A few decades ago, we used to think that spacewalk or space tourism is challenging for us, and it will cost a lot of money. But since SpaceX (the private space company) has sent two NASA astronauts into space by using its reusable rocket Falcon 9 and the Crew’s Dragon capsule, it would not be wrong to say that a common man would be able to travel to Space with his family on holiday.
SpaceX has also revealed their future spacecraft, Starship, that will take humans to Earth orbit, Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Since the development of future spaceships is so fast, we will travel the Space in around 10 years. Looking at today’s space race between private companies, I think 10 years is too much for space travel.
Multiple Future Spacecraft companies (some of them backed by billionaire investors) are now ready to take astronauts and tourists into Space. Everyone has their innovative flight concepts and ideas, and out of all these, people will like the one whose content and facilities will be better than others.
However, not only private companies, there are other government companies like NASA, which are preparing to build a futuristic spaceship. Therefore, this universe can be better known and understood, and we can find other civilizations like ours. So, let’s start our journey to learn about the list of all future spaceships.
Operator: SpaceX (On Funded Mission with Nasa)
Spacecraft type: Fully reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle
Status: In development
Operational Date: 2021 (planned)
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, aims to send 10 million people to Mars by 2050. In September 2019, Elon Musk unveiled the first iteration of a next-generation future spacecraft, “Starship.” Elon Musk hopes that Starship and the super-heavy rocket will be the way to get there, and now he will achieve the daunting task of colonizing the red planet and making humans’ multi-planetary’.
SpaceX’s future spacecraft “Starship” is a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Starship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, with the ability to carry more than 100 metric tonnes to Earth orbit.
SpaceX chooses stainless steel instead of Carbon-Fibre for the rocket’s exterior material because it is lighter and can withstand higher temperatures than materials such as composites.
The fully powered starship system is of two stages. The first stage is super-heavy, this is the booster phase needed to survive Earth’s deep gravity, and the second phase is the Starship, which is the main spacecraft.
The Starship has six Raptors, but the real power behind this transport system comes from the super-heavy rocket, which has thirty-seven Raptor engines.
The Raptor engine is a reusable methalox staged-combustion engine that powers the Starship launch system. The raptor is 1.3 M in diameters and has a height of 3.1 M with 2 MN / 440 Klbf Thrust.
In its final iteration, the combined Starship and the Super Heavy will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, with the size 122 m (400 ft) in height, 9 m in diameter, and 5,000,000 kg in Mass. Also, it is the best and advanced among all future spaceships.
2. SpaceShip Two
Manufacturer: Scaled Composites and Spaceship Company
Operator: Virgin Galactic
Spacecraft type: Air-launched space plane
Status: Flight Testing
Operational Date: 2021 (Delayed)
The Scaled Composites Model 339 SpaceShipTwo (SS2) is a reusable air-launched suborbital future spacecraft designed to carry eight people (including two pilots) into Space safely and with high frequency for space tourism. Virgin Galactic plans to operate a fleet of five SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes for short tourist trips to suborbital Space, for a ticket price of US$250,000.
SpaceShipTwo’s crew cabin is 3.7 m (12 ft) long and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) in diameter. The wingspan is 8.2 m (27 ft), the length is 18 m (60 ft), and the tail height is 4.6 m (15 ft).
SpaceShipTwo is powered by a hybrid rocket motor – combining elements of solid rockets and liquid rocket engines. This future spacecraft looks like an airplane with exceptionally long wings that are bent up and back.
The craft is 60 feet long (18.3 meters) with a 27-foot (8.3 m) wingspan. It has a unique capability to change its shape in Space to ensure a repeatable safe re-entry by rotating its wings and tail booms upwards while in Space.
The spacecraft is carried by its mothership White Knight Two to an altitude of about 50,000 feet. At that point, the spacecraft’s rockets kick in the plane and reach a supersonic speed of 4,200 km/within 8 seconds.
After 70 seconds, the passengers will go to the edge of Space. After a short period when the passengers will experience weightlessness, and then the spacecraft glides back to Earth and will take 25 minutes to fly back to the spaceport, similar to NASA’s space shuttle.
3. Dream Chaser
Manufacturer: Sierra Nevada Corporation
Spacecraft type: Rocket-launched space plane
Status: In development
Operational Date: 2021 (planned)
The Dream Chaser is an American reusable lifting-body spaceplane developed by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems. It’s designed like an airplane, in which the lift is created from air pressure on the underside of its body, which is complete, flat, and occupied with heat resistant silica-based tiles and a new material called “TUFROC.”
