This has been the most difficult of these specials to put together, chiefly because many of the really cool spacecraft proposals of the 1970s and earlier never got beyond a few drawings. Science fiction is filled with spacecraft and spaceships, but most of them work using magic science and technology. Serious attempts at either reaching orbit cheaply and easily or travelling further than Low Earth Orbit are few and far between. To date, only eight crewed spacecraft have ever reached orbit or beyond – Vostok, Voskhod, Soyuz, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle and Shenzhou. A further twelve are in development or have been proposed.
There have been numerous plans in the past to expand on existing space programmes, or start up new ones. Some were by the military, others were civilian, and some proposals came from aerospace manufacturers. Of the ten space craft below, only two have flown in orbit and another two ever left the ground. Most never made it off the drawing-board. At least one of them I suspect was never intended seriously, although if you look online you can find models of it. Only one is still flying, and two went on to found follow-up projects which are currently ongoing.