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Old 15th Dec 2011, 03:56 PM   #1
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Default Space - von Braun Colliers 'Round the Moon' ship

Ever get the urge to fire off a whole new project even when you already have several on the go?

I suddenly couldn't resist the idea of getting stuck into another early Wernher von Braun design from 'Colliers'. This one is his 'round the moon' ship, not intended to land.

Nick
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 04:38 PM   #2
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Cool!
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 07:03 AM   #3
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Its such a different take on current aerospace thinking, but still a perfectly valid design. I guess that's what I love about revisiting these classic designs, and what a lot of people miss.

I'm looking forward to this build! I've always particularly liked the mercury solar boiler that turns the generator for the ship's electrical power.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 07:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drell-7 View Post
Its such a different take on current aerospace thinking, but still a perfectly valid design. I guess that's what I love about revisiting these classic designs, and what a lot of people miss.

I'm looking forward to this build! I've always particularly liked the mercury solar boiler that turns the generator for the ship's electrical power.
It should be fairly quick, so stay tuned!

Yep, WvB was a big fan of boilers on spacecraft and space stations!

You are right about the valid designs - in this case it was constrained by the idea that the ship would be built from the upper stages of his ferry rockets, hence the logical tanks and struts approach.

I also find it very interesting that at this stage he kept going for designs with large numbers of small rocket engines. Small ones are MUCH easier to design than large ones, and I find it very reminiscent of the approach still used by the Russians.

I'm sure I'll get around to all the 'Colliers' designs eventually!
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 08:32 AM   #5
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Nice one Nick. I'm sure I've seen pictures of this one somewhere before.

The one thing I would point out at this early stage is that you could get away with a lot less polygons in the spheres.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigel View Post
Nice one Nick. I'm sure I've seen pictures of this one somewhere before.

The one thing I would point out at this early stage is that you could get away with a lot less polygons in the spheres.
Yep, these designs are considered classics and in several related articles / programs are generally credited with getting the west to take space travel as a serious concept, not just B movie SF.

As for the spheres, well, they don't use that much, I don't expect it to end up that polygon heavy, so I'm indulging myself. Always nice to have the option of going in close!

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Old 16th Dec 2011, 02:07 PM   #7
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Good grief - 28 views of a model which is 3 spheres and a torus, done in OGL, and not even rendered properly!

Guess I'd better get busy!
Textures are placeholders in case it's not obvious...

Nick
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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Ooooh! Christmasy colors!
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Ooooh! Christmasy colors!
That genuinely had not occurred to me! Maybe I should put a star on top...
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 04:54 PM   #10
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LOL A rocket powered Christmas tree -- what a concept!
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 12:00 PM   #11
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Okely dokely!

Surfaces moving towards something more realistic, portholes added on the habitation sphere, bolts added around various round bits, engines done, and engine support frame underway.

Nick
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 12:28 PM   #12
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Looking great, Nick!
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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Yes, looking very good.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 01:34 PM   #14
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Thanks all!

This stuff is so much easier when you have decent references to work from. The only tricky area is just above the engines, where I don'rt have any good view - and what I do have looks inadequate to keep the engines fed with fuel... I can feel some random pipes and tanks coming on!

Nick
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 03:12 PM   #15
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Update:
  • I decided there's a 5th engine in the centre.
  • Stripy texture worked out
  • Ladder added out to the beams.
  • Mercury boiler added
  • Main antenna built

Nick
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 04:07 AM   #16
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Some more progress:
  • I rebuilt the high gain antenna
  • Labels added here and there
  • Proper mounts for the antenna and boiler
  • Extra plumbing on the engines

Nick
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 05:54 AM   #17
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Engine area just about done I think.

This was tricky -0 limited info, and what there was did not look workable to me. Hopefully I have bridged that somewhat.

Nearly there!
Nick
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 09:24 AM   #18
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I think I am nearly there, just a bit of a bug hunt to go. Airlock done and minor cleanup.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 10:40 AM   #19
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Looking great.The engines still look a little flimsy to me though, even with your reworked design.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 11:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Looking great.The engines still look a little flimsy to me though, even with your reworked design.
I know what you mean - but if I strengthened them any more it would not look much like the original. I've attached one of the best reference shots...

I swiped some detail from other ships in the series.

As an aside - it's illustrations like this that made me realise I was thinking about ships on orbit around the moon wrongly. Apollo's typically got under 70 miles from the Lunar surface, and the Soviet plan was to orbit a mere 15 Km up! When you think that a large crater like Clavius is 225 km across, it's almost like being inside the crater rather than orbiting the Moon.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 12:50 PM   #21
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Wow. Very nice. I can't wait to seen it in orbit around the moon.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 12:58 PM   #22
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Two more shots
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 01:49 AM   #23
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very nice work.. I love it.

Is there more info on the design.
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 03:43 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
very nice work.. I love it.

Is there more info on the design.
Thanks - there were a whole serioes of articles in the fifties, this design was from a 'Colliers' series of articles. "Man conquers Space" These led on to a collaboration with Walt Disney, artticle from NASA here:

http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/vonbrau...y_article.html

Or try this site, which has pictures:
http://manconquersspace.com/MCSPg1.html

They re-released the DVD with the project on as "Disney Tomorrowland"

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Last edited by Rigel : 19th Dec 2011 at 07:54 AM. Reason: fixed a typo
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 07:56 AM   #25
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In that last painting you posted you can see that it did indeed have a fifth engine in the middle.

About "strengthening the engines". If the engines had to deal with vectored thrust, I would agree. But as long as they are only thrusting straight back, they only need to be firmly attached. Pushing themselves against the framework would help to hold them in place.
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 08:22 AM   #26
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Quote:
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About "strengthening the engines". If the engines had to deal with vectored thrust, I would agree. But as long as they are only thrusting straight back, they only need to be firmly attached. Pushing themselves against the framework would help to hold them in place.
Well - thing is that they did swivel, though I think not by very much. (Not the lack of attitude control jets).

In defence of the design, as no part of it would ever enter an atmosphere, it doesn't need very powerful engines, it's just as good to fire a weaker engine for longer. The fuel spheres were essentially balloons, (which makes my panels very inappropriate!), so its probably a lot less heavy than it looks.

In case anyne is wondering, the small side sphere is a nitrogen tank, used to add pressure to the top tank, and use all fuel. Don't know why the lower tank does not need one!

I think it's fair to say the objective was much more to make people take the idea of a manned spaceflight to the moon seriously than come up with a fully functional vehicle. I'd say the lack of attitude jets is the biggest weakness inthe design.

I think next year I'm going to have to do the big moon landers, and Mars hardware!
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 08:31 AM   #27
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Aha! I just found a site with a physical model of this beasty, plus links to WvB's original sketches.

http://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/braunmod.html

Well worth poking around there if you like this stuff - it also explains that the plan was ti control attitude with Gyros instead of thrusters.

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Old 19th Dec 2011, 06:52 PM   #28
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Nice stuff
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 08:10 PM   #29
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Beautiful work, Nick! You really did the design justice.
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Old 20th Dec 2011, 03:32 AM   #30
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Oops! Serious update is required.

Apparently the stripy squares are a bit more than a pattern. They are set of small flaps, black on one side and white on the other, which fold down in to either side as a means of passive temperature control.

Back to modeller
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