Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle was the first crewed spacecraft to land on the Moon (July 20, 1969).
Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle was the first crewed spacecraft to land on the Moon (July 20, 1969).

This is a list of all crewed spacecraft types that have flown into space, including sub-orbital flights above 80 km, Space Stations that have been visited by at least one crew, and spacecraft currently planned to operate with crew in the future.[1] It does not contain spacecraft that have only flown un-crewed and have retired from service, even if they were designed for crewed flight, such as Buran, or crewed flights by spacecraft below 80 km. There is some debate concerning the height at which space is reached (the Karman Line), the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) recognise 100 km, NASA, and the USAF recognise this as 50 miles (approx 80 km) - this article choses the latter, to include the widest possible definition.[2]

Since the first crewed spaceflight of Vostok 1 in 1961 there have been 13 types of spacecraft that have made crewed flights into space - nine American, three Russian, and one Chinese. There are currently five operational crewed spacecraft, which form the first part of the list below; the eight retired spacecraft types are listed in the next section; and crewed spacecraft currently in development are listed last. Space Stations are listed beneath each appropriate section, dates of operation reflect when the first and last crews visited, not when they were launched and deorbited. There are currently two space stations in orbit around Earth, the International Space Station and the Chinese Tiangong space station.

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.

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 (1967)

Main article: Soyuz (spacecraft)

Soyuz-TMA spacecraft
Soyuz-TMA spacecraft

Shenzhou (2003)

Main article: Shenzhou (spacecraft)

SpaceShipTwo (2018)

Main article: SpaceShipTwo

Crew Dragon (2020)

Main article: SpaceX Dragon 2

Crew Dragon Endeavour docked with the International Space Station.

New Shepard (2021)

Main article: New Shepard

Commercial Astronaut Audrey Powers views outside their window during her flight on New Shepard.
Commercial Astronaut Audrey Powers views outside their window during her flight on New Shepard.

Currently operational space stations

Main article: Space station

International Space Station (ISS) (2000)

Main article: International Space Station

International Space Station
International Space Station

Tiangong Space Station (2021)

Main article: Tiangong space station

Former crewed spacecraft

Vostok (1961–1963)

Main article: Vostok (spacecraft)

Mercury (1961–1963)

Main article: Project Mercury

X-15 (1962–1968)

Main article: North American X-15

Voskhod (1964–1965)

Main article: Voskhod (spacecraft)

Gemini (1965–1966)

Main article: Project Gemini

Apollo (1968–1975)

Main article: Apollo (spacecraft)

Apollo 17 CSM orbiting the Moon.
Apollo 17 CSM orbiting the Moon.

SpaceShipOne (2004)

Main article: SpaceShipOne

Space Shuttle (1981–2011)

Main article: Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle Challenger in orbit

Former space stations

Salyut (1971–1986)

Main article: Salyut program

Almaz (1974–1977)

Main article: Almaz

Skylab (1973–1974)

Main article: Skylab

Mir (1986–2000)

Main article: Mir

Tiangong program (2012–2016)

Main article: Tiangong program

Crewed spacecraft in development

Starliner

Main article: Boeing Starliner

Starliner performing a pad abort test in 2019
Starliner performing a pad abort test in 2019

Orion

Main article: Orion (spacecraft)

Starship

Main article: SpaceX Starship

Gaganyaan

Main article: Gaganyaan

New unnamed Chinese spacecraft

Main article: Chinese next-generation crewed spacecraft

Dream Chaser

Main article: Dream Chaser

Orel

Main article: Orel (spacecraft)

SpaceShip III

Main article: SpaceShip III

Crewed spacecraft (planned)

Space stations in development

Cancelled crewed spacecraft and space stations

See also

References

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Sources

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