America Launches Its First Spaceship in Years

If everything goes according to plan today, the United States will launch its first spacecraft in almost a decade. Humanity has had eight spacecraft in total. The first was launched in 1961.

If SpaceX succeeds in launching its Dragon capsule today, it will bring the total spacecraft to nine. The launch is scheduled for 4:32pm, eastern time from the Kennedy Space Center. Of course the schedule can change depending on weather condition.

There is some debate on how many spaceship types humanity has launched. Some have argued that SpaceShipOne should be considered. Others have argued that the X-15 should be considered a spaceship as well.

The Lunar Module may be considered a spacecraft as well, but it was only capable of transporting men from the Apollo spacecraft to the lunar surface and back again. It did not have the capability to return its crew back to Earth safely. Apollo 13 used the Lunar Module to return its crew safely, but as an extension of the Apollo spacecraft. However, it was the Apollo spacecraft that safely delivered the astronauts back the Earth. For that reason, the Lunar Module is an extension of the Apollo spacecraft an not a spacecraft on its own.

Those are arguments that should be had over drinks. For now, we should considered spaceships to be vessels that are crewed and used for space travel.

Enjoy this infographic of Earth spaceships while we wait for the launch.

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