Next project – Phil Bono’s Hyperion

Next up, another classic design from the fertile mind of Phil Bono, the Hyperion.

This is a large single stage to orbit (SSTO) design, which can launch via a rocket sled, (should there be a convenient nearby 1 mile high mountain, anyway).

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NASA PRANDTL Flying Wing – finished renders

Some finished renders of the flying wing design. See previous posts for the work in progress, and sample reference images.

The sky was the most difficult part here. I was compositing onto panoramic photos, and had to make my own sky. I really liked the dark greyish green, but it’s not very realistic.

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Krafft Ehrike – 1958 Space Station design

This is a design by Kraft Ehrike, which appeared in “Life” magazine in 1958. From what I understand, the idea was to use the kind of cylindrical hulls and spherical ended tanks from upper rocket stages as basic units of contruction.

ke-tube-station0500xEhrike worked with Wernher von Braun at Peenemunde on the V2 rocket program, and continued to work with WvB after they had moved to the USA.

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Delta II rocket complete!

Right, I may twiddle and tweak a bit, but I am calling this one done.

mars-pathfinder-rocketI’ve done various configurations, but (at least so far), I am only doing one fully textured version. And that’s the Mars Pathfinder version above!

The others use generic textures, rather than depict one specific mission.

Here are a couple of perspective free sets:

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Progress withe the Delta II rocket mesh

Working on various elements of this rocket, with no particular plan.

I’ve also started looking at the various differing elements, such as the fairings and the number of boosters.

Anyhow, here are a selection of renders!

Delta II WIP Continue reading “Progress withe the Delta II rocket mesh”

Current Work In Progress, Delta II rocket

I decided I really ought to go back and finish up the Delta II rocket. There were no real blockers, I just let it slip somehow…

As is often the case I like a spacecraft with a distinctive shape, and it’s also cool that I can easily make several variations with different logos and numbers of boosters.

Here’s how it’s coming along!

delta-2-seq0015x Continue reading “Current Work In Progress, Delta II rocket”

“AVIAVEENTO” “АВИАВНИТО” Historic soviet rocket

Finishing up the historical Soviet rocket from 1935, “Aviaveento”.

As usual everything done in Lightwave 3d, this one os based on some old Russian language books I bought on Ebay.

I’m a little unsure abut the long indented areas along the main hull. The references were a bit contradictory. But all those knobbly rivets were really there!

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N-1 – Restarting work on the Manned Soviet Lunar Program.

I’ve restarted working on the models I did of the manned Soviet Lunar program, with a view to taking them to the next level.

I’m starting with the rotating gantry, here are the old and new versions of the hub:

hub2 hub1 Continue reading “N-1 – Restarting work on the Manned Soviet Lunar Program.”

Opening the High Frontier – the book is out!

The book is out!

I did all the custom graphics for this book, and am waiting for my copy to arrive.

Opening the High Frontier, by Eagle Sarmont.

It is about getting the cost of reaching orbit down to a managable level, and the history of how we have got here. It includes an extensive history or space exploration.

And there’s a considerable amount about the non-rotating skyhook, which was the focus of my graphics work.

I am particularly pround of the video, which shows a complete mission. This includes how a craft would rendezvour with the lower end of the skyhook, and get haulled up to the main station. It would then be transferred to the upper end, and reeled out before being released.

All visuals by me, and the soundtrack, (Done using the SmartSound system).

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Identifying the different N-1 variants.

Identifying N-1 variants. I mentioned this briefly in an earlier post, which featured some images I stitched together from video, but here it is in a bit more depth.

You are generally trying to distinguish between 5 different N-1 variants in photographs, the four that flew, and the weight model.  This is most easily done via the colours, though there are several other differences.

This post is not about ALL the differences between the variants, just about how to tell which rocket is which.

N1-3L, the first flight.

This is easy to identify, as it is the only one with entirely grey first and second stages. The third stage is half white, with the white part facing upwards on the transporter, which is the side away from the gantry once the rocket has been erected. It was transported to the pad in winter, and there are photos of it with snow on.

N1-3L being erected at the pad
N1-3L being erected at the pad

Note that there was no green on any of the N-1 variants! This is a widely held misconception, as many museums show it as green, (including the London science museum, and many Russian museums too). Olive green was only used to camouflage missiles, (and green would make lousy camouflage in Baikonur at the best of times). This error has spread to the point where photographs have been tinted to make them look green). And sometimes it was just poor quality film stock.

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