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Advantages disadvantages unmanned spacecraft or space probe

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of unmanned spacecraft or space probe. It mentions advantages of unmanned spacecraft and disadvantages of unmanned spacecraft or space probe.

Definition: The spacecraft without people or man on board is known as unmanned spacecraft. The unmanned spacecrafts have varying levels of human intervention. They are remotely controlled or remotely guided or autonomous. In autonomous mode of spacecraft, it performs previously defined operations and provide the results to the earth. Unmanned spacecraft is also known as space probe due to its space related functions.

There are many unmanned spacecrafts launched for exploration of our solar system. They were aimed to study Mars, Venus and other celestial bodies moving around the Earth. The researchers were exploring these planets for many things including capability to sustain human life.


Galileo-Unmanned Spacecraft

The figure-1 depicts Galileo to examine atmospheric conditions of Jupiter planet. It conducted observation on various moons of the Jupiter. Following are the few of the many unmanned spacecrafts launched by researchers in the space.
• Lunar probe: LCROSS (launched by US)
• Mars Probe: Phoenix (NASA lander), Mars Science lab (NASA rover)
• Venus Probe: Magellan probe (US)
• Gas giant probe: Cassini- Huygens, Galileo probe (ended operations in 2003)

Advantages of unmanned spacecraft or space probe

Following are the advantages of unmanned spacecraft or space probe:
➨It is cheaper.
➨It can overcome any harsh atmospheric conditions.
➨It is less dangerous.
➨It is not required to carry human provisions such as food, oxygen or water.
➨It is very useful to collect information from space such as temperature, water, magnetic field radiation etc.

Disadvantages of unmanned spacecraft or space probe

Following are the disadvantages of unmanned spacecraft or space probe:
➨It can be remotely controlled and hence can be operated by unauthorized person.
➨As it operates in the space, it takes longer time for radio signals to travel from space to the Earth. This will delay analysis time.
➨It does not provide much flexibility.
➨It has limited maintanence provision and hence shorten its life time.

Also refer advantages and disadvantages of Satellite communication >>.

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