Sunday, October 09, 2011

Moving forward

This blog ends here.
All past and future content is available at my new site:

Thank you for viewing.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The making of Clipper

To finish my diploma-thesis I also had to write a documentation about the book-project. It contains some additional information about the topic, conception, inspiration and realization of the book.

If anyone is interested to read it (the text is only in german), I uploaded the file to Google-docs. You can view or download (File -> Download original) the file here:

Thank you for viewing!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chapter 15: The Landing

The final chapter about the landing isn't finished at all. I have only made some renderings to test the models and lighting.

For the landing the Clipper deploys a huge paraglider that is stored above the cabin. It's needed to create additional lift at low speeds during the landing maneuver.

The flight of the Clipper ends with this chapter (for now).

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chapter 14: Atmospheric Flight

When reaching the dense atmospheric layers the aerodynamic shape of the Clipper starts to take effect.
The illustrations of this chapter show the different features of its design during the gliding flight:
- The attack angle influences the gliding range.
- To create lift without wings the body is shaped like a wing.
- Two flaps at the back provide limited control of the craft during wingless flight.
- The folded wings minimize the stress during supersonic flight.
- After unfolding its wings the Clipper can be steered like an airplane.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Chapter 13: Reentry

The reentry begins at the height of 120 kilometers. At this point the Clipper still has a velocity of around 28.000 kilometers per hour.
Entering the atmosphere at this speed compresses the air in front of the glider. The air heats up until it turns into a super-hot plasma tail. A heat-absorbing shield protects the cabin inside the Clipper. It's porose material basically works like a sponge.

The main goal of the reentry is to slow down. During this, the flat curve of the flight-path has to stay between two extremes:
A too steep entrance angle will burn the Clipper up. While on a too flat curve, the breaking effect of the atmosphere won't be strong enough to descent further. The Clipper would stay on a very low orbit.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chapter 12: Deorbiting

After fulfilling its mission the Clipper separates from the station. The following deorbiting maneuver is basically a reversed orbit injection.
Instead of accelerating the Clipper breaks to lower its orbit into the earth atmosphere.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Concept for Chapter 11: The Greenhouse

This chapter was supposed to show the greenhouse-interior. The construction of the whole space station got a lot more time-consuming than expected and I had to leave it unfinished. I feel very sorry about that, because I love the the idea of a greenhouse in space. Hopefully I'll get the time to finish it in the future.

The sketches above show how I planned the chapter. The first picture shows how the cosmonauts enter the empty module. The next two double-pages explain that the greenhouse is a part of the stations closed ecosystem and its modular design (the modules can be attached to together to create bigger greenhouses).
The last image shows the interior full of different plants.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chapter 10: Inflating the Greenhouse

During several EVA sessions the module is being installed and prepared. The most important step is to put the interior under pressure and expand the module to an experimental greenhouse.
It's not shown yet, but the next step will be to install some shutters outside the module to control the interior temperature.

The quick sketches show the set-up of this chapter.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chapter 9: Expanding the Station

The expansion-procedure:
A second rocket brings the new module into an low-earth orbit. At the same time a space-tug separates from the stations back. The tug is basically an autonomous station-module equipped with its own engines, docking-devices, navigation instruments and power supply. The design is heavily inspired by the real russian space-tug concept Parom.
After separation the tug lowers its orbit until it reaches the new modules flight path. It docks at the modules rear, ignites the main engines and starts to raise back to the stations orbit.
At the station the tug stops several hundred meters behind it. Now the station starts to rotate itself until the designated docking-port at the right side faces to the back.
During the last step the tug docks the module and separates again. The station rotates into the normal position and the tug resumes its original parking position.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chapter 8: The Space-Laboratory

The second half of the book begins with a section about the space-station. The first double page is supposed to show the space-stations orbit, while the following pages give an overview of the modular design of the station.
The conception of this part is complete but the illustrations and page layout are still very rough.