Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Heavy Metal

Since these images are probably no longer online (And the project is not one thats abandoned, just on a long list of stuff to-do) I'll repost them here for old followers of the project and new alike. Hopefully i'll make some more progress on this vehicle this year.

Its your one way ticket to midniiii.... umm, Mars.
It is intended to be a 50+ years future spacecraft: Powered by Helium 3 fuelled Fusion engines it can take off from a (very long - like Area 51 long)  runway built as a custom spaceport.   As you can tell, the vehicle is huge and is needed to take a lot of passengers on journeys between the earth End Mars.

Once at Mars there are perhaps several options:  Docking with a spacestation and shuttling down to the surface; the spacecraft in its entirety could land on the surface using VTOL engines or the front section itself could detach and take all passengers and crew to the surface. This feature might save weight due to less VTOL engines required or increase safety.  During all manoeuvring passengers are contained in the front section, as well as a landing module this could also serve as a lifeboat.  A requirement if Zapp Brannigan is at the controls. 

Docked at a mockup spacestation with centrifuge deployed.
Landing would be tricky at high speeds and high angle of attack (AOA) so the pilot would need extra assistance.  When complete the model will be usable in Orbiter and perhaps other applications as it is designed as a real time model to be used in real time applications, despite its large size.  This is accomplished through extensive use of texture tiling.  I would like someone to be able to stand on the hull and not see the pixels so the approach to detailing is more along the lines of an environment than a vehicle in traditional terms.  Along similar lines of approach is the Normandy SR1 and SR2 from Mass Effect.
As with any high AOA landing vehicle, this will land fast and nose high. 
A fully (or perhaps limited to couple of decks) explorable interior, including flight deck/virtual cockpit and access to the centrifuge is planned.  Since lighting will have to be all in the textures themselves, 'baked' into the texture tiles a day/night cycle is accomplished by flipping the texture sets on a regular interval in flight, satisfying the primitive hu-man need for sleep.  Personal entertainment is probably more likely over the traditional two week long inflight movie but the occasional classic might be broadcast on the decks info panels. 

this area, a zero g zone within the forward hull, might be full of seating, a concern for a real time model due to the vast amounts of seats that could be fitted in the cavernous hull! 

Any further development of this project will be shown in its entirety in this blog, thanks for reading.