Sunday, July 15, 2018
The Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov is a fictional Soviet spaceship in the novel 2010: Odyssey Two, and its film adaptation 2010. It was named after Soviet Air Force General Alexey Leonov, the first man to walk in space.
In the book, Leonov is described as being equipped with a Sakharov drive, a fictional new method of propulsion that makes it possible for the craft to make a round-trip to Jupiter. The craft also uses a large heatshield to aerobrake in Jupiter's outer atmosphere, saving fuel. In recognition of Alexei Leonov, after whom the craft is named, there is a framed painting by the cosmonaut in the mess room. The Russians are said to view gravity as more or less a luxury and the Leonov does not have artificial gravity. The ship was originally to be christened the Gherman Titov, but was changed later for undisclosed reasons; a character in the film version offers the cryptic explanation that "people [presumably referring to either Titov or someone involved with the current mission] fall out of favor", but does not elaborate.
In the film, Leonov is shown to have a large rotating midsection providing artificial gravity and has a large ballute in place of the heatshield.
The model of the Leonov for the film was designed by Syd Mead.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Mir (Russian: Мир, IPA: [ˈmʲir]; lit. peace or world) was a space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, operated by the Soviet Union and later by Russia. Mir was the first modular space station and was assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996. It had a greater mass than any previous spacecraft. At the time it was the largest artificial satellite in orbit, succeeded by the International Space Station after Mir's orbit decayed. The station served as a microgravity research laboratory in which crews conducted experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and spacecraft systems with a goal of developing technologies required for permanent occupation of space.
Mir was the first continuously inhabited long-term research station in orbit and held the record for the longest continuous human presence in space at 3,644 days, until it was surpassed by the ISS on 23 October 2010. It holds the record for the longest single human spaceflight, with Valeri Polyakov spending 437 days and 18 hours on the station between 1994 and 1995. Mir was occupied for a total of twelve and a half years out of its fifteen-year lifespan, having the capacity to support a resident crew of three, or larger crews for short visits.
Following the success of the Salyut programme, Mir represented the next stage in the Soviet Union's space station programme. The first module of the station, known as the core module or base block, was launched in 1986 and followed by six further modules. Proton rockets were used to launch all of its components except for the docking module, which was installed by a US Space Shuttle mission STS-74 in 1995. When complete, the station consisted of seven pressurised modules and several unpressurised components. Power was provided by several photovoltaic arrays attached directly to the modules. The station was maintained at an orbit between 296 km (184 mi) and 421 km (262 mi) altitude and travelled at an average speed of 27,700 km/h (17,200 mph), completing 15.7 orbits per day.
The station was launched as part of the Soviet Union's manned spaceflight programme effort to maintain a long-term research outpost in space, and following the collapse of the USSR, was operated by the new Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA). As a result, most of the station's occupants were Soviet; through international collaborations such as the Intercosmos, Euromir and Shuttle–Mir programmes, the station was made accessible to space travelers from several Asian, European and North American nations. Mir was deorbited in March 2001 after funding was cut off. The cost of the Mir programme was estimated by former RKA General Director Yuri Koptev in 2001 as $4.2 billion over its lifetime (including development, assembly and orbital operation).
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
The reason for the Discovery's yellow appearance is due to proximity to Io.
Io is loaded with volcanoes which constantly expel sulfur into the atmosphere. And due to the light gravity Io has sulfur makes it as as high as Discovery's orbit. Due to this sulfur accumulation is what caused Discovery's orbital decay.
From the Novel by Arthur C Clarke"
‘My fellow Americans - I sound like a politician, God help me - came out of hibernation without any problems, and are both looking forward to starting work. We’ll all have to move quickly; not only is time running out, but Discovery seems to be in very bad shape. We could hardly believe our eyes when we saw how its spotless white hull had turned a sickly yellow.
‘Io’s to blame, of course. The ship’s spiralled down to within three thousand kilometres, and every few days one of the volcanoes blasts a few megatons of sulphur up into the sky. Even though you’ve seen the movies, you can’t really imagine what it’s like to hang above that inferno; I’ll be glad when we can get away, even though we’ll be heading for something much more mysterious - and perhaps far more dangerous.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
I basically just used Testors S4 UFO model as a basis. Added a bunch of lights. Removed the top, cut a hole placed a garden scene inside, put on a magnifying lens and there you have it.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
At the time that the Mk V was placed in production there were growing fears that the Luftwaffe were about to start mass-producing very high flying bombers such as the Junkers Ju 86, which could fly above the reach of most fighters of the time. It was decided that a new Spitfire variant would be required with improved high altitude performance. During a meeting held at the RAE at Farnborough on 17 February 1941 the Air Ministry asked "that a Spitfire should be provided with a pressure cabin capable of maintaining a pressure differential of 1 lb per square inch at 40,000 feet." A Marshall-manufactured compressor was to be used, and it was agreed that the sliding canopy could be replaced by one which could not be slid open, as long as it could be jettisoned by the pilot.
