spaceshipspaceshipsspace ship
Payload. The payload depends on the mission of the spacecraft, and is typically regarded as the part of the spacecraft "that pays the bills". Typical payloads could include scientific instruments (cameras, telescopes, or particle detectors, for example), cargo, or a human crew. Launch vehicle. The launch vehicle propels the spacecraft from Earth's surface, through the atmosphere, and into an orbit, the exact orbit being dependent on the mission configuration. The launch vehicle may be expendable or reusable. Astrionics. Flying saucer. List of fictional spacecraft. NewSpace. Spacecraft design. Space exploration. Space launch. Space suit. Spaceflight records. Starship.

Tsiolkovsky rocket equation

rocket equationTsiolkovsky equationderivation of the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation
In aerospace engineering, the propellant mass fraction is the portion of a vehicle's mass which does not reach the destination, usually used as a measure of the vehicle's performance. In other words, the propellant mass fraction is the ratio between the propellant mass and the initial mass of the vehicle. In a spacecraft, the destination is usually an orbit, while for aircraft it is their landing location. A higher mass fraction represents less weight in a design. Another related measure is the payload fraction, which is the fraction of initial weight that is payload.


heavier-than-airheavier-than-air flightheavier-than-air aircraft
A balloon is typically very stable in pitch and roll due to the way the payload is slung underneath the center of lift. Flight control surfaces enable the pilot to control an aircraft's flight attitude and are usually part of the wing or mounted on, or integral with, the associated stabilizing surface. Their development was a critical advance in the history of aircraft, which had until that point been uncontrollable in flight. Aerospace engineers develop control systems for a vehicle's orientation (attitude) about its center of mass.

Skylon (spacecraft)

SkylonReaction Engines SkylonSkylon spaceplane
The payload fraction would be significantly greater than normal rockets and the vehicle should be fully reusable, capable of performing in excess of 200 launches. One of the most significant features of the Skylon's design is its powerplant, known as Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE). The design of the SABRE engine has drawn heavily upon the STRICT/STERN experimental engines, sharing many features such as the propellant and the adoption of the trialled Expansion Deflection Nozzle, as well as building upon the wider field of liquid air cycle engines (LACE).

Launch vehicle

carrier rocketlaunch systemspace launch vehicle
Payloads include crewed spacecraft, satellites, robotic spacecraft, scientific probes, landers, rovers, and many more. Orbital spaceflight is difficult and expensive, with progress limited by the underlying technology as much as human and societal factors. Launch vehicles are classed by NASA according to low Earth orbit payload capability: Orbital spaceflight requires a satellite or spacecraft payload to be accelerated to very high velocity. In the vacuum of space, reaction forces must be provided by the ejection of mass, resulting in the rocket equation. The physics of spaceflight are such that multiple rocket stages are typically required to achieve the desired orbit.

Saturn V

Saturn V rocketSaturnVSaturn
Block 1B will add a second stage, the Exploration Upper Stage, powered by four RL10 engines, to increase payload to deep space. An eventual Block 2 variant will upgrade to advanced boosters, increasing LEO payload to at least 130 metric tons. One proposal for advanced boosters would use a derivative of the Saturn V's F-1, the F-1B, and increase SLS payload to around 150 metric tons to LEO.

Ballistic missile

ballistic missilesthrow-weightballistic
Payload. MIRV. Ballistic Missile Reference from the Federation of American Scientists. Missile Threat: A Project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Payload fairing

fairingpayload shroudfairings
A payload fairing is a nose cone used to protect a spacecraft (launch vehicle payload) against the impact of dynamic pressure and aerodynamic heating during launch through an atmosphere. More recently, an additional function on some flights has been to maintain the cleanroom environment for precision instruments. Once outside the atmosphere the fairing is jettisoned, exposing the payload to the space environment. The standard payload fairing is typically a cone-cylinder combination, due to aerodynamic considerations; however, specialized fairings are in use as well.

Medium-lift launch vehicle

medium-liftmedium lift launch vehicleMedium Lift Launch System
A medium-lift launch vehicle (MLV) is a rocket launch vehicle that is capable of lifting between 2000 to 20000 kg of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). An MLV is between small-lift launch vehicles and heavy-lift launch vehicles. * Mallove, Eugene F. and Matloff, Gregory L. The Starflight Handbook: A Pioneer's Guide to Interstellar Travel, Wiley. ISBN: 0-471-61912-4. Sounding rocket, suborbital launch vehicle. Small-lift launch vehicle, capable of lifting up to 2,000 kg to low Earth orbit. Heavy lift launch vehicle, capable of lifting between 20,000 and 50,000 kg to low Earth orbit. Super Heavy lift launch vehicles, capable of lifting more than 50,000 kg (110,000 lb) of payload into LEO.

Propellant mass fraction

mass fraction
Conversely, when applied to a single stage, where the propellant mass fraction calculation doesn't include the payload, a higher propellant mass fraction corresponds to a more efficient design, since there is less non-propellant mass. Without the benefit of staging, SSTO designs are typically designed for mass fractions around 0.9. Staging increases the payload fraction, which is one of the reasons SSTO's appear difficult to build. For example, the complete Space Shuttle system has: Given these numbers, the propellant mass fraction is.


