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Are spaceships real?

Are spaceships real?
Jack Armstrong from Tyne and Wear (Age 5-14)

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One Response

  1. Yes and no!
    Spaceships have been part of science fiction since the days of Jules Verne and similar 19th Century writers but many of the ideas in stories either would not work or have not been made to work yet. The word ‘spaceship’ suggests a craft or vessel that floats similarly to a sea ship or an airship and that would be difficult in space which is almost a comlete vacuum. However there are plenty of examples of spacecraft perhaps the most famous of which is the Space Shuttle. Spacecraft are propelled into outer space by rockets. where they either make part of an orbit around the planet before being pulled back down by gravity or continue to orbit as artificial satelites (the Moon is a natural satelite). Space probes continue away from the Earth and can travel for many years towards and past other planets. So the Tardis (Dr Who)and the USS Enterprise (Star Trek) are not real but Vostock (Soviet Union) and Apollo (United States) are real.
    Some peaple believe they have seen spacecraft from other planets such as Mars. These are usually called unidentified flying objects or UFO’s and can often be explained by tricks of the light at night for example when an escaped party balloon is lit up by a street light.
    In 1865 Jules Verne wrote ‘From the Earth to the Moon’ which included many similarities to the Apollo program of the 1960’s.

    Peter Halford, Science and Technology Teacher, Imperial War Museum Duxford.

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