A Size Comparison Chart of 20 Real-Life Spaceships With the Starship Enterprise

Check out this elegant infographic by Invader Xan, molecular astrophysicist and master of ceremonies at astronomy blog Supernova Condensate. Here, silhouetted in colors that correspond to their present state of operation, you'll find twenty iconic spaceships and space stations situated beneath the only fictional spacecraft of the bunch: the U.S.S. Enterprise.

What's great about this image is that all the spacecraft have been drawn to scale (the one exception looks to be the Enterprise, unless Invader Xan used the dimensions from one of the ship's smaller incarnations). This gives you a real sense of perspective (click here for a version sans Enterprise). Look how massive the Space Shuttle is compared to most of the other vehicles, for example; the combined size of China's Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou spacecraft, which made history by successfully docking this morning, is still small by comparison. Then again, even the Space Shuttle looks small compared to Skylon — which, if it ever gets made, will be capable of shuttling up to 12 tonnes of cargo or two dozen astronauts to and from space.

Read more over at Supernova Condensate. [Spotted on boingboing]