BARIS Spacecraft in Real Life


This is a chart showing the manned spacecraft in BARIS and displaying the historical craft, or their closest equivalents.  The BARIS images are taken from the project buildings (where you assign 'nauts to teams).  Clicking on the Historical images will take you to my source for those photos.

About the sexist writing: I've been very precise about using "man" versus "person".  Many of these spacecraft were flown with only male crews, and those are labeled "One-man", "Two-man", etc.; the rest use "person".  Similarly, I've been careful about crew capacity: Apollo always flew with three crew members, for instance, while Soyuz has flown with 1, 2, or 3 cosmonauts aboard, depending on the mission.

In GameDescriptionHistorical
United States
Mercury CapsuleMercury
One-man capsule, begun in 1959.  Six manned missions flown--two suborbital, four orbital--from 1961 to 1963.  Accomplished the first manned spaceflights for the US.
Boilerplate Mercury Capsule
Gemini CapsuleGemini
Two-man capsule begun in 1961, based on Mercury.  Ten manned missions flown from 1965 to 1966.  Had maneuvering and docking capability, though docking required an adapter.  EVA required depressurizing the cabin.  Accomplished duration and docking milestones.  Was proposed as a lunar vehicle.
Gemini Capsule in orbit
Apollo CapsuleApollo
Three-man capsule, begun in 1961.  Twelve manned missions flown from 1968 to 1972, plus the three Skylab missions in 1973 and Apollo-Soyuz in 1975.  Had ability to maneuver, dock, and allowed EVA through a built-in airlock.  Accomplished lunar lander tests, lunar orbitals, and of course lunar landings.  A series of space projects was planned, using equipment based on Apollo (the Apollo Applications Program), but Skylab was the only one to be realized.
Apollo Capsule in lunar orbit
XMS-2 Minishuttle in BARIS (actually taken from pictures of them M2-F2)XMS-2
Hypothesized (by BARIS designers) improved version of the X-20 Dyna-Soar (1957-63), but not military and with a lunar capability.  Bears some resemblance to the Lunex proposal (1958), except Lunex was direct-ascent, if you can imagine a minishuttle landing vertically on the Moon.  Perhaps, like Apollo, Lunex would have morphed into an LOR approach (what BARIS calls "Historical") if it had come to pass.  Lunex never went beyond the discussion phase.  Astronauts were recruited for Dyna-Soar and it reached the mock-up stage, which was publicly exhibited in 1962, but it was cancelled just as the prototype was starting to be constructed.  X-20 was single-seater, but the X-20a would have carried four passengers plus the pilot.
Dyna-Soar mockup on display
Jupiter CapsuleJupiter
A direct-ascent capsule: what Apollo might have become.  Apollo began in 1961 as a direct-ascent capsule (you can see early designs on the right), also with a three-person crew, but in 1962 NASA decided that direct ascent wasn't feasible by the end of the decade, and converted Apollo to LOR.  Since having two Apollo programs would be confusing, the developers chose an alternate, plausible-sounding name for the direct-ascent capsule in BARIS.
Early Apollo direct-ascent design  Early Apollo model for direct-ascent design
Soviet Union
Vostok (''East'') CapsuleVostok
One-person capsule, started in 1958.  Six manned orbits flown, from 1961 to 1963.  Accomplished first man in space, first woman in space, first joint rendezvous (not docking--the capsules simply flew near each other).  Had very limited ability to change its orientation, so instead of Mercury's conical shape, Vostok's reentry module was a ball covered all over with ablative material.
Vostok Capsule
Voskhod (''Sunrise'') CapsuleVoskhod
Two- or three-man capsule begun in early 1964, basically a hastily-retrofitted Vostok capsule.  Two manned missions in 1964 and 65, which accomplished the first multi-person spaceflight (three cosmonauts) and the first spacewalk, respectively.  Voskhod 1 was touted as a major milestone because it was the first shirtsleeves spaceflight, but in fact the shirtsleeves environment was necessary because with three cosmonauts inside, the cabin was so cramped that there wasn't room for space suits.  Probably the most dangerous spacecraft ever to fly.  Room for multiple passengers was made by removing the Vostok pilot's ejection seat.  No maneuvering or docking capability.  EVA used an inflatable airlock.
Voskhod Capsule
Soyuz (''Union'') CapsuleSoyuz
One- to three-person capsule, first outlined in 1962, started in 1965.  First manned mission was in 1967; has made 98 manned flights as of the end of 2007.  Has full lunar capability, including docking and EVA (through a built-in airlock).  Was the Soviets' primary plan for a moonshot, as part of the N1-L3 program.  Possibly the best-designed of any craft in the Space Race (the reentry module's "headlight" shape allows maximum space inside for a given size capsule); it's also the only one still in service.
Soyuz Capsule in orbit
Lapot (''Wooden Shoe'') MinishuttleLapot
Hypothesized (by BARIS designers) improved version of the MiG-105 Spiral minishuttle, nicknamed "Lapot" for the shape of its nose.  The program ran from 1965 to 1969, then was revived from 1974 to 1978.  It was prototyped and the subsonic prototype (with fixed wings) tested in the '70s.  The wings as shown in BARIS are accurate: Spiral's wings would have folded up for spaceflight, then down for travel through the air.  The historical Spiral was single-seater, with no space for additional passengers.
MiG-105 Spiral (''Lapot'') subsonic prototype at Monino Air Museum
Kvartet (''Quartet'') CapsuleKvartet
A direct-ascent capsule, but almost entirely made up.  Starting between 1962 and 1964, the USSR's second most important bureau was slowly developing a three-person direct-ascent capsule named LK700 alongside Korolyov's N1-L3 program, with a landing scheduled for the early-mid 1970s.  Never reached prototype stage (or possibly even mock-up), and development was halted with final cancellation of the Soviet lunar program in 1974.
LK700 direct-ascent proposal