There are various different types of spaceship, however there are various systems and features which most of them have in common. Manned spaceships have an isolated and controlled internal environment, in order to ensure the survival of the crew during the voyage. They are also equipped with a means of propulsion in order to travel, though this means varies depending on the ship. They also usually have thrusters installed to allow them to maneuver. Some ships are equipped with FTL drives for faster-than-light travel. By law, all spaceships are required to be equipped with a transponder to identify them in-flight .
Some spaceships, including most large vessels, are designed solely to fly in space and are unable to perform atmospheric reentry without endangering the craft . Other crafts, usually smaller ones, are capable of doing so safely .
The various areas found on a spaceship vary depending on the type of ship, however most ships have certain areas which are common between them.
The bridge (ブリッジ, Burijji) is the central command area of a spaceship, from which the crew command and fly the ship.
In the Mouretsu Pirates anime, many of the pirate ships from the time of the War of Independence share a common bridge layout. In this layout, there are two levels on the bridge, the upper of which is on an elevated platform which is lowered at battle stations.
On the central front of this platform is the captain's seat, behind which is a display showing the pirate ship's emblem. To the right is the second-in-command's station and to the left is the tactical station. Behind the rear display is a door that allows access to the upper level of the bridge.
Below the platform is a set of stairs allowing access to the lower level of the bridge, in front of which is the helm. To the right of the helm is the console for radar and sensors, and to the right is the navigator's console. The engineer's console is located to the rear right and the electronic warfare/communications console is on the rear left.
- Airlock (エアロック, Ea Rokku): An airlock is a small chamber which is used to allow people to move between the ship and space without compromising the ship's internal environment. There are two entrances to the airlock, one leading to the rest of the ship and the other to space, of which only one is opened at a time. When everyone who is moving is in the airlock, the chamber is sealed and either depressurized or pressurized depending on where they heading, before the exit opens .
- Armoury: The armoury is where a ship's supply of weapons, armour and ammunition is kept.
- Cafeteria (食堂, Shokudō): The cafeteria is the place where a ship's crew gather to have meals.
- Crew Quarters: The crew quarters are rooms where crewmembers stay and sleep when on the ship. The captain usually has their own quarters.
- Docking Bay/Port (ドッキングポート, Dokkingupōto): The docking bay/port is an area found on larger ships, which opens out onto space and is used to allow smaller ships to dock with them.
- Observation Deck: An observation deck is a passageway or chamber with windows, canopies or port-holes with a view out into space, allowing passengers and crew to observe and appreciate their surroundings.
- Main article: Crew
The crew, the people responsible for flying a spaceship, varies in terms of size and positions within it, depending on the type of spaceship they are operating. The ship's captain is the crewmember in charge of both ship and crew.