This future spacecraft was designed to be launched atop an Atlas V rocket and land on a conventional runway, similar to NASA’s space shuttle. The Dream Chaser is a Lifting-Body spacecraft with Autonomous Launch, Flight, and Landing Capabilities, meaning it doesn’t even need a pilot like SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.
Originally intended as a crewed vehicle, the Dream Chaser Space System, to be produced after the cargo variant is operational, the cargo version of the car can carry 12,125 pounds (5,500 kilograms) of Pressurized and Unpressurized to the space station, and the crewed version can carry seven passengers, from the surface to lower-Earth orbit.
This future spaceship uses and non-toxic propellant, which lets it land anywhere in the world. Dream chaser will be utilizing SNC’s upper-stage vortex engine, which is low cost and uses less toxic fuel that can ignite at high attitudes.
And by using these features, Dream Chaser Will re-use for up to 15+ Times. As of August 2019, the first ISS flight of the Dream Chaser Demo-1 is planned for 2021 with a sit atop on ULA’s new launcher, the Vulcan Centaur rocket.
4. Lynx Mark 3
Manufacturer: XCOR Aerospace
Operator: XCOR Aerospace
Spacecraft type: Crewed suborbital launch and re-entry
Operational Date: Undisclosed and Tentative date
The XCOR Lynx is a suborbital horizontal-takeoff, horizontal-landing (HTHL), rocket-powered spaceplane that was under development by the California-based company XCOR Aerospace. It is a two-seat commercial reusable launch vehicle (RLV); it can carry a pilot, a ticketed passenger, a payload, or small satellites higher than 100km altitude for a suborbital flight at the cost of $150,000 per person.
It has four liquid rocket engines at the rear of the fuselage, burning a mixture of LOX-Kerosene, each engine producing 2,900 pounds-force (13,000 N) of thrust that can climb up to 200 thousand Feet. The space plane speeds along a runway under four rocket engines’ power and reaches Mach 2.9 as it flies straight upward.
The engines cut out about 3 minutes after takeoff. The craft follows a parabolic trajectory in suborbital Space. Lynx’s creators say the space plane will be able to make four flights a day. This future spacecraft does not need a rocket to lift into Space like other future spaceships.
In March 2011, XCOR introduced Lynx as a reusable launch vehicle to carry research payloads in response to NASA’s Suborbital Rejectable Launch Vehicle (sRLV) solicitation, which is part of NASA’s Flight Opportunity Program. But no contract was ever announced to provide it.
In May 2016, XCOR announced that the development of Lynx had been halted with layoffs of about a third of its workforce. Following the bankruptcy of XCOR Aerospace in 2017, the company’s assets were sold to the non-profit organization Build a Plane, which would focus on education rather than sub-flight.
Manufacturer: Reaction Engines Limited
Operator: Reaction Engines Limited (Funded By British government)
Status: Under development
Operational Date: 2025
Skylon is a single-stage-to-orbit future spacecraft by the British company Reaction Engines Limited (REL), using SABRE, a combined-cycle, air-breathing rocket propulsion system. The concept for designing the Skylon has tantalized engineers for decades.
The Skylon was developed from the British HOTOL project. With the ability to be re-used many times, at least 200 orbital flights per vehicle. It is a fully reusable single stage to orbit (SSTO) vehicle, capable of launching directly into Space from a ground-level like an airplane, without needing to discard any rocket boosters on the way.
The Skylon design is for a hydrogen-fuelled aircraft that would take off from a purpose-built runway and accelerate to Mach 5.4 at 26 kilometers (85,000 ft) altitude. It could carry 17 tonnes (37,000 lb) of cargo to an equatorial low Earth orbit (LEO), up to 11 tonnes (24,000 lb) to the International Space Station. Also, It has a Potential for more than 24 passengers in the SPLM.
The secret of this future spaceship is the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, or SABER, a combination jet engine and rocket. Initially, it “breathes” air, the way a jet engine works: igniting hydrogen fuel with oxygen in the atmosphere.
Once the air becomes too thin, it switches to using an onboard tank of oxygen. It is almost impossible to achieve this speed using current technology for any future spaceships. If reaction engines are successful, they may well revolutionize orbital transport soon.
Skylon’s initial goal is to provide a cargo transport system to transport goods to space stations by 2022, to modify the vehicle later to carry passengers. Skylon can get a pound of Mass to orbit between $686 and $1,230 per pound, depending on how optimistic the forecast. Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, Orion is NASA’s reusable spacecraft, which will be used for human deep space flight programs.
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin and Airbus Defence and Space
Spacecraft type: Crewed
Status: In production
Operational Date: 2021
Orion is NASA’s next future spacecraft to send humans into space. It’s a Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. It is designed to send astronauts into space ahead of the moon, to asteroids, and even to Mars. It is capable of supporting a crew of six beyond low Earth orbit. Orion can last up to 21 days undocked and up to six months docked in a quiescent mode, which will require crews to be supported by Space Habitat Modules for long-duration flights to distant targets.
