List of crewed spacecraft

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This is a list of crewed spacecraft types, including space stations, sorted by status, nation and series in chronological order.

Comparison[edit]

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

Current Crewed Spacecraft[edit]

Soyuz-TMA spacecraft

Russia[edit]

  • Soyuz (1967–present) 3 person Earth orbital spacecraft;[1] Early versions were operated by the Soviet Union and later versions by Russia after 1991. As of June 2018 Soyuz has made 137 crewed spaceflights, including 1 emergency sub-orbital flight (Soyuz 18a). 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 more times than any other spacecraft, including the Space Shuttle.[2]

China[edit]

  • Shenzhou (2003–present) 3 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]

Current Space Stations[edit]

International Space Station

International[edit]

  • International Space Station (2000–present). Low earth orbit modular space station. The International Space Station is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA.[4] Uncrewed initial assembly 1998-2000. Continuously crewed since November 2000. As of June 2018 ISS has been visited by 92 crewed spacecraft (57 Soyuz and 35 Space Shuttle). The ISS is the largest space station yet constructed. Planned to operate until 2024, with a possible extension to 2028.[5]

China[edit]

  • Tiangong 2 (2016–present). Low earth orbit space station. China's second space station. Visited by one crew in 2016. Currently unoccupied. Not expected to receive further crews as China is scheduled to begin construction of a new modular space station in 2020.[6]

Former Crewed Spacecraft[edit]

Soviet Union[edit]

United States[edit]

Apollo 17 CSM orbiting the Moon.
  • Mercury (1961–1963) single-person Earth orbital spacecraft[12] 6 flights (including 2 sub-orbital). Mercury was the United States first crewed spacecraft. On 05 May 1961 Mercury-Redstone 3 carried the first American, Alan Shepard, into space on a sub-orbital flight. On 20 February 1962 Mercury-Atlas 6 carried the first American, John Glenn, into earth orbit.[13]
  • Gemini (1965–1966) 2 person Earth orbital spacecraft[14] 10 flights. On 3 June 1965 Ed White made America's first spacewalk, from Gemini 4.[15]
  • Apollo (1968-1975) 3 person Lunar capable spacecraft. 15 flights; including 9 lunar missions (with 6 lunar landings). It was the Apollo spacecraft that enabled America to win the Space Race. In December 1968 Apollo 8 was the first crewed spacecraft to orbit the moon. On 21 July 1969 Neil Armstrong, Commander of Apollo 11, became the first human being to walk on the moon.[16] The Apollo Spacecraft comprised
  • Space Shuttle (1981–2011) 8 person Earth orbital spacecraft; first orbit-capable spaceplane; first partially reusable orbital spacecraft. 135 flights were made in 5 shuttles; Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, of which 2 (Challenger and Columbia) were accidentally destroyed resulting in the deaths of 14 astronauts during missions STS-51-L and STS-107.[19]

Suborbital[edit]

Former Space Stations[edit]

Soviet/Russia[edit]

  • Salyut series (1971–1991). Low earth orbit space stations. [22] Salyut 1 (1971), Salyut 4 (1974-1977), Salyut 6 (1977-1982), and Salyut 7 (1982-1991). All now de-orbited.[23]
  • Almaz series (1973–1977) Military reconnaissance low earth orbit space stations. Badged as Salyut 3 (1974-1975), and Salyut 5 (1976-1977) as disinformation. Both now de-orbited.[23]
  • Mir (1986–2000). Low earth orbit space station. The first modular space station in history. 28 crews. Mir was visited by 29 Soyuz and 7 Space Shuttle missions. De-orbited 2001.[24]

United States[edit]

  • Skylab (1973–1974) Low earth orbit space station. First United States space station. Three crews. De-orbited 1979.[25]

China[edit]

  • Tiangong 1 (2011–2012). Low earth orbit space station. China's first space station. 2 crews. De-orbited 2018.[26]

Crewed Spacecraft - In development[edit]

Dragon 2 spacecraft conducting a propulsive hover test
Artist's impression of the Big Falcon Spaceship on the Jovian moon Europa.


Dreamchaser on the day of its initial captive carry test

United States[edit]

Sub-orbital[edit]

  • Blue Origin's New Shepard - a 6 person capsule mounted on a reusable vertical launch sub-orbital rocket aimed at the space tourism market. As of April 2018 there have been 8 successful uncrewed flights since 2015 (2 atmospheric & 6 sub-orbital), with 7 successful rocket booster landings. First crewed test-flight expected in 2019.[35]
  • Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo - an 8 person air-launched suborbital space plane aimed at the space tourism market. On 31 October 2014 during a test flight, VSS Enterprise, the first SpaceShipTwo craft, broke up in flight and crashed in the Mojave desert.[36][37][38][39] One pilot was killed[40][41] The second SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, VSS Unity, was unveiled on 19 February 2016.[42][43] The new vehicle is undergoing flight testing with powered test flights in the atmosphere re-started in 2018.[44]

China[edit]

  • 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 2020.[46]

Russia[edit]

  • RSSC - a reusable sub-orbital space complex, currently being developed by a private company KosmoKurs. First flight planned for 2021.[47][48]
  • Federatsiya - a 4 person Lunar capable spacecraft. First crewed flight planned for 2024.[49]

India[edit]

  • Gaganyaan - a 3 person Earth orbital spacecraft intented to be the first spacecraft under Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. Gaganyaan is capable of operating at Low Earth orbit for 7 days. The upgraded version will be equipped with rendezvous and docking capabilities. First crewed flight planned in 2022.

Japan[edit]

  • A sub-orbital rocket plane currently being developed by PD Aerospace. First flight planned for 2020 and fully operational by 2023.[50]

United Kingdom[edit]

  • Skylon - an unpiloted reusable space plane with possible passenger module (engine in development).[51]

Space stations in development[edit]

Mockup of Bigelow's Space Station

See also[edit]

Apollo 11 Lunar Module

References[edit]

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Sources[edit]