SPACESHIPS can be categorised as Starships capable of Faster Than Light (FTL) travel, Spacecraft for short-range space activity and Shuttles for surface-to-space travel.
Military Starships are often large, well armed and well armored with superior sub-space speed and maneuverability compared to other Starships. They are primarily intended for combat and generally only carry weapons, ammunitions and supplies for their own crew.
A carrier is a starship designed with a primary mission of transporting, deploying and recovering fighters and bombers. Carriers thus allow a military force to move and deploy significant numbers of fighters and bombers to large scale battles or act as staging platforms.
For a list of known Carriers: Category:Carriers
A battleship is a large armored starship with a main battery consisting of heavy guns. Battleships are larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed starships in a fleet, battleships are used to attain command of systems and represent the apex of a nation's naval power.
For a list of known Battleships: Category:Battleships
The heavy cruiser is a type of cruiser, a starship designed for high speed and maneuverability with a relatively heavy armament.
For a list of known Heavy Cruisers: Category:Heavy Cruisers
A destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance Starship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers.
For a list of known Destroyers: Category:Destroyers
Frigates are used to protect other starships and civilian ships, especially underway replenishment groups and merchant convoys.
For a list of known Frigates: Category:Frigates
Civilian starships, normally smaller than military sharships, are principally designed for the transportation of goods and people by Faster Than Light travel . Private warships and pirate, or privateer ships designed for combat also fall into this category; while none can stand toe-to-toe with any military starship they often have more than enough speed, maneuverability and firepower to take on a lightly armed or completely defenceless starship.
Marauders are effectively warships used by civilians or independent organisations, usually for piracy but sometimes also to defend important convoys or privately owned stations.
For a list of known Marauders: Category:Marauders
A corvette is a small, maneuverable, lightly armed starship, sometimes used by minor governments in defence fleets, and by cash-strapped pirates and privateers.
For a list of known Corvettes: Category:Corvettes
A freighter is any sort of starship that carries cargo, goods, and materials.
For a list of known Freighters: Category:Freighters
Specialised starships, such as Surveyors, serve a wide range of tasks depending on their design and are used to explore and catalogue unknown systems, conduct reconisance or scientific studies and much more.
For a list of known Specialised ships: Category:Specialised Ships
Spacecraft are spaceships with no Faster Than Light capability, usually smaller than any starship and even shuttles, they are designed for operations in sub-space that require maneuverability and finess or jobs too meager to dedicate the resources of a starship to.
Military spacecraft consist primarily of various small attack craft designed to attack starships or defend them from other attack craft. They are generally much faster and maneuverable than civilian spacecraft.
A fighter is a military spacecraft designed primarily for combat with other spacecraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack starships with missiles, torpedoes or heavier guns. The hallmarks of a fighter are its small size, speed and maneuverability. Many fighters have secondary starship-attack capabilities, and some are dual-roled as fighter-bombers.
For a list of know Fighters: Category:Fighters
Heavy fighters are spacecraft that can be used as both a fighter spacecraft and a starship attack spacecraft with enough speed and maneuverability to tackle figher aircraft while armed with weapons capable of penetrating starship armour.
For a list of known Heavy Fighters: Category:Heavy Fighters
Bombers are military spacecraft with the primary role of attacking starships. As opposed to fighter and Heavy Fighter spacecraft, bombers are not necessarily capable of combat with other spacecraft. This class of spacecraft is ideal for close starship support on the battlefield, but they are also employed in other missions, for example interdiction or offensive counter attacks.
For a list of known Bombers: Category:Bombers
Civilian spacecraft are used for all sorts of sub-space activities including transport to starships or stations, repair and inspecion of starships or stations and mining in asteroid fields.
Specialised spacecraft, such as utility craft, vary widely in their use depending on their design and can be used for manipulation, inspection, salvage and repair of Stations, starships, space debris, asteroids and even other spacecraft.
For a list of known Specialised ships: Category:Specialised Ships
Two of the biggest obstacles to cheap and easy surface-to-space travel are gravity and atmosphere. Even in the 27th century, despite revolutionary advances in rocket technology and fuel efficiency, breaking the so-called "planetary barrier" remains a significant challenge.
The jump-drives and Stabilisers required for Faster Than Light travel tend to be heavy and bulky, and the engineers have yet to design a jump-capable ship which can launch into orbit from the surface of an Earth-like planet. Shuttles, which are optimised for atmospheric operation, are used to ferry goods between planet surfaces and starships or Exchanges.
Shuttles normally only use Exchanges to load and offload goods or passengers, however.
Only a single shuttle bearing the Cirin Alliance markings has been seen and no specifics are given but they are likely to be transports for military personnel and/or equipment, used to instigate ground invasions on the planet's surface.
The only type of shuttle shown so far, it appears to be a military type shuttle and is likely used for transport of both people and goods. Its name suggests it is one of the larger or more powerful atmospheric shuttles.
The heavy lifters may be civilian shuttles, as opposed to military, and simply bear the Cirin Alliance crest because the socialist government owns and runs almost all private enterprises. These shuttles are likely to be used for passenger transport and freight.