N-1 For the Moon and Mars – Part 1

Introduction:

I’m surprised to see I have not mentioned this yet here on my blog!

A few years ago Matt Johnson approached me with the idea of  putting together a book on the Soviet moon rocket, the N-1. I had previously given him some references for making a flying model, and he thought it would be cool to put together a book gathering the research, and using my CGI to illustrate it.

Here’s what we came out with!

N_1_Cover_front__66962.1401032885.1280.1280

(The picture links to the store at ARA Press, where I think you can still buy a copy).

The concept, and my role

The idea was that it would combine a history of the program with a detailed modeller guide. If I had known the effort it would take I would probably never have signed up! But with the help of some Russian friends, notably Axenadart Schliadinsky, we set about it. Continue reading “N-1 For the Moon and Mars – Part 1”

GIRD X – 1930’s Rocket by Soviet Group for the Study of Jet Propulsion

In the 1930’s the Soviet Union set up a group to study rocket propulsion, GIRD. (Lots more good info about it here!)

One member of the group was Sergey Korolov, who went on to become the chief designer, and mastermind behind all the early Soviet space firsts.

This rocket is the GIRD-X, the tenth project the group carried out.

SI-73-7133hThere’s only really one good photo, and Russian museum items have so many obvious errors, they are useless for reference. So the finer details in this model are somewhat speculative. (Though I think there are clearly some ridges and wider sections not shown in other plans or models I have found).

gird-x-bigx Continue reading “GIRD X – 1930’s Rocket by Soviet Group for the Study of Jet Propulsion”

Two different images of Vulkan launching.

Two different renders of my Vulkan superheavy Soviet rocket taking off. The first has no recovery packs on the boosters, the second one does have the parachute packs.

These were NOT included on the designs for the Vulkan, but as they were added to Energia and Energia M I think it reasonable speculation to include them.

This version has the largest payload faring considered.

The Vulkan was not built but was downsized into the energia family.

vulkan-ascendant-3x

Continue reading “Two different images of Vulkan launching.”

First renders of the new project, Zenit 2 rocket

I always enjoy this stage of a project, when it developes really fast, and every render looks better than the last!

This is the Soviet / Russian ZENIT rocket. It’s part of the energia family, and developed from the boosters used to lift that monster into the sky.

zenit-4

zenit-1 zenit-2

The Energia rocket family – Vulkan

The Energia rocket was part of a family, apart from Buran and Polyus, no other versions flew. Energia-M was a cut down version, which got as far as a weight model – the colours and shape of my mesh are based on this.

But the original plan was to include a MUCH heavier rocket, the VULKAN.

This would have had eight of the boosters, and a second core stage that was basically an Energia-M.

vulkan-family-2x

I am working on this at the moment, though information is limited. The parachute packs on the boosters came after the Vulkan was cut down to become Energia, but I have done a version which includes these packs on the boosters. Seems VERY likely to me as the engines were designed to be reusable.

The boosters later underwent separate development, and evolved into the highly successful “Zenit”.

vulkan-family-0x

Continue reading “The Energia rocket family – Vulkan”

Soyuz Capsule Mesh

No updates for a while, but there are some new one to go in!

I recently bought a Russian Soyuz capsule mesh on TurboSquid. The textures didn’t really come in at all, (not unusual in my experience), but it was fairly straightforward to apply new ones, as surfaces were sensibly named. I was also really pleased to see that the orange seams were done with geometry!

Here are a couple of new renders, where I composited the mesh over Earth, using NASA photos taken from the ISS.

As usual, all of this is done in Lightwave 3D.soyuz-ascendingx

Continue reading “Soyuz Capsule Mesh”

Cosmonauts exhibition at the London Science Museum

Various photos…

Here’s a selection of photos from the “Cosmonauts” exhibition at the London Science Museum.

Laika

laika

This shows the arrangement used for for the ‘space dog’ Laika. Laika (meaning “little woofer”), was a stray found on the streets of Moscow. The scientists later said that what they learned was not worth the life of a dog.

Spacesuits

spacesuits

On the left is the suit proposed for exploring Mars, and on the right the “Orlan” EVA space suit. Continue reading “Cosmonauts exhibition at the London Science Museum”

Soviet LK Moon lander

The London Science Museum “Cosmonauts” exhibition had some truly amazing original space hardware from the dawn of the space age. For me the clear highlight was the LK Lander, their equivalent of the Apollo LEM.

The lighting was coloured which made getting the colour right a bit tricky!

This was a one man craft, and the cosmonaut (probably Alexei Leonov), would have had to stay in his pace suit the whole time.

lk1

This view is from directly in front, and you can see the window the cosmonaut would use to see where his craft was headed as it came in to land. On the right is the round antenna, (with a star on), used to communicate.

lk2

Here you see the right side of the lander. Note the blue hatch, and the ladder underneath it. Continue reading “Soviet LK Moon lander”