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flight beyond Earth's atmosphere. This article deals with the basic concepts associated with the launch and return of unmanned and manned spacecraft and their travel, navigation, and rendezvous and docking in space. For the development of space travel and discussions of spacecraft and space programs and their contributions to scientific knowledge and human welfare, see space exploration. For the development and technology of rocket propulsion, see rocket. For details on rocket systems used to propel spacecraft beyond Earth's atmosphere, see launch vehicle.