The London Science Museum “Cosmonauts” exhibition had some truly amazing original space hardware from the dawn of the space age. For me the clear highlight was the LK Lander, their equivalent of the Apollo LEM.
The lighting was coloured which made getting the colour right a bit tricky!
This was a one man craft, and the cosmonaut (probably Alexei Leonov), would have had to stay in his pace suit the whole time.
This view is from directly in front, and you can see the window the cosmonaut would use to see where his craft was headed as it came in to land. On the right is the round antenna, (with a star on), used to communicate.
I’m currently sorting out surfaces for this Mercury capsule. But even so I thought it was good enough for a first shot at a finished render…
For those who don’t know, (is there anyone?) the Mercury program was the USA’s first manned spaceflight project, with a capsule capable of holding a single astronaut. The first few launches were sub-orbital. Astronaut control was limited, leading to Chuck Yaeger’s famous remark that the pilots were more like “spam in a can”.
It was a difficult time, as the US struggled to catch up with the early lead set by the Soviet Union.
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.
Pioneer 11 was the first probe to reach Jupiter and Saturn. It is not often remembered, I think because of Voyager 1 and 2 followed on relatively quickly, and these probes delivered much superior imagery.
But Pioneer 11 was important, not least because it established if it would be safe to send the voyagers very close to the giant planets – the amount of radiation and debris near them was not clear before the encounters.