Thermal protection systems (TPS) for hypersonic transport vehicles are described and evaluated. During the flight through the atmosphere moderate to high aerodynamic heating rates with corresponding high surface temperatures are generated. Therefore, a reliable light- weight but effective TPS is required, that limits the heat transfer into the central fuselage with the liquid hydrogen tank and that prevents the penetration of the temperature peak during stage separation to the load carrying structure. The heat transfer modes in the insulation are solid conduction, gas conduction, gas convection and radiation. Thermal protection systems based on different phenomena to reduce the heat transfer, like vacuum shingles, inert gas filled shingles, microporous insulations and multiwall structures, are described. It is demonstrated that microporous and multiwall insulations are efficient, light weight and reliable TPSs for future hypersonic transportation systems.