A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air craft whose lift is generated not by wing motion relative to the aircraft, but by forward motion through the air. The term is used to distinguish from rotary-wing aircraft or ornithopters, where the movement of the wing surfaces relative to the aircraft generates lift. The more commonly used term is "airplane", (in the US and Canada), or "aeroplane" (in Ireland and Commonwealth nations excluding Canada), which refers to any fixed wing aircraft powered by propellers or jet engines. Fixed-wing aircraft may be manned or not; they may be large or tiny; every fixed-wing aircraft is open to being scale modeled by perhaps a smaller or larger mimic fixed wing aircraft.
An aircraft is a vehicle which is able to fly through the Earth's atmosphere or through any other atmosphere. Most rocket vehicles are not aircraft because they are not supported by the surrounding air. All the human activity which surrounds aircraft is called aviation.
A spacecraft is a vehicle or device designed for spaceflight. On a sub-orbital spaceflight, a spacecraft enters outer space but then returns to the planetary surface (such as Earth) without making a complete orbit. For an orbital spaceflight, a spacecraft enters a closed orbit around the planetary body. Spacecraft used for human spaceflights carry people on board as crew or passengers. Spacecraft used for robotic space missions operate either autonomously or telerobotically. Robotic spacecraft that leave the vicinity of the planetary body are space probes. Robotic spacecraft that remain in orbit around the planetary body are artificial satellites. Starships, which are built for interstellar travel, are so far a theoretical concept only. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and space tourism.
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