I originally drew this because I wanted to have a profile sketch of a spaceship to display in my room. In the end though, it just got filed away.
Update (3/29/15): This ship will be making an appearance as the Olitau in the book Sword of Blue. The book, written by David Kristoph, is Book 3 of the Tales of a Dying Star series and will feature the Olitau as the flagship for the Exodus Fleet which leaves its solar system to settle around a new star.
This is a Tac Bat, It's a cross between a fighter and a heavy cannon. It's primary role is to support it's mothership with a dynamic number of extra main guns able to surround it's enemy. They are also able to fly strikemissions upto 1 AU from the base. These drones are operated by highly trained, savant capable pilots which can become almost part of their mainframe when on missions.
Concept design of a near future interplanetary spacecraft. I tried to achieve an acceptable level of realism by applying my own, limited understanding of spaceflight principles and by extensively tapping into the almighty web (e.g. Atomicrocket). I’m an aviation engineer though and most definitely not a rocket scientist, so feel free to let me know when I’m talking out of my ass here.
The Tsiolkovsky, the first manned interstellar spacecraft ever built, accelerates away from the Solar System with a crew of 100 frozen colonists. Using pulsed fusion propulsion, it powers it's way up to nearly 20% the speed of light. At such tremendous speeds, the diffuse gas and dust of the interstellar medium becomes a hail of deadly projectiles. To protect the the ship from the occasional collision with dust grains, a massive triple-layer impact shield absorbs the majority of impacts. By the time the Tsiolkovsky reaches it's target, the shield will be blasted and scarred with impact craters and radiation damage.
After it has achieved coasting velocity, the main engine is jettisoned. Once it is time to decelerate, a magnetic sail, a loop of superconducting wire many hundreds of kilometers wide is deployed, acting as a parachute by braking against it's destination's stellar wind. A smaller fusion-pulse engine then slows it into a capture orbit.
The descendant of the Stratofighter [link] : see how much the overall envergure has been reduced thus making of the fighter a far smaller target; reinforced crew compartment also provides much better protection for the pilot; made with pencil in 1996
The Argosy Spacecraft separate At just under a million miles to Mars orbit insertion. At this point, a series of precisely timed maneuvers occur. The upper section of the 2 part biological and thermal isolation shroud separates, and Reaction Control thrusters fire to distance the ships from the shroud petals. This exposes the 12 unmanned probes that will be deployed into direct entry trajectories to Mars. Four of these will return samples to the orbiting ships, while others will carry specialized rovers and experiments which will be directed from the mission spacecraft once in orbit. These will be released over the next several days in order to put them on precise final paths to touchdown points on Mars. After the probes have been dispatched, the Probe Deck will be jettisoned, exposing each ship's manned lander.
Modeled in Lightwave 10, with touch up and effects in Photoshop. Thanks for taking a look!