One of the things that makes the Star Wars films so visually distinctive is the asymmetric spaceships, for example the Millennium Falcon below whose cockpit is located in the top right corner as perceived by the crew.
Are there any real-life spaceships that have their cockpit or control center on the side of the spaceship as perceived by the crew? If not, has there ever been a serious design for such a ship?
The Space Shuttle arguably has a cockpit on the top, but it is still has bilateral symmetry along the right-left axis as perceived by the crew, and also matches traditional aircraft design in terms of cockpit placement. I'm more interested in whether the idea of a "cockpit on the side" design is truly the realm of science fiction.
The term "serious" can have some "good subjective" nuances, so I leave reasonable interpretation to the reader or answerer. Generally, I would consider a design "serious" if it meets any of the following criteria:
- Was proposed by a major aerospace contractor (e.g. Lockheed, Boeing, etc.) in response to some RFP.
- Was the subject of a peer-reviewed academic article.
- Was seriously considered by a national space agency, even if ultimately rejected.
- Had a full-size and/or flyable prototype made, even if the prototype never flew or was capable only of flight in the atmosphere.
Designs that appear only in science fiction works or that were the result of idle doodling would not normally be considered serious under my definition.