Spacecraft fall into two distinct categories, those capable of atmospheric flight and those which are not. The ability to fly within a planets atmosphere such that it must overcome the effects of a gravitational field places an extremely demanding set of requirements on the design of any spacecraft. Not only must it be of relatively light construction, it must also be sound aerodynamically and consequently the superior manufacturing materials required mean that such vessels are far more expensive than those that are only capable of space travel.

Most large freighters are constructed from heavier but cheaper steel alloys and have no need of expensive wings. As a result such vessels enjoy a considerable price advantage over smaller atmosphere capable craft.

The rest of this section gives a detailed description of the most common Spacecraft that are likely to be encountered in the charted star systems.