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Wings to Saturn by Arcas-Art Wings to Saturn by Arcas-Art
For a while now I've wanted to do the Discovery from 2001 as she was conceived by the designers - that it including the main drive's radiator panels which Kubrick chose to remove for aesthetic reasons.

I figured, since I was making that change, that I'd go ahead and picture the original mission as well: Saturn and its moon, Iapetus. As you die-hard 2001 fans know, Clarke kept that destination in the novelization. This all leads me to yet another book cover image :)

Hope ya like! Discovery model via Vanishing Point.
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:iconnonculture:
very cool, great stuff!
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:iconeddievhfan1984:
Yeah, I think I prefer the finless design for pure aesthetics, but I'd also hope there'd be some way to bleed off that excess heat. And the thing is, while the main thrusters are operating, the radiators should be dimmer, since the gas core reactors are dumping all their heat into the propellant; it should only be necessary when the reactors are just ticking over for electrical and thermal energy. Just my two cents, no criticism.
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:iconarcas-art:
Arcas-Art Nov 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
Mm. Good point!
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:iconeddievhfan1984:
I mean, suppose the reactor heat was tapped to keep the Discovery's internal environment warm; not only for the crew, but to keep the ship's structural material from getting too brittle so far from planetary or solar heat sources for quite a while. Could the reactors' excess heat be safely dissipated through that?
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:iconmorbiusx33:
'Discovery' used "Cavradyne" gaseous core fission reactors. The fuel is U-235 or U-233 with hydrogen gas as propellent. I don't recall any radiator fins in the novel but you may be right. Will have to reread it. There is "2001..." pre-production artwork you can still see of the original Discovery (see "Discovery One" on Wikipedia). The thermal fins look like an arrow emerging at the tail end of the fuselage. 
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:iconarcas-art:
Arcas-Art Sep 17, 2013  Professional General Artist
I believe the (movie) Discovery with radiators can be seen in the second edition of Filming the Future: www.amazon.com/2001-Filming-Re… . The text explains how the tech advisers urged Kubrick to include them, but he felt it made Discovery look too much like a finned rocket and we wanted to break away from that image.
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:iconmorbiusx33:
Today, the "Pegasus" design, depicted in the 2002 BBC-TV film "Voyage to the Planets", is far more of a practical design for a crewed interplanetary vehicle. Also, during the 1960s, no one considered the extent of the lethal radiation belts around Jupiter. Discovery has no visible shielding. One even wonders if humans will ever venture beyond the Moon or Mars (such places are actually farther away from us now, in both financial and vision terms, than at the time of the publication of the "2001" novel). The human race may have missed its moment in history for many millennia to come. I have become very pessimistic about human interplanetary spaceflight since the glorious year of 1968 when Apollo 8 and "2001" had our imaginations soaring to distant shores.
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:iconarcas-art:
Arcas-Art Sep 17, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yep, "Pegasus" is one of my favorite contemporary interplanetary designs.

Yeah, I know what you mean about having our vision of the future come up short. Back then going to Mars seemed inevitable and well within reach. We also had the foundations of a good infrastructure for moving forward and building on the Saturn booster technology. But with the low-balled shuttle program and the prematurely shortened Apollo missions, it all started to come apart.

That said I'm heartened by what's been coming out of Space-X - both in what they're achieving now and the technologies and missions they're researching. It's probably the most exciting aerospace venture since watching the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo flights develop. I'm hoping we'll see a man-rated Dragon capsule sooner than later.
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:iconmorbiusx33:
I still shake my middle finger at Obama for killing off NASA's Constellation Project--for what? Just because it was Bush's project? Now there's a mature asshole in charge of the nation's space assets. That's not leadership, that's political vindictiveness. But at least NASA's 'Orion' CEV spacecraft, bigger and better than Dragon, is alive and will be the lunar and interplanetary rated craft. And NASA's SLS launch system--while not as versatile as the Ares family it replaced--is the only heavy lift vehicle to get humans, a lander, and cargo to the Moon and Mars for the foreseeable future. If the plug is pulled by the next Asshole-in-Chief, that's the bitter end.
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:iconarcas-art:
Arcas-Art Sep 17, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well Obama killed Ares... and good riddance. That vehicle was garbage and a money pit. There's a reason NASA has an internal rebellion to promote an alternate design. At best Ares would have been flying in 2014, but given the problems and overrun with the program when it was finally canned, I suspect it'd have been more like 2016 before a real first flight. I think the CEV has promise and I'm glad they decided to continue development, but the design is already dated and some of the features of the Dragon design have pointed to all new engineering solutions - particularly with regards to the escape/abort system.

I never believed Bush was serious about Constellation for a second - and as his years in White House went by, he gave it less and less of the support it needed to succeed. In retrospect the program was token and mostly to help him buy votes and support.

NASA ain't what it used to be. It's become bogged down with its own bureaucracy. Again, I feel like Space-X is the closest thing to the spirit of the old NASA today and they can design, manufacture, and respond in a much more nimble fashion.

But yeah - I'm with ya in that it's sad how much this nation's space program just gets blown in circles by the political winds. The unmanned programs seem to have better luck and there's some exciting missions underway, like Dawn and New Horizons. But even the unmanned stuff has been snafued in the past by political priorities. The Reagan years are one of the best (worse) examples as both the Hubble and Galileo had to spend years (and $$$$!) in clean room storage before launch because of the administration militarization of the Shuttle program.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but increased commercialization of space access does hold some promise for evening things out. At this rate when we get back to the Moon or go onto Mars, NASA will be a mere spectator to a commercially-funded mission. And frankly that may not be a bad thing. We'll see what the future holds... but I shed no tears for Ares. We probably saved astronauts lives by putting it down.
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