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starbase1
02-28-2010, 12:45 PM
Ok, thanks to work on the Earth, I can now post the finished images of the von Braun design for the RM-1 Lunar Reconaisance rocket. I'm going to put the images into several messages, to try and preserve the mission sequence illustrated here...

The originals are all 3200x2400.

To start with, 2 overview shots.
Nick

starbase1
02-28-2010, 12:46 PM
The bottle suit deploys, has a test flight, and inspects the ship.

starbase1
02-28-2010, 12:48 PM
The RM-1 leaves Earth orbit, approaches the Moon, and comes around teh far limb to return to Earth. (It was intended as an Apollo 8 style lunar loop vehicle).

The shot of it passing over the lunar surface uses a NASA photo as a backdrop.

starbase1
02-28-2010, 12:49 PM
As it approaches Earth, the RM-1 springs the tank supports, and drops the fuel tanks, pulling out from between them.

shrox
02-28-2010, 04:46 PM
I have done most all the models I see you doing!

Have you seen the Disney "Tomorrowland" DVD set? It has the old shows where they spec'ed out the "plan" for the future in detail.

sampei
03-01-2010, 02:30 AM
very detailed models, the ones I like best ! :thumbsup:

starbase1
03-01-2010, 04:36 AM
I have done most all the models I see you doing!

Have you seen the Disney "Tomorrowland" DVD set? It has the old shows where they spec'ed out the "plan" for the future in detail.

I've been dithering about buying it - I have a big stack of DVD's I've yet to watch already!

Elmar Moelzer
03-09-2010, 12:06 PM
Cool renderings!

What is the red hatg thingy at the tip? It almost looks like some kind of launch abort system, but that would not make any sense for a spaceship like that...

starbase1
03-09-2010, 12:12 PM
Cool renderings!

What is the red hatg thingy at the tip? It almost looks like some kind of launch abort system, but that would not make any sense for a spaceship like that...

It's meant to be a radiation shield - the idea is that there is an (unfeasibly small!) reactor in the tip, and the red cone is a radiation block.

Elmar Moelzer
03-12-2010, 07:35 AM
Well, it could be a nuclear battery type of reactor, like in the pioneer probes. They can be quite small, actually, but do AFAIK not need such an elaborate shielding due to the rather small amount of radioactive material involved. If it was a full nuclear reactor, it would indeed be too small.
The biggest part would be the cooling radiators, which would have to be pretty big in space. Nuclear reactors need lots of cooling and in a vacuum, you can only radiate heat, not conduct it away. So the cooling panels would be rather big. It would probably make more sense to include the reactor into the engine intself (a la NERVA) and to use the liquid hydrogen "fuel" as a coolant. That way you have double the effect.

starbase1
03-12-2010, 08:19 AM
Well, it could be a nuclear battery type of reactor, like in the pioneer probes. They can be quite small, actually, but do AFAIK not need such an elaborate shielding due to the rather small amount of radioactive material involved. If it was a full nuclear reactor, it would indeed be too small.
The biggest part would be the cooling radiators, which would have to be pretty big in space. Nuclear reactors need lots of cooling and in a vacuum, you can only radiate heat, not conduct it away. So the cooling panels would be rather big. It would probably make more sense to include the reactor into the engine intself (a la NERVA) and to use the liquid hydrogen "fuel" as a coolant. That way you have double the effect.

I am fairly sure that RTG's (is that what you mean?) were not being taken seriously at that point, and that they would not provide enough power for a manned craft, so I think it's a bit of a kludge!

There are other aspects that seem unconvincing in the design too - all those tanks that are lugged all the way up to the Moon and then only discarded very close to home, despite a free return trajectory...

I suspect that the Disney influence might have been a factor in getting something that looked seriously good. It's also VERY close to a design for part of a Mars mission, so it may have been pressed into service for the show despite being not 100% convincing for the role.

Still, it's worth noting that:

1) It is a very cool design!
2) vB proved himself capable of building the real thing in terms of Moon rockets, and there's not many TV shows have that sort of credibility!

