Space vehicle

Apollo/Saturn V, the largest and heaviest space vehicle brought into operational status as of May 2022.

A space vehicle is the combination of a spacecraft and its launch vehicle which carries it into space. The earliest space vehicles were expendable launch systems, using a single or multistage rocket to carry a relatively small spacecraft in proportion to the total vehicle size and mass.[1] An early exception to this, the Space Shuttle, consisted of a reusable orbital vehicle carrying crew and payload, supported by an expendable external propellant tank and two reusable solid-fuel booster rockets.

Reusable launch systems are currently being developed by private industry.

Early spacecraft or space vehicles were sometimes hyped as "spaceships",[2][3] a term which comes from science fiction to designate a hypothetical vehicle which travels beyond low Earth orbit and is 100% reusable, needing only to be refueled like an airplane.

  1. ^ "Expendable Launch Vehicle Investigations – Space Flight Systems". Space Flight Systems. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  2. ^ The first human to fly in space, Russian Yuri Gagarin, referred to his Vostok space vehicle as a "mighty spaceship [that] will take me into the far-away expanses of the Universe" in a pre-flight press statement.Gagarin, Yuri (2001). Soviet Man in Space. ISBN 9780898754605.
  3. ^ "ДО СКОРОЙ ВСТРЕЧИ!" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 1 April 2021.

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