List of crewed spacecraft

Summary

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Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle was the first crewed spacecraft to land on the Moon.

Crewed spacecraft are designed to support human life for the human spaceflight portion of the mission. Spacecraft for human spaceflight must have a human-rating certification as fit for purpose. Crewed spacecraft must have a breathable atmosphere, pressurised (usually between 345 mbar and 1 bar (1 atmosphere)); and be temperature-regulated (usually 20 to 24 °C (68 to 75 °F)). Crewed spacecraft include space capsules, spaceplanes, and space stations. This is a list of past, present, and future spacecraft designed for human spaceflight.

Comparison

Scaled comparison of crewed spacecraft, including names, manufacturers, and dates of operation
Scaled comparison of crewed spacecraft, including names, manufacturers, and dates of operation

Currently operational crewed spacecraft

Soyuz-TMA spacecraft

Soyuz (1967)

  • Russian - three person Earth orbital spacecraft;[1] Early versions were operated by the Soviet Union and later versions by Russia after 1991. As of October 2020, Soyuz has made 144 crewed spaceflights, including two emergency sub-orbital flights, Soyuz 18a and Soyuz MS-10. There have been 2 accidental spacecraft losses resulting in the deaths of four cosmonauts, Soyuz 1 and Soyuz 11. Soyuz is the only spacecraft to have successfully saved the lives of a crew using the rocket launch escape system, when in 1983 Soyuz T-10-1 exploded on the launchpad. This spacecraft type has flown into space more times than any other spacecraft, including the Space Shuttle.[2]

Shenzhou (2003)

  • Chinese three person Earth orbital spacecraft. 6 flights as of April 2018. Shenzhou is China's first crewed spacecraft. On 13 October 2003, Yang Liwei was carried into space by Shenzhou 5 becoming China's first Taikonaut.[3]

SpaceShipTwo (2018)

Crew Dragon (2020)

  • United States seven person Earth orbital spacecraft designed by SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station under the NASA Commercial Crew Contract (CCDev). As of November 2020, Crew Dragon has made 2 crewed spaceflights. Crew Dragon is capable of operating beyond Earth orbit. The first crewed flight, Crew Dragon Demo-2, launched on 30 May 2020 and returned to Earth on 2 August 2020. This was the first time an American spacecraft had sent astronauts to orbit since the final Space Shuttle flight in July 2011.[11] The first operational flight of the Crew Dragon launched on 15 November 2020 with SpaceX Crew-1, making it the only reusable orbital crewed spacecraft currently in operation.

Currently operational space stations

International Space Station (ISS) (2000)

International Space Station
  • Multinational low Earth orbit modular space station. The International Space Station is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, European Space Agency (ESA), and Canadian Space Agency (CSA).[12] Uncrewed initial assembly 1998–2000. Continuously crewed since November 2000. As of May 2020, ISS has been visited by 98 crewed spacecraft (62 Soyuz, 35 Space Shuttle, and 1 Crew Dragon). The ISS is the largest space station yet constructed. Planned to operate until 2028, with a possible extension to 2030.[13]

Former crewed spacecraft

Vostok (1961–1963)

Mercury (1961–1963)

X-15 (1962–1968)

  • United States single seat, air-launched sub-orbital spaceplane; two X-15 flights above the 100 km Kármán line occurred in 1963, an additional 11 flights between 1962 and 1968 reached altitudes between 80–100 km which were recognised as spaceflights by U.S. authorities.[19]

Voskhod (1964–1965)

Gemini (1965–1966)

Apollo (1968–1975)

Apollo 17 CSM orbiting the Moon.

Space Shuttle (1981–2011)

SpaceShipOne (2004)

Former space stations

Salyut (1971–1991)

Almaz (1973–1977)

  • Soviet military reconnaissance low Earth orbit space stations. Badged as Salyut 3 (1974-1975), and Salyut 5 (1976-1977) as disinformation. Both were deorbited.[30]

Skylab (1973–1974)

  • United States low Earth orbit space station. First United States space station. Three crews. It was deorbited in 1979.[31]

Mir (1986–2000)

  • Soviet/Russian low Earth orbit modular space station. The first modular space station in history. Twenty-eight crews. Mir was visited by 29 Soyuz and 7 Space Shuttle missions, and was deorbited in 2001.[32]

Tiangong 1 (2012–2013)

  • Chinese low Earth orbit space station. China's first space station launched in 2011. Visited by two crews. It was deorbited in 2018.

