This article provides an overview of launch service providers SpaceX, Roscosmos, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and Boeing; specifically focusing on human spaceflight systems and flight profiles.
The Virgin Galactic spaceflight system consists of a large aircraft called the Virgin Mothership (VMS) which carries the passenger carrying spacecraft called the Virgin Spaceship (VSS). Each VSS carries 2 crew and 6 passengers. Both the VMS and VSS are reusable. The VSS must have its rocket engine replaced after every flight.
The flight profile for Virgin Galactic is illustrated below.
The Blue Origin spaceflight system consists of a Crew Capsule and a Propulsion Module (also known as a Booster). The Crew Capsule can carry 6 passengers. Both the Crew Capsule and the Propulsion Module are reusable.
The flight profile of the Blue Origin spaceflight system is illustrated below.
The SpaceX spaceflight system consists of a Crew Dragon capsule and a Falcon 9 booster. The capsule and the first stage of the booster are both reusable.
The flight profile for the SpaceX spaceflight system is illustrated below.
The Roscosmos Soyuz spaceflight system consists of a Soyuz MS crew capsule and Soyuz-2.1a booster. The crew capsule can carry 2 passengers and 1 crew. The spaceflight system is not reusable and both components must be built for each launch.
The Boeing spaceflight system consists of a CST – 100 Starliner crew capsule and an Atlas V booster. The Boeing CST – 100 Starliner can carry up to 7 passengers. The crew capsule is reusable, however the booster is expendable.
The flight profile of the Boeing Starliner is illustrated below.