Thursday, July 25, 2013

Future Spaceships and Interstellar Travel - Part 5

Hungary-based space illustrator Adrian Mann is a graphical engineer for the Project Icarus, an effort to research the possibilities for interstellar travel. When scientists conceive of spaceships for travel to another star, most proposals require advanced and exotic propulsion mechanisms, including nuclear power and antimatter power. The following illustrations by Mann show some of the proposed concepts for vehicles to take us beyond the solar system, this is the part 5 of the series post.

Orbiting Hotel:
With the addition of two inflatable modules, an orbiting hotel could be created for up to 20 guests by the concept vehicle SKYLON.

SKYLON & Fluyt:
With additional modules, a refueling base could be constructed for ‘Fluyt’ orbital transfer vehicles by the SKYLON craft.

Fluyt Orbital Transfer Vehicles:
The Fluyt orbital transfer vehicles could also be used to construct and service large geostationary communications platforms.

At the end of 2008, a feasibility study began into the use of a space-based Orbital Transfer Vehicle named Fluyt in order to investigate the performance of a reusable rocket stage that would be permanently based in low-Earth orbit.

Orbital Base Station:
The concept of an Orbital Base Station (OBS) was studied to demonstrate that large, highly modular structures could be built in low-Earth orbit, providing accommodation for the crews, protection from orbital debris, continuous internal lighting and propellant storage. Such a facility would enable large ships for the exploration of the moon and Mars to be constructed.

Troy Mission:
The proposed Troy mission is envisaged to be performed in two parts: an unmanned, precursor mission, and the later manned mission. Using SKYLON, the elements for the Troy ships are delivered to an Orbital Base Station, where the components are assembled.

Troy Vehicle:
The proposed Troy vehicle's transit time to Mars would be 264 days, and on arrival, the three landing modules would be deployed to land at a pre-selected site, forming a base. Three precursor ships would be sent, forming three bases on Mars that would enable the rovers to reach more than 90 percent of the Martian surface.

Credit for the images and description goes to: Adrian Mann

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