Nuclear Soyuz – ЖРД / ЯРД, an unflown design

Not that long ago I got an excellent book by Alexander Schliadinski, who provided the core information for “N-1 for the Moon and Mars“.

N1 Czar of rockets, by A. Schliadinski
N1 Czar of rockets, by A. Schliadinski

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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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HOPE-VASIMIR Finished Renders

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.

distant-01xThe above image is a distant view of the whole thing.

To give you an idea of the scale, it’s very nearly 200 metres from one end to the other.

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The Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Part 2

The first part covered the background and references.

This part will cover the actual CGI model building.

As is clear from even a casual glance, the main challenge was going to be making sense of all those struts. Doing them indiviually would not be practical so I had to understand the various repeating patterns and symmetrys in them. If you look through the structure at an angle, it can seem very complex:

Lovell radio telescope
Complicated stuff!

But from other angles the patterns are a lot clearer

Lovell radio telescope
Distant view from the side

Continue reading “The Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Part 2”

Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Part 1.

Despite the difficulties of my N-1 models, I consider the most challenging mesh I ever built in terms of level of detail to be the model of the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank.

One major advantage compared to most of my projects is that I was able to visit the real thing, and get a large number of reference photos. Plus I had some useful help from the staff, who were kind enough to provide accurate overall dimensions of the major elements.

faceonm Continue reading “Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Part 1.”


I realised I have very little that covers more recent concepts to get man into deep space. And when I started digging, I found there were not that many out there to cover!

The main one is the various designs covered by HOPE. Human Outer Planet Exploration, which covers proposals for a manned mission to Callisto, the outermost major moon of Jupiter.

It uses VASIMR nuclear engines, which are under current development, so as far as feasibility goes, I’d say highly feasible apart from the cost aspect.

VASIMR stands for:

Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket

and it’s a highly promising propulsion system.

The huge vanes are the cooling system, very reminiscent of Ernst Stuhlingers designs of many years ago. They come to a point to stay behind the heavy radiation shields, either side of the reactors.

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Magnetospheric MultiScale satellite

Quickie project, based on the file downloaded from the NASA 3d object library. This basically comes dow to resurfacing, and setting up a scene or two!

This NASA satellite studies the magnetic field of Earth in high orbit.

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Daedalus Update

Two new images showing the BIS Daedalus interstellar design. These will be used in a book by Michael Carroll, to be published later this year.

One image shows the immense size of the unmanned craft, with the two stages separated, and a Saturn V rocket beside it for comparison. This is in the header.

The second shows the whole thing assembled, below, against a backdrop of stars. Click for a larger view.