In the far future, mighty ships of all types move between the planets and even the stars, orbit moons and planets, and dock at space habitats.
There are so many types of ships only the barest classification can be given here
Basically, ship propulsion can be divided into a number of types. The reaction rocket uses Newtons Third Law of Motion. Reaction mass, such as heated plasma or charged ions, are expelled out one end at high speed. This pushes the ship forward. Here there are two factors, thrust (the amount of mass coming out the engine, and hence the rocket’s acceleration) and specific impulse (isp) which is a fancy way to say fuel efficiency. Generally the most fuel efficient rockets have the lowest thrust, and vice versa. The Torchship is the most ideal but also complex and maintenance heavy as it combines high thrust and high efficiency. Solar sail and Beamrider are both passive, as neither carries its own propulsion. The most long range and high velocity is the Reactionless Drive, which uses godtech voidbubbles that have to be procured from goddwellers and other factions.
Original text © M Alan Kazlev, 2017.