This, my friends, is an image showing several of the most notable spacecraft we plucky human beings have created (and are busily creating) to date. The past, the present, and the ones that never quite made it. All spacecraft shown are to scale (assuming my sources were accurate). Because I felt I needed to exercise my graphic design muscles. And because, well, let’s face it – space ships are just inherently cool, aren’t they?
The only one I wasn’t certain of was “Rus”, officially named the Perspektivnaya Pilotiruemaya Transportnaya Sistema (PPTS) — Russia’s successor to the Soyuz (now officially the most successful spacecraft ever constructed). No information seems to be available on the exact size of it, so I had to estimate based on crew capacity and the size of the launch vehicle.
Wasn’t the Shuttle★ something? The largest and most sophisticated spacecraft ever crafted, and the only spaceplane ever built which successfully carried crew members into orbit. Of interest though, is Skylon. Intended to be a single stage spaceplane, it’s been drafted from the ashes of the troubled HOTOL concept from the 1980s. For now though, I fear I’ll have to remain optimistically skeptical on that one.
Oh… And if you feel like seriously geeking out, click here. I drew the others, so I thought I might as well!
★ I know, I know, the component of the shuttle shown here is technically the Space Shuttle Orbiter. The folks who work at NASA like it if you get that part right.
Images are Creative Commons Attribution Required —
Feel free to use them, as long as you link back here to me, ok?
DEFINITIVE EDIT– So firstly, thank you all for stopping by and commenting, and thanks to io9, Gizmodo and Boing Boing for featuring me! I have a couple of general things to say to the massive response these images have had…
So when I do re-make this graphic (which I shall), I have a list of things to fix/include:
- Soviet Buran (by popular request)
- Lunar Module
- Other space stations
- Unmanned craft (ATV, Progress, etc…)
- Sierra Nevada Dreamchaser (and other craft in development)
- Fix the size of the VentureStar
- Use the original Enterprise in future because no one likes the new one!
(No pun intended).