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.
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.
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.
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.