Automated cargo spacecraft

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A collage of automated cargo spacecraft currently used to resupply the International Space Station

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

Cargo spacecraft have been used since 1978 and have serviced Salyut 6, Salyut 7, Mir and the International Space Station.


Current spacecraft

Defunct or retired projects

Spacecraft in development

  • a Chinese cargo craft based on Tiangong-1 that will have a maximum diameter of 3.35 meters and a launch weight less than 13 tons.[7]
  • A variant of the CST-100 crew transportation vehicle has been proposed by Boeing for cargo delivery.[8]
Unmanned resupply spacecraft comparison.png

Canceled projects

  • 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.[9][10]

See also


  1. Gunter's Space Page: Progress-M 1M - 10M (11F615A60, 7KTGM).
  2. "NASA Sets Briefing, TV Coverage of Japan's First Cargo Spacecraft". NASA. Retrieved 2009-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "F9/Dragon Will Replace the Cargo Transport Function of the Space Shuttle after 2010". SpaceX. 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2010-02-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Canadarm2 Captures Cygnus".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. ESA Automatic Transfer Vehicle<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Thales Alenia Space ATV & ISS Modules<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "The end of 2010 China will launch the "Temple" target spacecraft" (in Chinese). Xinhua. 2009-03-08. Retrieved 13 August 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Space News: Boeing Offers CST-100 for ISS Cargo Contract (16 December 2014)
  9. - Rocketplane Kistler Appeals NASA Decision to Terminate COTS Agreement (22 October 2007)
  10. Orbital Wins $171 Million Space Station Re-Supply Demo Deal (19 February 2008)