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Leaving Earth by Drell-7 Leaving Earth by Drell-7
Argosy 1 and 2 are accelerated into a Marsbound transfer orbit by their NERVA nuclear boosters. This burn adds 3.8 meters per second to the Earth's orbital speed around the sun, breaking the ships out of Earth orbit and injecting them on a long elleptical solar orbit. Most of the boost phase takes place in orbital night. Dawn comes as the combined ships rise in their outbound trajectory. They will be in continuous daylight from now until they enter orbit around Mars.

Rendered and modeled in Lightwave 10 and Photoshop CS 3

Thanks for taking a look!
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:icontemplerman:
templerman Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015
This is an amazing image. I am reminded of a scene from the motion picture "Silent Running", though I think the two (or was it three) American Airlines space freighters were passing in front of Saturn. Great Work.
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:iconhgfggg:
hgfggg Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013
I keep expecting everything to aerobrake... too much KSP I guess.
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:iconscifiwarships:
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Man.. This is quite something. The litle bit of story completes the picture, and it leaves me wondering about their mission, what year it is, what awaits them on Mars.
I am stunned at what this artwork does to my imagination. Thank you for sharing.
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:icontransistor:
transistor Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011
outstanding!
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:iconkaranua:
karanua Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Boost to midpoint and flip for acceleration to orbital insertion? Sorry I'm trying to remember the limitations of the NERVA engine. Sweet pictures as always my friend I like the way you have captured the nuclear torches of the exhausts wonderfully.
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
No, the NERVA delivered about 250,000 pounds of thrust, but could "burn" for an hour or so. In this case the 2 boosters put the mission spacecraft on a coasting Hohmann Transfer orbit that will intersect with Mars, at which point the mission spacecraft use their NERVA to decelerate into Mars orbit. I don't think we have a practical design even now for a drive that could do the continuous thrust and midpoint turnover trick....(well, maybe an ion drive, but acceleration would be REALLY slow)
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:iconhelge129:
Helge129 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The NEXT (I think that was the name?) Ion Engine has recently completed a 5-year long test burn.
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:iconkaranua:
karanua Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There was the design tabled for a nuclear pumped ion engine using ceasium as a reactant on the table when I was doing my PhD that promised constant thrust (on paper I must add, I checked their figures but could never recreate their findings no matter what atomic weight reactant I used) the ion engine is totally useless for propulsion on anything but robots the sail being faster lol.
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:iconspqr-fr:
SPQR-FR Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
Nice pieces setting and lighting of the scene indeed. One of your best works in my opinion :love:
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks! This one' been in my head longer than I'd care to say. Its good to get it into the open looking something like I imagined it looking.
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:iconspqr-fr:
SPQR-FR Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
I you turn the picture 90 on the left, it looks like for me as if the ships were rocketing to the future, with a new dawn for Mankind besides.
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:iconspqr-fr:
SPQR-FR Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
Also great technical comment ;)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional General Artist
Ooooooo!
Ahhhhhh!
And I can't say that enough.
A Drell-7 classic - EASILY! Wonderful work, my sometimes-partner-in-crime!!! :D
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
:D
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:icondarkchi2:
Darkchi2 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011   Digital Artist
this is good stuff.
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks!
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:iconjsuchuaato25:
jsuchuaato25 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Nice work. Absolutely lovely modelling and rendering. :) Is it worth getting LightWave 10 if you're using 9.6, by the way?
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
I upgraded from 8.5 to 10, and that was certainly worth it. I'm not sure what the improvements were between 9.6 and 10.
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:iconjsuchuaato25:
jsuchuaato25 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Well, 9.6 is buggy and crashes often, unfortunately, which is why I was considering the upgrade.
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:icondrell-7:
Drell-7 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Oh! Well, that's one thing that HAS improved! I think 10 has crashed ONCE since I got it. MUCH more stable!
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November 1, 2011
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