suitable conditions, the ice crystals form in the atmosphere, increase to millimeter size, precipitate and accumulate on surfaces, then metamorphose in place, and ultimately melt, slide or sublimate away. Snowstorms organize and develop by feeding on sources of atmospheric moisture and cold air. Snowflakes nucleate around particles in the atmosphere by attracting supercooled water droplets, which freeze in hexagonal-shaped crystals. Snowflakes take on a variety of shapes, basic among these are platelets, needles, columns and rime. As snow accumulates into a snowpack, it may blow into drifts. Over time, accumulated snow metamorphoses, by sintering, sublimation and freeze-thaw
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Delta Wing
The delta wing is a wing shaped in the form of a triangle
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Ice
Ice is water frozen into a solid state. Depending on the presence of impurities such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less opaque bluish-white color. In the Solar System, ice is abundant and occurs naturally from as close to the Sun as Mercury to as far away as the Oort cloud objects. Beyond the Solar System, it occurs as interstellar ice. It is abundant on Earth's surface – particularly in the polar regions and above the snow line – and, as a common form of precipitation and deposition, plays a key role in Earth's Water cycle">water cycle and climate. It falls as snowflakes and hail or occurs as frost, icicles or Ice spike">ice spikes. Ice molecules can exhibit seventeen or more different phases (packing geometries) that depend on temperature and pressure
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Splashdown
Splashdown is the method of landing a spacecraft by parachute in a body of water. It was used by American manned spacecraft prior to the Space Shuttle program, and is planned for use by the upcoming Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle. It is also possible for the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to land in water, though this is only a contingency. The only example of an unintentional manned splashdown in Soviet history is the Soyuz 23 landing. As the name suggests, the capsule parachutes into an ocean or other large body of water. The properties of water cushion the spacecraft enough that there is no need for a braking rocket to slow the final descent as is the case with Russian and Chinese manned space capsules, which return to Earth over land. The American practice came in part because American launch sites are on the coastline and launch primarily over water.