I spent a little time trying to use wind and softbody and cloth with vertex parenting and it all does not work the way I would like. So I came up with another approach.
It uses a particle system with the spaceship being the only single particle emitted. It also uses harmonic fields to cause the spaceship particle to jump from one path to the next.
I got the idea from my Cherry 7up blend file which you can find here:
Here is the breakdown of the attached scene.
The shipLauncher is the particle system that emits the spaceship. The group is called “myShip” but you can substitute any group you like.
So when play begins. The shipLauncher shoots out a single particle. This particle is attracted to “target-1”. Now target-1 may look like an empty, but it is really a single vertex mesh with a harmonic field applied to it to attract the particle. It also has a pre-configured particle system setup to work with the harmonic field. The Start and End values of the taget-1 particle system are when the particle will finally reach the position of target-1 (so feel free to play with those values). Now target-1 is also traveling along a path, so once time passes the End value for the target-1 particle system (not the launcher) it is the harmonic field that holds the particle to target-1 as it continues along the path. That is, until the Start/End range of the target-2 particle system come into effect (yes it is also a single vertex mesh with its own particle system). Once time reaches the Start value of target-2 the harmonic field of target-1 releases and the harmonic field of target-2 takes over. Because target-2 is traveling along its own path the distance between the two paths will affect the transfer speed.
Over all, if you move the shipLauncher, path-1 and path-2 around you can achieve different affects without keyframing anything.
ras_ship_on_path_harmonic_1a.blend (471 KB)