Tiangong 2 (2016-2019)

  • Chinese low Earth orbit space station. China's second space station. Launched in 2016. Visited by one crew. It was deorbited in 2019.

Crewed spacecraft in development

New Shepard

  • United States six person capsule mounted on a reusable vertical launch sub-orbital rocket aimed at the space tourism market. As of January 2021, there have been 14 successful uncrewed flights since 2015, with 13 successful rocket booster landings. First crewed test-flight expected in 2021.[33]

Starliner

Starliner performing a pad abort test in 2019
  • United States seven person Earth orbital spacecraft designed to transport astronauts to the International Space Station under the NASA Commercial Crew Program. Following several technical problems on the first uncrewed test flight in December 2019, a second uncrewed test flight will be flown in March 2021, with the first crewed flight expected in summer 2021.[34]

New unnamed Chinese spacecraft

  • Chinese replacement for Shenzhou is a six-person lunar capable spacecraft. An uncrewed flight took place on 5 May 2020, with a crewed flight possible by 2021. Initial flights will be to the new Chinese space station, lunar missions are expected in the 2030s.[35]

Starship

  • Planned to be a fully reusable interplanetary spacecraft capable of carrying 100 passengers or cargo. Primarily designed for Mars missions it is to be capable of landing on all rocky planets or moons in the Solar System except Venus.[36] For Earth launches Starship will need a two-stage configuration with the addition of a powerful first stage booster called Super-Heavy. Flights from all other planetary bodies will not require a first stage booster. Starship will require refuelling in Earth orbit to enable it to reach other Solar System destinations, so there will be three distinct Crew, Cargo and Tanker variants [37][38] Uncrewed test flights commenced in 2020 from Boca Chica, Texas. A private crewed mission to slingshot around the Moon, the dearMoon project, is planned for 2023.[39] A version of Starship is being designed as one of three candidates for NASA's Human Landing System for NASA's Artemis program, with a view to land on the Moon by 2024.[40]

Orion

Gaganyaan

  • A three-person Earth orbital spacecraft intended to be the first crewed spacecraft of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. Gaganyaan will be capable of operating at low Earth orbit for up to 7 days. The upgraded version will be equipped with rendezvous and docking capabilities. Its first crewed flight is planned for 2022 and four Indian astronauts have begun flight training in Russia.[41]

Dream Chaser

  • United States seven person Earth orbital space plane.[42] An uncrewed cargo version is scheduled to fly in space in 2021, and a crewed version is planned to fly by 2025.[43]

Orel

  • Russian four person lunar-capable spacecraft to enable the retirement of Soyuz. The first crewed flight is planned for 2025.[44]

Integrated Lander Vehicle

Dynetics Human Landing System

SpaceShip III

Crewed spacecraft (planned)

  • Chinese reusable Lift-body Launcher - China plans to launch its reusable spaceplane in 2021, according to a statement from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.[45]
  • Chinese winged rocket - the plane may one day fly up passengers to the edge of space. Two versions: one should be able to fly five people to an altitude of 100 kilometres; other - could fly 20 people to 130 kilometres. Payload launches in 2021.[46]
  • RSSC - a Russian reusable sub-orbital space complex, currently being developed by a private company KosmoKurs. First flight planned for 2021.[47][48]
  • Japanese sub-orbital rocket plane currently being developed by PD AeroSpace. First flight planned for 2021 and fully operational by 2024.[49]
  • Selena - NPO Aerospace Technologies (НПО «Авиационно-космические технологии») suborbital, space yacht.[50]
  • Thunderstar - a 12-metre crewed rocket for one person.[51]

Space stations in development

Mockup of Bigelow's Space Station

See also

References

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  5. ^ Foust, Jeff (31 October 2014). "SpaceShipTwo Destroyed in Fatal Test Flight Accident". SpaceNews. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
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  34. ^ "Boeing to Refly Automated Starliner Flight Test – Parabolic Arc".
  35. ^ "This Is China's New Spacecraft to Take Astronauts to the Moon (Photos)". Space.com.
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  39. ^ November 2019, Mike Wall 19. "SpaceX's Starship May Start Flying Moon Missions in 2022". Space.com.
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Sources

  • Gatland, Kenneth (1976). Manned Spacecraft (2nd ed.). New York City: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN 0-02-542820-9.