Orbital spaceflight

orbitalorbitorbital flightorbital launchorbital launchesorbital flightsorbital space flightsreach orbitSatellite orbitdeorbit
An orbital spaceflight (or orbital flight) is a spaceflight in which a spacecraft is placed on a trajectory where it could remain in space for at least one orbit.wikipedia
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Spacecraft

spaceshipspaceshipsspace ship
An orbital spaceflight (or orbital flight) is a spaceflight in which a spacecraft is placed on a trajectory where it could remain in space for at least one orbit.
For orbital spaceflights, spacecraft enter closed orbits around the Earth or around other celestial bodies.

Sub-orbital spaceflight

suborbitalsub-orbitalsuborbital flight
The expression "orbital spaceflight" is mostly used to distinguish from sub-orbital spaceflights, which are flights where the apogee of a spacecraft reaches space, but the perigee is too low.
Some sub-orbital flights have been undertaken to test spacecraft and launch vehicles later intended for orbital spaceflight.

Spaceflight

space travelspace flightspace transport
An orbital spaceflight (or orbital flight) is a spaceflight in which a spacecraft is placed on a trajectory where it could remain in space for at least one orbit.
A minimal orbital spaceflight requires much higher velocities than a minimal sub-orbital flight, and so it is technologically much more challenging to achieve.

Launch loop

Lofstrom loopLofstrom launch loop
Other proposed ideas include ground accelerators such as launch loops, rocket assisted aircraft/spaceplanes such as Reaction Engines Skylon, scramjet powered spaceplanes, and RBCC powered spaceplanes.
A launch loop or Lofstrom loop is a proposed system for launching objects into orbit using a moving cable-like system situated inside a sheath attached to the Earth at two ends and suspended above the atmosphere in the middle.

SpaceX reusable launch system development program

Reusable Falcon 9rapidly reusable launch systemReusable Falcon Heavy
Their potential for cost reduction comes mainly from pioneering propulsive landing with their reusable rocket booster stage as well as their Dragon capsule, but also includes reuse of the other components such as the payload fairings and the use of 3D printing of a superalloy to construct more efficient rocket engines, such as their SuperDraco.
The SpaceX reusable launch system development program is a privately funded program to develop a set of new technologies for an orbital launch system that may be reused many times in a manner similar to the reusability of aircraft.

Launch vehicle

carrier rocketlaunch systemspace launch vehicle
Orbital spaceflight from Earth has only been achieved by launch vehicles that use rocket engines for propulsion.
Orbital spaceflight requires a satellite or spacecraft payload to be accelerated to very high velocity.

SpaceX

SpaceX headquartersSpace Exploration TechnologiesSpace X
From 2015 SpaceX have demonstrated significant progress in their more incremental approach to reducing the cost of orbital spaceflight.
This was the first such achievement by a rocket for orbital spaceflight.

Project Mercury

MercuryMercury programMercury spacecraft
An early highlight of the Space Race, its goal was to put a man into Earth orbit and return him safely, ideally before the Soviet Union.

Orbit

orbitsorbital motionplanetary motion
An orbital spaceflight (or orbital flight) is a spaceflight in which a spacecraft is placed on a trajectory where it could remain in space for at least one orbit.

Selective laser melting

direct metal laser sinteringDMLSlaser melting
Their potential for cost reduction comes mainly from pioneering propulsive landing with their reusable rocket booster stage as well as their Dragon capsule, but also includes reuse of the other components such as the payload fairings and the use of 3D printing of a superalloy to construct more efficient rocket engines, such as their SuperDraco.
The engine completed a full qualification test in May 2014, and is slated to make its first orbital spaceflight in April 2018.

Vostok 1

first human spaceflightthe first manned spaceflightVostok
The orbital spaceflight consisted of a single orbit around Earth which skimmed the upper atmosphere at 169 km at its lowest point.

Rocket launch

launchlaunchedlifted off
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.

Spaceport

launch complexlaunch sitecosmodrome
The word spaceport, and even more so cosmodrome, has traditionally been used for sites capable of launching spacecraft into orbit around Earth or on interplanetary trajectories.

Non-rocket spacelaunch

HASTOLwithout the use of large rocketsballoon platform
Some of these ideas such as the space elevator, and rotovator, require new materials much stronger than any currently known.
A launch loop or Lofstrom loop is a design for a belt-based maglev orbital launch system that would be around 2000 km long and maintained at an altitude of up to 80 km (50 mi).

List of orbits

Outer space

spaceinterstellar spaceintergalactic medium
An orbital spaceflight (or orbital flight) is a spaceflight in which a spacecraft is placed on a trajectory where it could remain in space for at least one orbit.

Geocentric orbit

GeocentricEarth orbitEarth-orbit
To do this around the Earth, it must be on a free trajectory which has an altitude at perigee (altitude at closest approach) above 100 km; this is, by at least one convention, the boundary of space.

Altitude

high altitudealtitudeshigh-altitude
To do this around the Earth, it must be on a free trajectory which has an altitude at perigee (altitude at closest approach) above 100 km; this is, by at least one convention, the boundary of space.

Kármán line

edge of spaceKarman linethe United States definition
To do this around the Earth, it must be on a free trajectory which has an altitude at perigee (altitude at closest approach) above 100 km; this is, by at least one convention, the boundary of space.

Orbital speed

orbital velocityorbital velocitiesspeed
To remain in orbit at this altitude requires an orbital speed of ~7.8 km/s.

Delta-v

Delta Vdelta-''vvelocity
Orbital speed is slower for higher orbits, but attaining them requires greater delta-v.

Rocket engine

rocket motorrocketthrusters
Orbital spaceflight from Earth has only been achieved by launch vehicles that use rocket engines for propulsion.

Drag (physics)

dragaerodynamic dragair resistance
Due to atmospheric drag, the lowest altitude at which an object in a circular orbit can complete at least one full revolution without propulsion is approximately 150 km. This figure is mainly (~7.8 km/s) for horizontal acceleration needed to reach orbital speed, but allows for atmospheric drag (approximately 300 m/s with the ballistic coefficient of a 20 m long dense fueled vehicle), gravity losses (depending on burn time and details of the trajectory and launch vehicle), and gaining altitude.

Ballistic coefficient

G1 BCMayevski/Siacci
This figure is mainly (~7.8 km/s) for horizontal acceleration needed to reach orbital speed, but allows for atmospheric drag (approximately 300 m/s with the ballistic coefficient of a 20 m long dense fueled vehicle), gravity losses (depending on burn time and details of the trajectory and launch vehicle), and gaining altitude.

Gravity drag

gravity lossesgravitationalgravity losses.
This figure is mainly (~7.8 km/s) for horizontal acceleration needed to reach orbital speed, but allows for atmospheric drag (approximately 300 m/s with the ballistic coefficient of a 20 m long dense fueled vehicle), gravity losses (depending on burn time and details of the trajectory and launch vehicle), and gaining altitude.