Sunday, October 29, 2006

One more redesign

Had to redesign the lander, I couldn't find a way to make the legs fit in the aeroshell, So I went with a landing ring similar to the Venera 9-14/VEGA landers. Also the wind turbine has been redesigned for the same reason as the legs. I think the lander looks better now

Just noticed this

Direct Launcher

"DIRECT is an alternative approach to launching missions planned under NASA's new mandate: The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE)."

They are using Orbiter to visualize this alternative
Great stuff Antonio :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Where the wind blows

Or maybe I might go with the wind powered Lander.....
hmmmm, decisions, decisions...
completely different landing sequence though, it would have to be similar to venera 1-8 (parachute landing, no freefall). Or maybe try something different, inflatable ballute?

Onwards to Venus

Had the first test in orbiter today for Venera-D. Things went great, a couple of things to fix with the models, but otherwise the models are done. I ended up changing the antenna on the Lander to a hollow cylinder like the Venera/Vega Landers, which also doubles as the parachute container. Up next configs and, working out the entry sequence for the Lander(current thinking is something similar to the Venera 9/10 Landers, that's going to be fun to try and simulate)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

But why is the Rum gone?

Because I drank it all.....
I think...
Have to confirm that one :P

I did some more work in my shop on the weeknights, painting and making airlines, I'm running copper pipes all over the place, for my airtools. I did a test the other night, too make sure there was no leaks. Ha!, I had a leak alright, a tiny one, that let out a high pitched, extremely loud scream, when the airlines was pressurized. Add to that my shop is still empty, so you have an incredible echo, just to make things more interesting.

Anyways on to the Orbiter things
I decided to go back to the original RTG powered lander for Venera-D, The wind powered one, didn't look the greatest, while the RTG one looks like it is an evolution of the Venera family. I should hopefully have Venera-D in orbiter soon

Zach I do have a Dnepr model, just needs textures, and a custom DLL, to be accurate, the third stage does a 180 degree turn and pulls the payload into orbit rather than pushes it like most rockets, it can't be done with multistage, which is the reason why I stopped development of it

Monday, October 09, 2006

New Venera-D lander

New wind powered version, had to make most of it up, since the diagram I have is little more than a sphere with a pin wheel on top of it. I think this is going to be it model wise for Venera-D, since there is very little info out on what it will look like(its still really early in the concept definition phase), for those that are interested here is info on the current orbiter/lander proposal
not a lot to work with :(

I just can't get over how stunning these pictures are from MRO and Opportunity of Victoria crater
there is a good write up from Doug Ellison on the Planetary society's blog, of the pics
I see you, Baby
Also a good article in Avleak on Victoria crater
Victoria's Secret 274K PDF

To answer Zachstar's question and anyone else who is interested, in knowing my opinion on blender and google sketch up modeling programs

Google sketch up still has a significant flaw when saving the model as .3ds, you can have textures, but no smoothing groups, or you can have smoothing groups, but no textures, you can't have both for some reason. And at the end of the day the cost for the program is crazy, $500, but I was cheating it. Using the free version to model with, and the time limited demo full version, for conversion to .3ds. :P

Blender, I got about halfway through the "Noob to Pro" tutorial, I learned more about how to use blender as a result, but my opinion remained the same. Its way to complicated, and time consuming, for the kind of modeling I do. Every model I have made so far starts off a rough model made up of nothing but basic, sphere's, cylinders, and boxes. For that Anim8or rules the day. complex shapes and finishing touches, depending on what you are making, Blender/Anim8or are on par with each other, if all you are doing is changing the shape of the faces or repositioning points, beyond that blender is the undisputed king. Textures, I know you can do great texture jobs in Anim8or, just look at the firefly jumbo, or Mustards, station pieces, I just wish they would reveal some details on how they do it. Blender has some great texture tools, But I have yet to see anybody put out a model that would make me want to give up anim8or. (GMAX on the otherhand..... WOW...). For conversion to orbiter, blender kick's ass, with its scripts, however the upcoming anim8or .95 will support scripts as well

At the end of the day, Kudos to those who use Blender, But I won't be one of them

BTW happy Thanksgiving
my fellow Canuckistani's :P

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Making progress on Venera-D. I came across some more recent info today on Venera-D, The design for the orbiter is still the same, but the lander has changed to a wind powered version, instead of RTG powered, So I might remodel the lander.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Down the rabbit hole, We go

So where have I been....
I was abducted by aliens, hit be a car, bitten by a spider(no spiderman powers yet :P), tarred and feathered by the locals, scratched by the cat, blimp crashed in the backyard.
And worst of all, I have a toilet paper cut on my ass.

LOL, just kidding, I moved my shop, And I'm still not done yet. I'm currently waiting on the floor to dry(poured concrete) in my new shop, so I can start unloading my stuff.

I knew spacex was going to be one of the final 2, but Kistler, I thought spacehab had a better proposal than kistler. Irregardless kistler's last estimate to bring the k-1 to the flight line was in the $600 million range, now you have to add on the cost's of creating a ISS resupply vehicle for the K-1. Does NASA realize that the $207 million that they have awarded to kistler, doesn't come close to the $600+ million needed to get this thing off the ground. Investors aren't exactly lining up to fund this beast, and I doubt a COTS contract is going to change things.

Lockmart starting to see the writing on the wall
Not to long ago, private space companies where described by big aerospace companies, as inexperienced, it will never fly, never happen, build it, and we might come to your bankruptcy auction, and you get what you pay for. But now, I can't get over the lockmart/Bigelow, announcement. Oh my gosh, Lockmart is talking about lowering cost's, high flight rates, making space affordable and accessible to the average Joe. Was the CEO of lockmart hit in the head or something, that's private space talk, or is the upcoming private space companies finally seen for what they really are, a threat to the dinosaur like big aerospace companies that are stuck in the stone ages
To bad NASA hasn't woken up yet, $100+ billion for the CEV program, are you F-ing kidding me

Is that really what the SS2 and its carrier aircraft "Eve" will look like, seems awfully fishy to me,
first and foremost look at the photo of WK and SS1, rather than babble about technical terms the ideal center of gravity placement for an aircraft is 10-25% of the total width of the wing, behind the leading edge of the wing, with that in mind, the SS1 center of gravity(COG) is almost on the COG of WK, so that WK will have roughly the same flight characteristics with or without SS1 onboard, also look at WK's main landing gear, notice that it is just slightly behind the COG, to give good takeoff and landing characteristics
now look at this photo of SS2 and Eve, The COG of SS2 isn't anywhere near where the COG of EVE is, and look at the main landing gear, how ridicules is that, It needs to be close to the COG, because it is the pivot point for takeoff and landing, its like lifting a fat guy on the end of a teter totter, and you are pushing down close to the pivot point. I'm surprised no-one has picked up on this yet.
Also look how close the elevator control surfaces are to the COG on SS2, same priciple fat guy on a teter totter, SS2 as it stands will have piss-poor pitch stability characteristics

So whats new on the Orbiter front
I canning all my projects, except for Venera-d, a current pic of it is in the the banner at the top of this page, time to do things one project at a time.