Yesterday I visited “Into the Unknown“, a Science Fiction exhibition which is currently on at the Barbican, London, and will tour later apparently. This is my review of what I saw there.
The space within the centre they have chosen to use is a bit odd, to say the least. They call it “The Curve”, and it’s not really good for this kind of thing. It’s fairly narow and tall, and feels cramped. Many of the exhibits are a long way up, making it difficult to see them properly.
I recently managed to get some small (card sized) prints of Astronomical Art by the great Russian artist Andrei Sokolov. He often worked with Alexi Leonov, and his work is very hard to find in this country.
One thing I often feel I have difficulty is depicting things out in interstellar space, or other scenarios were it is seriously dark. Not least because with a realistic view, it would be too dark to see anything.
Here’s my latest attempt, showing a rogue planet, cast loose from it’s parent star.
Astronomers seem to be growing towards this having happened early in the hostory of our own solar system, with a 5th gas giant being ejected early in it’s history.
Also note I am using the whole sky environments of our night sky, as mentioned a couple of posts ago.
Here’s a selection of photos from the “Cosmonauts” exhibition at the London Science Museum.
This shows the arrangement used for for the ‘space dog’ Laika. Laika (meaning “little woofer”), was a stray found on the streets of Moscow. The scientists later said that what they learned was not worth the life of a dog.
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.
My favourite film, without a doubt is the stunning “2001 A Space Odyssey”. Even all these years after its release, it still manages to look credible and futuristic.
I have now finished the model of the alternate design for the 2001 Space Station. This mesh is based on sketches in the excellent book “The 2001 File” by Christopher Frayling. The bulk of the book is the design sketches by Harry Lange that were done for the spacecraft concepts used in the film.
The sketches were basic, so I added lots of details from the design actually used in the film.
I’ve also made a short animated video to show it off, I recommend watching in HD if possible!