How do the overall dimensions, internal volume, mass of the various manned capsules being developed compare?

Apollo (as a good baseline)
Dragon V2

For bonus points, ISS cargo vehicles.

  • $\begingroup$ Minor nitpick: Dragon (v1) isn't a manned capsule. Only Dragon v2 will be. $\endgroup$ Feb 5, 2015 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ What about the Soviet Space Shuttle Buran? $\endgroup$
    – user15703
    Jun 8, 2016 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ @EugenioArpayoglou it wasn't a capsule. Only rocket bits that go on the top of stages and can take people count. $\endgroup$
    – kim holder
    Jun 8, 2016 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ @NateBarbettini: Dragon was originally planned to gain the ability to carry a crew. SpaceX even built a full-scale mockup. twitter.com/spacex/status/232146433833320449 $\endgroup$
    – rspeed
    Oct 23, 2018 at 23:49

2 Answers 2


Found a couple of good photos of at least three of the vehicles side by side.

CST-100 - Orion - Dragon

CST-100 - Orion - Dragon

Graphic of Apollo - Orion - CST-100 - Dragon

Apollo - Orion - CST-100 - Dragon

A great picture from User3, who found it on reddit, showing the various vehicles all side by side to scale.

Side by side of manned vehicles

Another good one, doing a better job of showing manned vs reentry vs service modules parts.

enter image description here

Great summary of the various vehicles with sizes and internal volumes:


Not to forget the Indian Orbital Vehicle, here it is laid out next to some other vehicles.

From Astronautix.com

From Astronautix.com

Then for the granddaddy of them all, how much of the shuttle is really crew space. (Really just a portion of the nose)>

Shuttle Crew Cabin enter image description here

A good infographic from Space.com has this image: enter image description here

That shows the relative sizes of Progress, Soyuz, ATV, and HTV at the bottom, overlain on a space shuttle.

This great Space.com infographic includes Dragon, Progress, Shenzou, ATV, and Orion: enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ One could add the Indian Orbital Vehicle which was test landed empty Dec.18,2014 Link2 It's 2.0 m diameter (if correct) is smaller than the crowded Soyuz' 2.2 m. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Feb 4, 2015 at 8:04
  • $\begingroup$ And maybe an illustration of the size of the crew cabin of the space shuttle. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Feb 4, 2015 at 8:13
  • $\begingroup$ "how much of the shuttle is really crew space" Wow, I had no clue it was so tiny as crew space goes. $\endgroup$
    – ceejayoz
    Feb 4, 2015 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ Shuttle was quite spacious -- especially when you added SpaceLab. $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Feb 4, 2015 at 21:35

Here's one more comparison of relative sizes of manned vehicles. https://i.sstatic.net/3ad7C.jpg

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Oooh! I like that one! Mind if I steal and merge it into my answer? I like how the manned component is drawn on the line, so you get a simple view of how big each trunk/service module is as well. (Shuttle notwithstanding). $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Feb 3, 2015 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ Had not realized how small Dream Chaser was compared to the Shuttle. $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Feb 4, 2015 at 1:24
  • $\begingroup$ Please do. I merely found this on the space subreddit this morning, and the clever person behind the picture is reddit.com/user/Tanchistu . Yeah, the Shuttle is pretty darn big. $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2015 at 2:07
  • $\begingroup$ It needs a second line in some cases. For example, Mercury's graphic includes the LAS. Voskhod's shows the airlock. Dream Chaser isn't all habitable. Nice start though. $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Feb 4, 2015 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Erik I think Dream Chaser is ok, this is not about habitably but the bits that come back. Good call on the rest. $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2017 at 22:03

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