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Spacecraft Size Comparisons: Present, Past, Future, and Fictional


“Space, the final frontier.” Do I even have to go on? I’m sure many of you know it by heart. Although we haven’t exactly been able to explore strange new worlds or seek out new life and new civilizations, we certainly have gone where no person has gone before. Whether in the cosmos or in our own imaginations, humans have pushed the boundaries of science and exploration. Astronomy junkie, graphic artist, and blogger, Invader Xan created a size comparison chart of some of the most prominent spacecraft that humans have built (or plan to build). However, if real spaceships don’t scratch your geeky itch, you may want to turn to Jeff Russell, who began a similar project seven some-odd years ago to compare the sizes of starships found in works of science fiction.

There’s something special about spaceships. Many of us remember the first time we saw an Imperial Star Destroyer crawl across the screen at the beginning of Episode IV or when we heard the words,”Ten, nine, eight, seven,” and watched the Space Shuttle poised on the launch pad, dying for the countdown to go just a little faster. In the words of Invader Xan,”space ships are just inherently cool, aren’t they?” I think most of us will agree with that statement. Each of the spacecraft in Invader Xan’s image is reproduced to scale in order for viewers to compare their sizes. The image was posted here in late May of this year.

The moment I saw the image, I was immediately reminded of Jeff Russell and his Starship Dimensions page. The site is a little on the old side but features spacecraft from a number of iconic sci-fi books, movies, television shows, and video games. The site also includes a few real-life structures for comparison. I have spent hours browsing this site’s pages and comparing the size of the Starship Enterprise to that of the Serenity.

Whether we ever do find our way to strange new worlds with new lifeforms and new civilizations or not, we will always have our feeble attempts to understand the cosmos by exploring it, in both reality and fiction.

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