RN-2, the Nuclear R7, The Historical Reference Information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 Continue reading “RN-2, the Nuclear R7, The Historical Reference Information”

Some new Soviet Lunar program renders – N1 L3

After chatting to Matt, co-author of “N1 for the Moon and Mars“, I decided to dig out the meshes I did for that, and come up with some new renders. It was a mad dash to get it all out in time for publication, and I didn’t have time to explore all the options.

N1-3L at the launch tower
N1-3L at the launch tower, against a threatening sky.

I decided I have a bad habit of using good weather for most of my environments, this one is different! Continue reading “Some new Soviet Lunar program renders – N1 L3”

Mars Nuclear Thermal Spacecraft

I recently realised that I hadn’t blogged this design, which I did a few years ago. I realised this after seeing an image I had provided of it for a board game had been bodged onto a new background, and looked awful. So I figured I should get my version online ASAP!

This is a serious NASA design for a nuclear craft capable of reaching Mars.

Continue reading “Mars Nuclear Thermal Spacecraft”

Progress with the UR-700 moon rocket

Right! The launch state version is coming together rather nicely. There are some deails still to be done, and the surfaces need some work, but I’m begining to see how the finished one will look.

It’s not going to be super accurate, but I was really pleased that my Russian friends like it.

The colours are arbitrary to a degree, but I think I have a sound justification for them.

Here’s an exploded view, to show all the elements:

Continue reading “Progress with the UR-700 moon rocket”

Chelomei’s UR-700

Back to the space hardware, and my latest major project.

Project History

This is Chelomei’s UR-700, intended as a universal rocket, (in various configurations), and a competitor to the N-1.

This was a real monster, and basically consisted of a cluster of no less than nine Proton rockets. This was done so they could be comprehensively tested at the factory near Moscow, and shipped on trains to Baikonur for assembly. The Proton started as the UR-500, an element of this design. The engines were built and tested, but there was no appetite to start again, cancelling the N-1.

Continue reading “Chelomei’s UR-700”

Classic space cruiser, finished renders

Right! The space cruiser is now done. I struggled a bit with the nose until I decided to make it a dome, and then added the spike, and the scallopped textures around it.

These renders are deliberately not done in a very realistic style. To be specific:

  • The environment reflected in the chrome is not in the scene
  • The lighting is very broad, not accurate for a smape scene.
  • Lighting directions may not match properly, I’ve gone for drama over realism.

Continue reading “Classic space cruiser, finished renders”

Buck Rogers – The Original Rocket

I’ve just finished up “The Satellite”, the original 1930’s design for the Buck Rogers Rocket. References were a bit contradictory, so I would not be surprised if you find some that look a bit different.

Buck Rogers Reference Buck Rogers ReferenceHere are some of the more unusual features:

  • It’s a tractor rocket. By which I mean the rockets are at the front and it is pulled by them, rather than pushed.
  • It has four retro rocket tubes at the front.
  • It lands by balancing on it’s tail! Not very stable…
  • It had four weapons blisters with slots down the side.

Continue reading “Buck Rogers – The Original Rocket”

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!

Continue reading ““AVIAVEENTO” “АВИАВНИТО” Historic soviet rocket”