As the shuttle retirement looms large, Michael Belfiore takes a look at seven spacecraft that are either flying or under development for sending passengers and cargo into Earth orbit.
On the crewed side, the vehicles include:
- China’s Shenzhou;
- SpaceX’s Dragon;
- India’s orbital vehicle;
- Bigelow’s Sundancer.
On the cargo side, the vehicles are:
- European’s Automated Transfer Vehicle;
- Japan’s H-II;
- Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus.
Belfiore doesn’t discuss the Russian Soyuz spacecraft or America’s Orion vehicle, which is set to begin operations in 2015.
Read the full story at Popular Mechanics.