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