SPACE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS

Space Transportation Systems (STS) are the systems and architectures that deliver payloads and humans to outer space. Learn about space shuttles, rockets and other spacecraft.
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How Solar Sails Work

What is a solar sail? How can you use sunlight to move a spacecraft in outer space? In this article, HowStuffWorks will show you how solar sail technology works, take an in-depth look at the Cosmos-1 mission and find out what solar-sails mean for future space travel.

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  • 10 Crazy Evil Spacecraft
    10 Crazy Evil Spacecraft

    Plenty of them scare the pants off us, like the space hulks from the Warhammer 40K universe. If we ever glimpse one of these 10 malevolent starships entering the Earth's atmosphere, we will run screaming in the other direction. We promise. See more »

  • 10 Fictional Spacecraft We Wish Were Real
    10 Fictional Spacecraft We Wish Were Real

    In honor of Douglas Adams and galactic hitchhikers everywhere, we submit this list of 10 spacecraft that we hopelessly pine for. Mindboggingly beautiful! See more »

  • Endeavour’s Last Voyage
    Endeavour’s Last Voyage

    Space shuttle Endeavour’s final trek is a two-mile trip over land to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, Calif. To commemorate the journey, HowStuffWorks takes a look at some of mankind’s greatest lifting, moving and hauling feats. See more »

  • How did Lockheed win NASA's Orion contract?
    How did Lockheed win NASA's Orion contract?

    How did Lockheed win the Orion contract over the manned-space-experts Grumman and Boeing? Check out some of the expert speculation. See more »

  • How Lunar Rovers Work
    How Lunar Rovers Work

    Driving on Earth is tough enough. What happens when you throw in craters, unexpected solar events and backseat driving from your fellow astronauts while you bump over the moon? See more »

  • How Rocket Engines Work
    How Rocket Engines Work

    Believe it or not, the hardest part of space exploration is getting a spaceship off the ground. Explore the basics of propulsion and learn about both solid-fuel and liquid-fuel rocket engines. See more »

  • How Solar Sail Technology Works
    How Solar Sail Technology Works

    What is a solar sail? How can you use sunlight to move a spacecraft in outer space? In this article, HowStuffWorks will show you how solar sail technology works, take an in-depth look at the Cosmos-1 mission and find out what solar-sails mean for future space travel. See more »

  • How Solar Sails Work
    How Solar Sails Work

    What is a solar sail? How can you use sunlight to move a spacecraft in outer space? In this article, HowStuffWorks will show you how solar sail technology works, take an in-depth look at the Cosmos-1 mission and find out what solar-sails mean for future space travel. See more »

  • How Space Shuttles Work
    How Space Shuttles Work

    In its nearly 30-year history, the space shuttle program has seen exhilarating highs and devastating lows. Learn all about the space shuttle program. See more »

  • How Space Stations Work
    How Space Stations Work

    Imagine waking up in the morning, looking out your window and seeing the planet Earth below you. What would it be like to live in space? Find out all about the International Space Station. See more »

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