RN-2, the Nuclear R7, The Historical Reference Information

Here’s the historical information on the nuclear Soyuz variants I have been able to find. My Russian is not great, in some cases the translation is awkward or not completely clear. Nick

The draft design of the rockets started on the basis of the Decree of June 30, 1958. Two bureaus, OKB-456, and OKB-670 were involved. The design chosen was based on direct heating of the working fluid, and it’s ejection through the nozzle. An open core reactor, in other words.

OKB-456 is now known as NPO Energomash, and at the time was run by the brilliant but prickley rocket engine designer, V P Glushko. OKB-670 was run by M M Bondariuk. Bondariuk had been working on nuclear ammonia rockets since 1954. Continue reading “RN-2, the Nuclear R7, The Historical Reference Information”

HOPE VASIMR Guest renders and a short video

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:

https://twitter.com/GrahamTG

HOPE-VASIMR render by Graham Gazzard
HOPE-VASIMR render by Graham Gazzard

Continue reading “HOPE VASIMR Guest renders and a short video”

VASIMR – HOPE

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.

backdrop Continue reading “VASIMR – HOPE”

More work on the 1958 Lockheed shuttle design

I was struggling a bit with a colour scheme for the main rocket – how to do something period, that fits with the orange and black shuttle?

Here’s how it’s coming along.

hull-1 Continue reading “More work on the 1958 Lockheed shuttle design”

Unused Space Odyssey Design Concept, Discovery Bowl Version

This is an alternate design for the ship “Discovery” from the film 2001. In my view it is much inferior to the final version, but this is interesting. This one tends to self-shadow a lot for one thing, which makes it difficult to light. But note that the habitation sphere is identical to the final version used in the film – this element was about the only constant factor in the many design changes.

It is based on sketches in Chris Frayling’s excellent book “The 2001 Files”, and my version incorporates elements from several sketches.

I also did a turntable video of it, to show off the shape.

From other sketches it is clear that there are 48 fuel tanks just under the widest part of the vehicle.

Continue reading “Unused Space Odyssey Design Concept, Discovery Bowl Version”