Nick

Elmar Moelzer
03-13-2010, 06:26 AM
Yes, you are probably right with everything you are saying, Nick.
RTGs have been arround for a while and they were used in anything from spy satellites to interplanetary (that ultimately became interstellar) probes.
Seeing the huge tanks on the ship, I would assume that the nuclear reactor is only used for powering the ship's electical systems.
Also, if it was used for propulsion, it would probably be located closer to the engines.
I know that von Braun wanted to use nuclear propulsion for Mars and also later moon missions. Personally I have always thought of that as a very appealing approach, as it could cut trip times significantly and would allow for a reusable Mars and lunar transit vehicle.

starbase1
03-13-2010, 06:45 AM
Youre not kidding! The next model in my queue is the IMAS nuclear powered Mars ship. Then there's the nuclear pulse Orion... Why are we still going into space on big fireworks?!

shrox
03-13-2010, 07:17 AM
Youre not kidding! The next model in my queue is the IMAS nuclear powered Mars ship. Then there's the nuclear pulse Orion... Why are we still going into space on big fireworks?!

I am still waiting for my backyard SNAP, "Small Nuclear Auxiliary Power" unit.

Elmar Moelzer
03-13-2010, 02:33 PM
Youre not kidding! The next model in my queue is the IMAS nuclear powered Mars ship. Then there's the nuclear pulse Orion... Why are we still going into space on big fireworks?!

:)


I am still waiting for my backyard SNAP, "Small Nuclear Auxiliary Power" unit.

I would like to have a Hyperion reactor in my neighbourhood. Grid independence...

But the real beef will be fusion reactors and fusion propulsion (electric or direct). FRC, Polywell and the method used by general fusion. One of these three will make it. I am sure. Stellerators could also work. I have less hope for toks though, ITER is starting to look like a money dump.

shrox
03-13-2010, 02:38 PM
:)



I would like to have a Hyperion reactor in my neighbourhood. Grid independence...

But the real beef will be fusion reactors and fusion propulsion (electric or direct). FRC, Polywell and the method used by general fusion. One of these three will make it. I am sure. Stellerators could also work. I have less hope for toks though, ITER is starting to look like a money dump.

Fusion might work better in zero-g, but I don't know of any mid or large scale tests tried or scheduled.

Elmar Moelzer
03-13-2010, 03:39 PM
Fusion might work better in zero-g, but I don't know of any mid or large scale tests tried or scheduled.

As I said, there are multiple projects currently being worked on. At the moment the National Ignition Facility is getting the most press. They do inertial confinement fusion by heating small pellets of deuterium with multiple lasers. It does not seem very practical to me, but some say it will result in a practical reactor (I seriously doubt it and thats why I did not mention them earlier).
Then there are two FRC (field reversed configuration) projects in the works right now. One is actually cofunded by Microsoft Co founder Paul Allen. They have a very high chance of success, but will probably result in reactors that can only be economical as fusion/fission hybrids.

There are the guys at General Fusion with their cool, "steampunkish" Magnetized Target Fusion approach, which is loosely based on the spheromak concept. Their idea is rather simple in theory, but requires a very precise timing of more than one hundred steam pistons, which is one of the few obstacles there really are with this technology.

Then there are stellerators, which are basically more advanced tokamaks.
Tokamaks are of course most famously researched on in the ITER project.
Stellerators are currently operated in serveral research facilities, but only as experimental devices with no direct path to a functional reactor.

Finally there is IEC fusion (Inertial Electrostatic Confinement). The most promising variation of this type is the Polywell, designed by the late Dr. George Bussard (who spacebuffs might know for his Bussard Fusion Ramjet which was prominently featured in Carl Sagans Cosmos). A team of engineers surrounding Dr. Richard Nebel who is on a temp leave from Los Alamos National Laboratory is currently trying to continue Bussards work with funding from the US Navy. Bussard himself unfortunately died of cancer a few years ago, taking a lot of his knowledge and vision with him into his grave.
Despite this setback, Richard Nebel and his team are making good progress and they have got a second round of funding from the Navy. Things are kept tightly under wraps so there is not much news from them unfortunately, but the continued funding by the Navy gives reasons for hope. A few people are currently trying to extract some info via a FOIA (freedom of information act) inquiry. It will be fun to see how much of the resulting documents will be blacked out when/if they are finaly released to the public ;)

AFAIK both FRC fusion and Polywell fusion could allow for direct propulsion engines with a high enough thrust to weight ratio and ISP to allow a flight from the ground into orbit enabling SSTO (single stage to orbit). Of course all that is rather speculative at the moment. It is still fun to keep an eye on these things though.

shrox
03-13-2010, 06:28 PM
As I said, there are multiple projects currently being worked on. At the moment the National Ignition Facility is getting the most press. They do inertial confinement fusion by heating small pellets of deuterium with multiple lasers. It does not seem very practical to me, but some say it will result in a practical reactor (I seriously doubt it and thats why I did not mention them earlier).
Then there are two FRC (field reversed configuration) projects in the works right now. One is actually cofunded by Microsoft Co founder Paul Allen. They have a very high chance of success, but will probably result in reactors that can only be economical as fusion/fission hybrids.

