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.

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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!

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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

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Why did the Soviet manned Lunar program fail?

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.

Kennedy Moon SpeechAlso, at the time the speech was made, the Soviet Union was so obviously far ahead, they did not take the US intention seriously.

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NK-33 Rocket Engines

The NK-33 engines were originally built for the Soviet Moon Rocket, the N-1. (Under the designation of NK-15, and NK-15V for the high altitude version). This design was a direct result of a blazing row between the Chief Designer, (Sergey Korolev), and the best rocket engine designer, Valentin Glushko. Glushko wanted to use propellants which Korolov considered far too dangerous. So Korolev turned to Nikolai Kuznetsov, who up until that point had only designed engines for jet aircraft. Large rocket engines are notoriously difficult to design, due to combustion instability, so they were pretty much forced into a large number of smaller engines.

Nikolai Kuznetsov with NK-33 rocket engine
Nikolai Kuznetsov with NK-33 rocket engine

Many consider this a key reason for the failure of the N-1 program.

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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.

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