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:

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Classic 1930’s space cruiser

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:

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N-1 Gantry stairways

It’s going slowly, but this is probably the trickiest part. Getting the various stairways done, that dangle under or wind around, the main struts of the gantry.

I’ve not yet finished connecting them up to the walkways, but that’s not too difficult.

View through gantry the stairway plumbing!
View through gantry the stairway plumbing!

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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.

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Mercury Redstone Rocket – Nearly done?

After some work on the base, (thanks to better references), cutting details into the lower hull, and adding a reflection gradient on the paint, I think this one may be done… The Mercury Redstone definitely fills a gap in my historic rockets line up.

It feels like I am on a bit of a roll with the rockets recently!

Now I just need to make some final renders to wrap things up.

Redstone Rocket
Redstone Rocket

Redstone Rocket

Redstone Rocket

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Ariane 1 Rocket

My new work in progress.

This is the Ariane 1 rocket. I’m using a bought mesh for the geometry. It was converted from 3D studio, and is VERY heavy on the polygon count. But the good news is that the detail is superb, even the internal structure of the stringers is modeled.

Surfaces did not come in very clean, so I’m working through them to get them a bit more realistic. Still a long way to go with that.

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Latest WIP, more alternate “2001 A Space Odyssey” designs.

Now working on alternate unused designs for the 2001 Discovery, of which there were many. This one is fairly close to the finished version, but had added tension cables (helpful), and large cooling vanes (essential).

The vanes can tip – this would presumably be so they can stay edge on to the Sun, to avoid overheating.

Credible design for the craft like “Discovery” in “2001, A Space Odyssey” was considered very important, but the cooling vanes looked too much like wings, and were therefore dropped.

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