There are the guys at General Fusion with their cool, "steampunkish" Magnetized Target Fusion approach, which is loosely based on the spheromak concept. Their idea is rather simple in theory, but requires a very precise timing of more than one hundred steam pistons, which is one of the few obstacles there really are with this technology.

Then there are stellerators, which are basically more advanced tokamaks.
Tokamaks are of course most famously researched on in the ITER project.
Stellerators are currently operated in serveral research facilities, but only as experimental devices with no direct path to a functional reactor.

Finally there is IEC fusion (Inertial Electrostatic Confinement). The most promising variation of this type is the Polywell, designed by the late Dr. George Bussard (who spacebuffs might know for his Bussard Fusion Ramjet which was prominently featured in Carl Sagans Cosmos). A team of engineers surrounding Dr. Richard Nebel who is on a temp leave from Los Alamos National Laboratory is currently trying to continue Bussards work with funding from the US Navy. Bussard himself unfortunately died of cancer a few years ago, taking a lot of his knowledge and vision with him into his grave.
Despite this setback, Richard Nebel and his team are making good progress and they have got a second round of funding from the Navy. Things are kept tightly under wraps so there is not much news from them unfortunately, but the continued funding by the Navy gives reasons for hope. A few people are currently trying to extract some info via a FOIA (freedom of information act) inquiry. It will be fun to see how much of the resulting documents will be blacked out when/if they are finaly released to the public ;)

AFAIK both FRC fusion and Polywell fusion could allow for direct propulsion engines with a high enough thrust to weight ratio and ISP to allow a flight from the ground into orbit enabling SSTO (single stage to orbit). Of course all that is rather speculative at the moment. It is still fun to keep an eye on these things though.

I meant I know of no fusion projects in zero-g.

Elmar Moelzer
03-14-2010, 04:12 AM
I meant I know of no fusion projects in zero-g.

Well currently there is really not much going on in any nuclear powered propulsion research. There were some innitiatives (mostly nuclear electric), but I have not heard anything about them in a while.

shrox
03-14-2010, 08:49 AM
Well currently there is really not much going on in any nuclear powered propulsion research. There were some innitiatives (mostly nuclear electric), but I have not heard anything about them in a while.

I meant I know of no active hardware research involving fusion as a power source in a zero-g environment.

We've had working nuclear engines but abandoned them before using them.

Elmar Moelzer
03-14-2010, 01:02 PM
I meant I know of no active hardware research involving fusion as a power source in a zero-g environment.
We've had working nuclear engines but abandoned them before using them.

Yupp, I understood what you meant and I agree. It is sad that politics make nuclear propulsion a difficult topic.

pixeltek
03-16-2010, 12:30 AM
Super! I remember this thing. A long, long time ago, there actually was a plastic model of this vehicle. Yes, I am, well, old(er). :)

pixeltek
http://www.cosmic-pearl.com

starbase1
03-16-2010, 04:31 AM
I still boggle at the Orion 'nuclear pulse' and how far they got with that...

There was a program covering it in depth - I had heard of it via a Larry Niven story initially, but never realised how far they had got with turning it into reality.

One need only consider the amount of fuss about launching RTG's to realise that people might get a bit miffed about a ship that rides up through the atmosphere on a steady stream of atomic explosions. And using one as the second stage on a Saturn V is not a lot more reasuring!

Those interested in advanced spaceflight concepts, and unbuilt designs could do a lot worse than visit 'upship', where Scott Lowther does an amazing job of digging out plans and information. The amount he got on Orion is particularly impressive.

http://www.up-ship.com/

And my next project, just getting underway is the NERVA nuclear powered Mars and Venus system, IMIS.

Nick