I dunno, it seems like what parts you build on a spaceship should affect how long it takes to get there and the chances of success or something...
Edit: In civ1, this DID change how long it takes to get there. The 'success chance' apparently just basically tells you what percentage of your colonists will survive, so if success is 0%, it fails?
Civ3 ends as soon as there's a launch and just uses 1 of each of 10 parts. Civ2 doesn't seem to have an article? I assume it works the same way as civ1.
spaceship population divided by 200, multiplied by success % (rounded down)
- or -
habitation modules multiplied by 50, multiplied by success % (rounded down)
(Both are identical: Each 200 population is worth 1 point, and there are 10,000 population per habitation)http://civilization.wikia.com/wiki/Spaceship_%28Civ1%29
Civ4 has an interesting way of doing spaceship too: It has a real chance of failure, and you can build more thrusters to go faster, or more casings to have a higher success chance.
The spaceship consists of the following parts:
1–5 × Casing
1 × Cockpit
1 × Docking Bay
1–2 × Engine
1 × Life Support
1 × Stasis Chamber
1–5 × Thrusters
Civ5 goes back to Civ3's method of winning at launch, and needs 6 parts: 3 boosters, a cockpit, a stasis module, and an engine.