To be spacefaring is to be capable of and active in space travel or space transport, the operation of spacecraft or spaceplanes. It involves a knowledge of a variety of topics and development of specialised skills including: aeronautics; astronautics; programs to train astronauts; space weather and forecasting; ship-handling and small craft handling; operation of various equipment; spacecraft design and construction; atmospheric takeoff and reentry; orbital mechanics (a.k.a. astrodynamics); communications; engines and rockets; execution of evolutions such as towing, micro-gravity construction, and space docking; cargo handling equipment, dangerous cargoes and cargo storage; spacewalking; dealing with emergencies; survival at space and first aid; fire fighting; life support. The degree of knowledge needed within these areas is dependent upon the nature of the work and the type of vessel employed. “Spacefaring” is analogous to seafaring.
Until now, there has never been a crewed mission outside the Earth–Moon system. However, the United States, Russia, China, European Space Agency countries, and a few corporations and enterprises have plans in various stages to travel to Mars
Spacefaring entities can be both sovereign states and private corporations. Spacefaring nations are those capable of independently building and launching craft into space. A growing number of private entities have become or are becoming space faring.