Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Argosy:T minus 20 Hours by Drell-7 Argosy:T minus 20 Hours by Drell-7
After Apollo 11 and Apollo 12, NASA used the momentum of those triumphs to launch their proposal to develop several pieces of hardware, the Nuclear Ferry or Primary Propulsion Module, which could provide regular transportation to Geosynchronous orbit and the Moon, and the Standard Mission Module, which could serve as a planetary surface base or orbital station. These, combined with a Science Mission Module specific for the destination, could be combined to form Project Argosy spacecraft, capable of missions to Mars, Venus, asteroids and comets. For these deep=space missions, the Argosy spacecraft would launch from Earth orbit, with two PPMs boosting the main craft into its transfer orbit, then separating, to decelerate themselves to return to Earth orbit for reuse. The lone remaining PPM would provide power and propulsion for the rest of the mission. In this way, a robust compatible collection of manned craft would be available for standard missions, in a flexible architecture to meet varieties of mission needs. I've attached the name Argosy, or treasure fleet, to the project.

Here, the nuclear boosters have been joined with the mission spacecraft, and final check outs and adjustments are proceeding in Earth orbit. In 20 hours, the window will open for the Mars launch.

Modeled in Lightwave 10. I already had the Nuclear Ferry modeled, and I'm still working on the Science Module and Standard Mission Module. Thanks for taking a look!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmavmaramis:
mavmaramis Featured By Owner May 31, 2015
Could almost be Chesley Bonestell
Reply
:iconamericaneagle2076:
AmericanEagle2076 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2015
STILL a viable concept that will work with our current technology and can be done with or without nuclear power, even though that is the most efficient fuel.
Reply
:iconsomercet:
somercet Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014
Ah, we can dream. :(
Reply
:iconsofdmc:
SoFDMC Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nuclear powered rockets would be the best way to open the way for manned exploration of Mars by cutting down the journey time to weeks.
Reply
:icontyyrlym:
Tyyrlym Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
That is just all kinds of sexy.
Reply
:icon007blacksheep:
007Blacksheep Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Professional General Artist
WOW Brilliant Illustration work.
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconwilliam-black:
William-Black Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Exceptional work on your research and execution. This is one of the best depictions of the Boeing/North American Rockwell Mars mission spacecraft I’ve ever seen. It’s great to see new post-Apollo Integrated Program Plan art. Very well done!
Reply
:icontaka67:
Taka67 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
If they only had done this. :(
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
Well, someone may do it, someday...
Reply
:iconstealerofsuns:
StealerofSuns Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
SpaceX. Elon Musk ftw.
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well, sorta. I love the optimism and engineering creativity that Space X has brought to an industry that seems to be more and more accomplished at explaining why they CAN'T do something, but they can't pull off a Mars mission on their own. At some point, a nation, or nations, must commit to the vision of moving out into the solar system, and make it a priority backed with ideology and proper resources.
Reply
:iconstealerofsuns:
StealerofSuns Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think they could pull a mars mission on their own, not currently. But that doesn't /necessarily/ mean a government has to be involved either (Though I think in all likelihood they will in some manner or another, be that NASA, ESA, etc). After all, there's Bigelow which could supply components for the craft needed for the trip there, and this reusable rocket tech that SpaceX is developing could well be a game changer, make space exploration actually appealing to governments. Who knows? I think there is still a significant amount of hope for our future in space.
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
You make good points. There are some technological possibilities that could radically change the equation, and a private / government cooperative venture is a great idea. I know it will happen sometime, I just hope I'm around to see it.
Reply
:iconstealerofsuns:
StealerofSuns Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Major infodump here, but this is all amazing stuff:

I think it will happen sooner than we might think. Though SpaceX may not currently have the capability, it has actually been stated many times by their CEO that Mars is actually the ultimate goal for their company, and a colony at that. In fact, they have announced that the name of a rocket that they will be building (Formerly thought to be the Falcon XX) is actually to be called the Mars Colonial Transport.

The reusable tech is basically a way to revolutionize space travel, and through that, get to Mars. They've already flown 800 feet with a very large test rig and landed vertically with one of the same exact engines used on a falcon 9, and the next phase of this effort, (Called the Grasshopper series of vehicles) will attempt to go up 300,000 feet and land vertically on the pad. Even nearer future than that (And that is very near future, perhaps less than a year away) is the next falcon 9 launch. They are actually going to do a controlled descent of the first stage over the ocean, in preparation and to develop the tech for eventual rapidly reusable rocket launches.

So, sorry for that infodump, but I think the future in space is brighter than one might think. We unfortunately must look past NASA for some of these things, but they will happen given time, and perhaps even sooner than if NASA had undertaken the efforts.

