It occured to me that I really don’t remember ever seeing one of those really old pulp SF cover space cruisers done in a modern CGI style. You know, the ones that look like a cross between a Zepellin and an express steam train:
Now added a video. complete with soundtrack, to showcase the mesh and the concept!
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.
This is a design that was considered for the (much) later Long Stay Apollo missions, where the LEM would be on the Moon for a long time. And there were concerns about reliability.
So they came up with a light weight design that would be a few bits strapped together, to get the astronauts up into munar orbit, where the command module might be able to rendezvous with them.
But it would not have been needed for the cancelled missions, and the ones beyond that were not studied in any great detail, so the design was not taken any further.
There are some interesting variations described on Wikpedia here:
The book is out!
I did all the custom graphics for this book, and am waiting for my copy to arrive.
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).
A couple of new items using the Human Outer planet Exploration vehicle, with VASIMR engines.
Graham Gazzard has done some wonderful renders of the mesh!
You can follow him on twitter here:
There is still much debate about why the Soviet Union – which was consistently way ahead in the early days of space exploration, failed to beat the USA to putting a man on the Moon. But while there is some disagreement over which factors were the most important, there is considerable consensus about which factors drove this.
They started later.
The USA made putting a man on the Moon the key national objective, from before they had even put a man in orbit. Pretty much the entire space program focused on this objective. By the time this became a national objective in the Soviet Union, 2 years later, time was very tight to develop a powerful enough rocket, and get the required expertise in flight systems.
OK! The modelling is done of HOPE-VASIMR, (at least unless I spot anything that neeeds fixing), so it’s time for some shots of the final version.
As always, click on an image to see a larger version.
To give you an idea of the scale, it’s very nearly 200 metres from one end to the other.
As you may have noticed, I love the designs from the dawn of the space age, particularly the fifties designs of Wernher von Braun.
This one is the RM-1, which includes the ‘bottle suit’, something halfway between as spacesuit and a spaceship, with a ring of articulated arms, complete with a selection of tools. Seriously Cool!
The ship as a whole though is not as credible as most of the other designs, for a couple of reasons.
Right, I think the modelling part is pretty much done here on the HOPE VASIMR. I’ve been busy adding nurnies and greebles, and tweaking surfaces, and it’s looking good to me.
As usual, click on the images for a larger version.
For those who missed the earlier instalments, HOPE stands for Human Outer Planet Exploration, and is a serious design for a manned expedition to Callisto, the outermost of the large moons of Jupiter. (Far enough away from Jupiter that the radiation won’t fry the astronauts!)