The pressurised cabin was used to counter the physiological problems encountered by pilots at high altitudes. The cabin was not like the fully pressurised cabin of a modern airliner; the pressure differential provided by the modified cockpit of the VI was only two pounds per square inch (which was double the Air Ministry requirement). To achieve this, the forward and rear cockpit bulkheads were completely enclosed, with all control and electrical cables exiting though special rubber sealing grommets. In addition, the side cockpit door was replaced with alloy skin and the canopy was no longer a sliding unit: externally there were no slide rails. Once the pilot was in, the canopy was locked in place with four toggles and sealed with an inflatable rubber tube. It could be jettisoned by the pilot in an emergency. The windscreen of production Mk VIs was the same as the type fitted to the Mark III and some Mk Vs although it was fitted with an inward opening clear-view panel on the port quarter pane. The effect was to make 37,000 ft (11,000 m) seem like 28,000 ft (8,500 m) to the pilot, who would still have to wear an oxygen mask. Pressurisation was achieved by a Marshall-manufactured compressor located on the starboard side of the engine, fed by a long intake below the starboard exhaust stubs. Mk VIs were built with the Coffman cartridge starter, with a small teardrop fairing just ahead of the compressor intake.
The engine was a Rolls-Royce Merlin 47 driving a four-bladed Rotol propeller of 10 ft 9 in (3.27 m) diameter; the new propeller provided increased power at high altitudes, where the atmosphere is much thinner. To help smooth out airflow around the wingtips the standard rounded types were replaced by extended, pointed versions extending the wingspan to 40 ft 2 in (12.2 m). Otherwise the wings were Type B.
The maximum speed of the Mk VI was 356 mph (573 km/h) at 21,800 ft (6,600 m). However, because of the limitations of the single stage supercharger, at 38,000 ft (12,000 m) the maximum speed had fallen away to 264 mph (425 km/h). The service ceiling was 39,200 ft (11,900 m).
The threat of a sustained high altitude campaign by the Luftwaffe did not materialise and only 100 of the Mk VIs were built by Supermarine. Only two units, 124 Squadron and 616 Squadron, were fully equipped with this version, although several other units used them in small numbers as a stop-gap. More often than not, the Spitfire VIs were used at lower altitudes where it was outperformed by conventional Spitfires. At high altitudes it was discovered that modified Spitfire Vs could perform almost as well as the Mk VI. At low levels, especially, pilots were often forced to fly with the canopy removed because the cockpit would get uncomfortably hot and they were not confident it would be possible to jettison the canopy in case of an emergency.
In 1943 five Spitfire VIs (BS106, BS124, BS133, BS134 and BS149) were converted to improvised PR Mk VIs by 680 Squadron in Egypt. These aircraft had been "tropicalised" using the same bulky Vokes filter and other equipment used by Spitfire VB Trops, as well as being painted in a "desert" camouflage scheme.
By the time these aircraft arrived they were no longer required to intercept high-flying Junkers Ju 86P reconnaissance aircraft although there was a need for a pressurised RAF photo reconnaissance aircraft to carry out missions over Crete and the rest of Greece. 103 MU at Aboukir carried out the modifications by removing the armament and installing vertical F8 cameras in the rear fuselage. These Spitfires were used a few times in April and May 1943 but were withdrawn from service by August. They were the first pressurised PR Spitfires.
Friday, June 8, 2018
One often sees images of the Space Shuttle riding atop of a Boeing 747. So I wanted to see how the Orion III shuttle would look.
Though they are not the same scale I think they look pretty good together.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
The Nieuport 24 was a French sesquiplane fighter aircraft during World War I designed by Gustave Delage as a replacement for the successful Nieuport 17. In the event its performance was little better than the type it was meant to replace, which was largely superseded by the SPAD S.7 instead. Operational Nieuport 24s served with French, British and Russian units, and the type also served widely as an advanced trainer.
The Nieuport 24 introduced a new fuselage of improved aerodynamic form, rounded wingtips, and a tail unit incorporating a small fixed fin and a curved rudder. The tailskid was sprung internally and had a neater appearance than that on earlier Nieuports. A 130 hp Le Rhône rotary engine was fitted.
There were initial structural problems with the new tail, and most production aircraft of the type were of the Nieuport 24bis model, which retained the fuselage and wings of the 24, but reverted to the Nieuport 17 type tailplane, tailskid and rectangular balanced rudder. The new tail was finally standardised on the Nieuport 27.
A batch of Nieuport 24bis were built in England for the Royal Naval Air Service.
The standard armament of the Nieuport 17 (a synchronised Vickers in French service - a Lewis gun on a Foster mounting on the top wing in British service) was retained to save weight and retain a good performance, although many 24s were used as advanced trainers and normally flown without guns.
In the summer of 1917, when the Nieuport 24 and 24bis. were coming off the production line, most French fighter squadrons were replacing their Nieuport 17s with SPAD S.VIIs – and many of the new fighters went to fighter training schools, and to France’s allies, including the Russians, and the British, who used theirs well into 1918, due to a shortage of S.E.5as. A few French units retained the Nieuport through late 1917 – the type was actually preferred by some pilots, especially the famous Charles Nungesser.
Some of the large number of Nieuport advanced trainers bought by the Americans for their flying schools in France in November 1917 were 24s or 24bis.