And you should totally look up that Grasshopper footage if you haven't seen it. It's pretty awesome xD
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yeah, I've been keeping up on the Grasshopper. It really is an elegant idea. Eventually, the first AND second stages , as well as the Dragon spacecraft, will come back for a vertical soft landing. Its a brilliant idea, and I think Space X may just have the daring and engineering prowess to pull it off. The Mars Colonial Transport is an awesome looking beast-- it seems to have many of the specifications of von Braun's NOVA class boosters, his follow on to the Saturn V, which, of course, was never built.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconjburns272:
Jburns272 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excelent work as usual.
Both the art and the concept :)
Reply
:iconkedamono-mizudori:
kedamono-mizudori Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011
Drell-7, I just showcased this illustration on my Real Spaceship Illustrations site. I really like your work and I will probably showcase more of your work in the future. Thanks for making Real Spaceships!

[link]
Reply
:iconcutangus:
CUTANGUS Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Excellent work!
Are these the N.E.R.V.A. rocket engines, isn't it?
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional General Artist
Yes. Specifically, these are the NERVA 2 engine, producing 250,000 lbs of thrust.
Reply
:iconexocolumn:
exocolumn Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011
Very nice!
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmraverage:
MrAverage Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional Artist
Nice to see the Nuclear Energy Rocket Vehicle Application get a new lease on life! Unfortunately from what I've seen of the studies on NERVA it would have been far too expensive to build in orbit and too costly in fuel to launch it there. I'm a proponent of Zubrin's Mars Direct proposals. Still, NERVA is a really cool design.

--M
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Professional General Artist
NERVA wasn't too bad for weight. The stage was designed to lift on a "2 and a half" stage Saturn V, basically a first and second stage of a Saturn V, with 2 big Solid Rocket strap-ons. It would go up all ready fueled, in a ceramic heat shield, in case there was a launch accident, as was done for the RTGs that launched on the Apollo surface missions.

I admire Zubrin's proposals, and think they're really well thought out. They're a bit risky, but that's kind of inherent in any manned exploration of the solar system.
Reply
:iconhandofmanos:
HandofManos Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Inspiring work! loveley amount of detail as well.
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks. I do love to get into the details...
Reply
:icondragonpyper:
dragonpyper Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
Beautiful!
Fantastic work. :D
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks, man!
Reply
:iconghostbirdofprey:
GhostBirdofPrey Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
Very nice.

It's a pity history didn't play out this way due to shortsightedness. Apollo era technology could have given us the solar system, but we remain prisoners of this single planet.
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Yeah, the NERVA nuclear engine, which was key to this plan, was well on its way to producing a flight engine when it was defunded in the 70's.
Reply
:iconmarrekie:
Marrekie Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
Great work on those booster modules. Nice background story as well mate.
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Its a pretty interesting history. The failure to fun the plan pretty much broke von Braun. He retired from NASA soon afterward.
Reply
:iconmarrekie:
Marrekie Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Didn't know that actually. Had to look it up on the web. To be fair though; it would've been quite an undertaking to actually launch such a mission during the seventies / early eighties.
Still... It's a shame. During the nineties I was convinced I'd be able to witness the first manned mission to Mars in my lifetime. Today, I'm pretty certain this will not happen.
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Well, they actually had the NERVA ready for space tests when the funds were cut for the project. The biggest remaining obstacles were in closed-cycle life support and practical radiation shielding. I think both of those could have been solved if we spent the 70's funding work on them. (The mission was being planned for the Mars window in 1981). Now--I don't think the U.S. has the ability to carry off any project of this magnitude. Technologically we could, but not politically. China might be up for it, though...
Reply
:iconbenjonesart:
benjonesart Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
so sad I work for NASA and i KNOW I wont see someting like this in my lifetime
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Yeah, I used to work at NASA/Goddard as a technical illustrator. It seemed like the only thing the agency could do is produce endless design studies...
Reply
:iconbenjonesart:
benjonesart Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
oh cool i work with the near earth network in las cruces
Reply
:iconptrope:
Ptrope Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I miss the future ...

Super-nice!
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
You and me both, man...
Reply
:iconnicelabs:
NICELabs Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic!!! I'm an incurable optimist... what goes around comes around also works for good things too. Such an idea may not have been treated to the right time and right place, but here's hoping it will resurface and we will be ready for greatness :) In the meantime, thank you for reminding us of our potential :)
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Yeah, we might not be the ones to do it--but I have no doubt someone will take up the challenge!
Reply
:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Nice! :+fav:
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
=D
Reply
:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Professional General Artist
I don't suppose it makes any difference that I hit the fave button 47 times, does it???

You rock my stillborn future!
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
I hope you didn't damage those talented fingers of yours! Yeah, even though its bittersweet, its really fun to get into building and rendering these iconic designs that could have been.
Reply
:icon1wyrmshadow1:
1Wyrmshadow1 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
I weep how history actually played out.
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
It is sad, and perplexing. The good news is, the plans still exist, and SOMEONE, some day will have the drive and determination to make them happen.
Reply
:iconmarrekie:
Marrekie Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
Second that man.
Reply
:iconmsgtfrank:
msgtfrank Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Student General Artist
oh wow this is amazing!
Reply
:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×
Download JPG 1600 × 874




Details

Submitted on
October 27, 2011
Image Size
843 KB
Resolution
1600×874
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
17,072
Favourites
241 (who?)
Comments
52
Downloads
521
×