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November 30, 2011
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Almost There by Drell-7 Almost There by Drell-7
With days to go before the critical Mars Orbit Insertion burn (the first time the main engine will be used) the 2 Argosy ships have deployed their unmanned Probes, and the multideck isolation shroud has been peeled away to reveal each craft's lander. In the next few hours, both ships will turn so that their NERVA nuclear engines are facing into the direction of flight, and their crews will begin the process of bringing the reactors up to temperature, and going through the meticulous checklist to prepare to enter in to orbit around Mars.
Modeled and rendered in Lightwave 10, with post work in Photoshop
Thanks for taking a look!
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:iconeagle1division:
Eagle1Division Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hah, so you have to warm the reactors and all before firing. I guess that makes sense. I'm going to be writing sci fi involving something very similar to this, do you know where I can get more information, not so much on design, but on the procedures of such a mission?
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Professional General Artist
Try this link: [link]

It may not be as detailed, but it will give you a place to start following threads...
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Professional General Artist
Oh, and also this one: [link]
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:iconeagle1division:
Eagle1Division Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Many thanks! :D
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Great to see it continuing. Stuff's about to get really interesting, huh? The landing and exploration phase? What do you have built up for models on that?

I like the lighting here. The subtle rusty rimlight on the "darkside" is just perfect. Nuanced realism ;)

So you think you're going to be able to complete the journey on this one instead of getting stranded at the target like poor Leonov? ;p
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
The MEM is built, I just have to tweak some textures. The main landscape is done-I need to create some "hero" rock formations. (If you recall Clarke's "Transit of Earth" you'll see some familiar sights...) I've got a rover design that needs to be built, so you may only see it from the distance...The suits are the biggest unknown, at this point.

As long as I can come up with a reasonably dramatic composition and light solution, I'll illustrate the whole trip, including the Venus fly-by. I'm kinda looking forward to the rendezvous of the mission ships with the space base back in Earth orbit, at the end...
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:iconabakon:
AbaKon Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional Writer
Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Just gotta slow down! I hope these nuclear brakes work...
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:iconkaranua:
karanua Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Getting close. Are you going to use aerobraking for orbital insertion?
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Professional General Artist
No, this whole plan dates from'69 and '70, before aerobraking was considered a viable technique. They do it the brut-force way, by firing those big 'ole nuclear engines. This study by vonBraun and company was a variant of a study the previous year by Boeing, but vonBraun trimmed the mass by almost half, simply by putting the ships into elliptical orbit instead of circular orbit around Mars! Here's a link to a very good synopsis of the plan: [link]
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