As Space Shuttle Goes, Other Vehicles to Debut

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.