In economics, the words cargo and freight refer in particular to goods or produce being conveyed – generally for commercial gain – by water, air or land. Cargo was originally a shipload. Cargo now covers all types of freight, including that carried by rail, van, truck, or intermodal container. The term cargo is also used in case of goods in the cold-chain, because the perishable inventory is always in transit towards a final end-use, even when it is held in cold storage or other similar climate-controlled facility. The term freight is commonly used to describe the movements of flows of goods being transported by any mode of transportation.


passengersrevenue passengerrevenue passenger mile
A passenger (also abbreviated as pax ) is a person who travels in a vehicle but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination or otherwise operate the vehicle. The vehicles may be buses, passenger trains, airliners, ships, ferryboats, and other methods of transportation.

Aerospace engineering

aeronautical engineeraerospace engineerAerospace
Aerospace engineering is the primary field of engineering concerned with the development of aircraft and spacecraft. It has two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. Avionics engineering is similar, but deals with the electronics side of aerospace engineering.


flight crewcrewcrews
Airborne Sensor Operator, An airborne sensor operator (aerial sensor operator, ASO, Aerial Remote Sensing Data Acquisition Specialist, Aerial Payload Operator, Police Tactical Flight Officer, Tactical Coordinator etc.) is the functional profession of gathering information from an airborne platform (Manned or Unmanned) and/or oversee mission management systems for academic, commercial, public safety or military remote sensing purposes. The airborne sensor operator is considered a principal flight crew or aircrew member. Navigator (archaic), also called 'Air Navigators' or 'Flight Navigators'.


A shell is a payload-carrying projectile which, as opposed to a shot, contains explosives or other fillings, in use since the 19th century. Artillery shells are ammunition that is designed to be fired from artillery which has an effect over long distances, usually indirectly (i.e., out of sight of the target). There are many different types of artillery ammunition, but they are usually high-explosive and designed to shatter into fragments on impact to maximize damage. The fuze used on an artillery shell can alter how it explodes or behaves so it has a more specialized effect. Common types of artillery ammunition include high explosive, smoke, illumination, and practice rounds.


scheduled commercialairlinescarrier
The added efficiencies for these aircraft were often not in speed, but in passenger capacity, payload, and range. Airbus also features modern electronic cockpits that were common across their aircraft to enable pilots to fly multiple models with minimal cross-training. The 1978 U.S. airline industry deregulation lowered federally controlled barriers for new airlines just as a downturn in the nation's economy occurred. New start-ups entered during the downturn, during which time they found aircraft and funding, contracted hangar and maintenance services, trained new employees, and recruited laid-off staff from other airlines.

Cargo airline

cargoair freightair cargo
Cargo airlines (or airfreight carriers, and derivatives of these names) are airlines mainly dedicated to the transport of cargo by air. Some cargo airlines are divisions or subsidiaries of larger passenger airlines.


satellitesartificial satelliteartificial satellites
It has the capacity payload of 800 kilograms for orbital missions that will last a maximum of two months. SpaceX was scheduled to launch a multiple satellite mission on 28 November 2018 from the United States Vandenberg Air Force Base after an initial 19 November schedule. The launch is expected to be visible once the rocket heads toward the south into an Earth observation trajectory traveling over the opposites. However, the second supposed launched was delayed again because of poor weather conditions and the actual launch occurred on December 3, 2018.

Space probe

probespace probesprobes
A space probe is a robotic spacecraft that does not orbit Earth, but instead, explores further into outer space. A space probe may approach the Moon; travel through interplanetary space; flyby, orbit, or land on other planetary bodies; or enter interstellar space.


warheadsCUexplosive payload
A warhead is the explosive or toxic material that is delivered by a missile, rocket, or torpedo. It is a type of bomb.

Range (aeronautics)

rangeferry rangelong-range
The maximal total range is the maximum distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing, as limited by fuel capacity in powered aircraft, or cross-country speed and environmental conditions in unpowered aircraft. The range can be seen as the cross-country ground speed multiplied by the maximum time in the air. The fuel time limit for powered aircraft is fixed by the fuel load and rate of consumption. When all fuel is consumed, the engines stop and the aircraft will lose its propulsion.


airlinerspassenger aircraftcommercial aircraft
Only one example built, it is used for carrying oversized payloads. It is also the only airliner with six engines. Boeing 777 – the first airliner designed entirely by computer, without physical mockups. Airbus A380 "Superjumbo" – the world's largest passenger airliner from 2005 onwards. Boeing 787 Dreamliner – the world's first jet airliner to make use of composite materials for most of its construction. Regional jets. List of civil aircraft. List of regional airliners. List of airliners by maximum takeoff weight. Aircraft design process. Aircraft spotting. Aviation and the environment. Aviation safety. Flight length. Flight planning.

Zero-fuel weight

Maximum zero-fuel weightzero fuel weightMaximum Zero Fuel Weight
For any aircraft with a defined MZFW, the maximum payload (PL_{max}) can be calculated as the MZFW minus the OEW (operational empty weight) The maximum zero fuel weight is an important parameter in demonstrating compliance with gust design criteria for transport category airplanes. In fixed-wing aircraft, fuel is usually carried in the wings. Weight in the wings does not contribute as significantly to the bending moment in the wing as does weight in the fuselage.

Maximum takeoff weight

MTOWmaximum take-off weighttake-off weight
The maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) or maximum gross takeoff weight (MGTOW) or maximum takeoff mass (MTOM) of an aircraft is the maximum weight at which the pilot is allowed to attempt to take off, due to structural or other limits. The analogous term for rockets is gross lift-off mass, or GLOW. MTOW is usually specified in units of kilograms or pounds.

Antonov An-225 Mriya

Antonov An-225An-225Antonov An-225 ''Mriya
Payloads. Flight Data Recorder.