It is equipped with solar panels designed after use in the Boeing 787 Dreamer, an automated docking system, and a glass cockpit interface. This future spacecraft consists of a gumdrop-shaped capsule and service module, which are approximately 26 feet (8 m) long with a diameter of 16.5 ft (5 m). The spacecraft’s habitable volume is 316 cubic feet (8.95 cubic meters), which is about 1.5 times larger than the Apollo spacecraft. It has a payload capacity of 220 lb (100 kg).
As of 2020, three Orion spacecraft are under construction, with an additional order placed for use in NASA’s Artemis program; The first of these is to be launched on Artemis 1 in 2021.
Orion uses the same basic configuration as Apollo’s CSM uses that previously carried astronauts to the moon, but with an increased diameter, updated thermal protection systems, and a host of other modern technologies.
The Orion spacecraft includes both crew and service modules, a spacecraft adapter, and an emergency launch abortive system. The European service module propels the spacecraft and stores oxygen and water for astronauts; Orion relies on solar power instead of fuel cells, allowing for longer missions.
Spacecraft type: Crewed capsule
Status: In Development and Testing
Operational Date: 2021
Boeing Starliner AKA Crew Space Transportation is an autonomous reusable crew space capsule developed by Boeing after winning a US$4.2 billion contract from NASA. The Boeing Starliner (CST-100 – Crew Space Transportation-100) is a crew capsule manufactured by Boeing after winning a US$4.2 billion contract from NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program.
Its primary purpose is to transport crew to the International Space Station (ISS) and to private space stations such as the proposed Bigelow Aerospace Commercial Space Station. The capsule has a diameter of 4.56 m, which is slightly larger than the Apollo command module and smaller than the Orion capsule. Unlike SpaceX Crew Dragon, which can only land in the ocean, starliner can land on solid ground using its parachute and airbag system. This landing allows quicker access to crew and cargo and makes turning around Capsule more efficient for other missions.
The Boeing Starliner holds a crew of up to seven people and is being designed to be able to remain in-orbit for up to seven months with the reusability of up to ten missions. It is designed to be compatible with four launch vehicles: Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9, and Vulcan.
The Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test (Un-Tested Flight) was launched on 20 December 2019 with the Atlas VN22 to fly to the International Space Station, deliver cargo and return safely. This test was to be performed to test its capabilities and safety. But the spacecraft will not dock with the space station after its autonomous flight-control system misfired shortly after the launch, putting Starliner in the wrong orbit. Two days after launch, after landing at White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico, the Boeing Starliner Calypso became the first crew-capable space capsule to make land-based touchdowns in the United States.
8. New Shepard
Manufacturer: Blue Origin
Operator: Blue Origin
Status: Active and Testing
Operational Date: 2021
New Shepard is named after the first American to go to space, Alan Shepard; it’s a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL), crew-rated suborbital launch vehicle developed by Blue Origin to take astronauts and research payloads past the space boundary, as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism. Blue Origin is owned and led by Amazon.com founder and businessman Jeff Bezos. The New Shepard is a fully reusable space vehicle composed of two major parts: a pressurized crew capsule and a booster rocket called Blue Origin, a propulsion module. New Shepard is controlled entirely by onboard computers, with no ground control or human pilots.
The New Shepard Crew capsule is a pressurized crew capsule that can carry six people and supports a “full-envelope” launch escape system that can separate the capsule from a booster rocket during ascent. The internal volume of the capsule is 15 cubic meters (530 cubic feet). The Crew Capsule Escape Solid Rocket Motor (CCE-SRM) is sourced from the Aerojet Rocketdyne. After detachment, two or three parachutes deployed. Just before landing, the retrorocket fires.
In 2011 the company released footage of a lozenge-shaped preliminary test vehicle, New Shepard, taking off vertically, hovering at an altitude of 548 feet, and then setting gently down. A booster with the ability to land under its own rocket power after separating from a capsule would trim the high cost of retrieving it from the ocean after splashdown.
The propulsion module propels the entire spacecraft off the launchpad. The pressurized crew capsule detaches and heads into space. The propulsion module’s main engine powers a vertical landing near the launch site. The capsule returns to Earth under a parachute.
These are the best future spaceships or spaceplanes, ready in a few years and fulfilling our space travel dream. This list is based on the spacecraft that will act like a spaceship in the future, and if we missed a probe that should have been in this list of the future spaceships, you could give us your suggestions in the comments.