Cargo spacecraft

Cargo spacecraft are robotic spacecraft that are designed to carry cargo, possibly to support space stations' operation by transporting food, propellant and other supplies. This is different from space probes, whose missions are to conduct scientific investigations.

A collage of automated cargo spacecraft used in the past or present to resupply the International Space Station

Automated cargo spacecraft have been used since 1978 and have serviced Salyut 6, Salyut 7, Mir, the International Space Station and Tiangong space laboratory.


Current spacecraftEdit

Defunct or retired projectsEdit

Spacecraft in developmentEdit

Canceled projectsEdit

  • The American private-sector Kistler K-1 from Rocketplane Kistler saw its contract with NASA terminated in October 2007 when the company failed to meet objectives. The contract was re-awarded to Orbital Sciences Corporation.[14][15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gunter's Space Page: Progress-M 1M - 10M (11F615A60, 7KTGM).
  2. ^ "F9/Dragon Will Replace the Cargo Transport Function of the Space Shuttle after 2010". SpaceX. 2008-12-23. Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  3. ^ "Canadarm2 Captures Cygnus".
  4. ^ "China launches its first unmanned cargo spacecraft". 2017-04-20. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
  5. ^ ESA Automatic Transfer Vehicle
  6. ^ Thales Alenia Space ATV & ISS Modules, archived from the original on 2010-07-06
  7. ^ "NASA Sets Briefing, TV Coverage of Japan's First Cargo Spacecraft". NASA. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  8. ^ Berger, Eric (29 September 2019). "Elon Musk, Man of Steel, reveals his stainless Starship". Ars Technica. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  9. ^ Lawler, Richard (20 November 2018). "SpaceX BFR has a new name: Starship". Engadget. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  10. ^ Boyle, Alan (19 November 2018). "Goodbye, BFR … hello, Starship: Elon Musk gives a classic name to his Mars spaceship". GeekWire. Retrieved 22 November 2018. Starship is the spaceship/upper stage & Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth’s deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)
  11. ^ "Starship". SpaceX. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  12. ^ "NASA Awards International Space Station Cargo Transport Contracts". January 14, 2016.
  13. ^ Jonathan Amos (29 July 2020). "Airbus to build 'first interplanetary cargo ship'". Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  14. ^ - Rocketplane Kistler Appeals NASA Decision to Terminate COTS Agreement (22 October 2007)
  15. ^ Orbital Wins $171 Million Space Station Re-Supply Demo Deal (19 February 2008)