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Asteroid Fly-By

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En-Route to her rendezvous with Comet Murasaki-Tate III, the Deep Spacecraft COURAGEOUS flies by the Near Earth Asteroid 2092-3087, nicknamed "Frigid Nelson", in an apparent homage to Captain Dame Daphne Richardson's ex-husband. An impactor cloud of microprobes has been released and will make contact with the asteroid a few hours after COURAGEOUS's closest approach.
Built and rendered in Lightwave 8.5, with post work done in Photoshop CS2.
Thanks for taking a look!

-Tom
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© 2009 - 2021 Thomas-Peters
Comments26
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SpaceInquiries's avatar
is the ship spinning along its short axis? (sort of assume since the habitat is at one end and the (Ion?) thrusters appear to be in the middle)
SpaceInquiries's avatar
ah nevermind confirmed, I just read more replies :)
I-Phillip's avatar
This scifi is hard as diamond.
grisador's avatar
No USA flag ?

This İS a MİRACLE ! :D
 It's a great looking image and has a feel of reality about it that 2001ASO gave me in 1968. As far as I can determine there are some seven-teen flags on the habitat module. Is the USA still out of the space business, or is the Stars and Stripes plastered on the far side? Not being patriotic, just expressing my dismay at the present condition of our space program. 
Thomas-Peters's avatar
Its interesting how many folks note that about this image. Its completely accidental--the american flag is part of the other group of flags on the other side.
SamSquared's avatar
I love the realistic design; roughly how large is it?
Thomas-Peters's avatar
The hab module you see in the foreground is 45 feet long, so the vehicle is a bit over 400 feet long ( or wide, depending how you think of it) Giving a 200 foot radius to the spin axis.
AbaKon's avatar
Woooo-hoooo! New desktop!
Javajunkie1976's avatar
Is it flying sideways or am I mistaken? Great image.
Thomas-Peters's avatar
Well...no. Its flying along the axis of thrust, its just the axis of thrust is at right angles to what you might expect. The ion drive only produces a few hundredths of a G of thrust, but that's fine for deep space, the engine fires continuously for months. The ship is also spinning about the thrust axis, like a propeller, in order to simulate gravity for the crew, who occupy the hab module, nearest to us. The ship's reactor, which provides power for the electric ion drive is at the far end of the rotating boom, to provide a counterbalance for the hab, and to keep the radiation hazard as far away as possible from the crew.
GrittySmitty's avatar
That's actually a really intuitive design. I quite like that. It does make me wonder about any micro-corrections it has to make in its trajectory because of the crew moving around and the habitat module gradually losing mass from the team consuming food and ejecting waste. 
vala553's avatar
Doesn't Vasmir give more thrust AND more efficiency over ion drives?
Granted it's power hungry, but that's why you have a reactor.
vala553's avatar
VASIMR, sorry.
Seaquester's avatar
Very sharp looking and entirely feasible space craft.
simply breathtaking. some time ago i found a copy of out bound courageous,on a random late nite surf for inspiration, never knew it's creator. have since studied the design and excecution many times. what a wonderful surprize to find her here again. it may sound silly but your work touches my heart. thank you my friend.
CyberRaven's avatar
beautifully rendered, with such detail, now we just need to give NASA or whoever a boot up the backside into making nuclear powered ships
Apparently there's a subgenre of science fiction called "mundane" sci-fi, which is predicated entirely in real science and engineering as it stands now. No warp drive, no bug-eyed monsters. Usually deals with inner solar system exploration, using the kind of tech NASA has in it's toolbox for the forseeable future.

The "Courageous" strikes me as a graphic example of this genre.
Great stuff. Why no Canadian flag?! Ha ha...
Thomas-Peters's avatar
OOPS! Definitely an oversight. It might be on the other side. Canada has made consistent, steady, and very important contributions to space tech, including the absolutely essential CanadaArm and CanadaArm 2. I'm sure they're in for the long haul of space exploration.
No worries, just sort of half-joking. Actually this design reminds me a bit of one of the original concept sketches for The Nostromo by Ron Cobb from Alien.

You can see here: [link]

I really like your work, especially the Leonov, which is much closer to Clarke's vision. they look like ships that may actually fly someday!
Thomas-Peters's avatar
Yes! The Hammerhead was always one of my favorite Nostromo designs! I always sort of wondered if it influenced the NASA design study on which the "Courageous" is based. I'm lucky enough to have a copy of Cobb's "Colorvisions" book, which has a great full page version of that drawing.
Thanks for the kind words. I find it much more interesting to actually take the time to take a stab at plausible spacecraft design. I think the realism adds something to the art, even if the audience doesn't necessarily get all the nuances.
Hmm... if so, then it would be life imitating art, then art imitating life again.

You do it well. I only wish I could be one of those who actually get to take part in these voyages someday. Maybe my kids/grandkids?...
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