Free Fall by wblack ()
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An Orion’s Arm future history project image.
The axial hub of Titan Station under construction.
In the context of my future history Titan is a target for recovery of nitrogen necessary to the Martian terraforming program. The expanse of time required to recover sufficient quantities of nitrogen would extend over the duration of the 500 hundred years thought necessary to accomplish the task via the resource importation method.
Image would fall between the +300 year mark and the +750 year mark on my future history timeline, context link: Orion’s Arm Future History Timeline.
The temperature at Titan's surface is about -289 degrees Fahrenheit and its surface pressure is about 60 percent greater than the Earth's – the terraforming program would require an enormous number of atmospheric entry’s, surface landings, and launches to place men, habitats, along with the industrial equipment required, on the surface. Associated ventures may arise considering the potential industrial usefulness of materials known to be present in the environment of Titan.
Terraforming operations alone will span centuries – and considering the need to maintain the Martian atmosphere, would likely continue indefinitely.
Titan Station is constructed to serve as a repair and maintenance center for the vehicles required for the terraforming resource recovery program.
The hub, shown under construction here, is 850 feet in diameter – this will be a pressure-hull, as much of the hubs interior will remain in vacuum. Interior space will contain maintenance berthing for spacecraft, along with freight handling facilities. Surrounding this core will be machine shops and parts fabrication centers, and equipment warehouses, along with habitation for station personnel and housing for work crews rotating down to (or returning from) the surface – the entire construction will be wrapped in layers around the hub seen under construction here.
This post is a continuation of the exploration of specialized spacecraft used to construct and maintain large scale space habitats in and among the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Theme begun with my posts:
Link: R.E.M. Repair & Engineering Module
Link: R.E.M. Damage Inspection
Link: Enceladus Station
Link: Outward from Enceladus
Link: High Steel Titan Orbit
All models are my own Bryce creations, constructed in Bryce 6.3, rendered in Bryce 7 Pro.
As always thank you for your interest, thoughtful comments, and encouragement.
Image Comments (17)
Compositional Note: I composed the image in such a way as to attempt to slightly distort the visual cues which the human eye and mind use to define the sense “up” and “down” in order to lend a sense of “Free Fall” to the image, this being the conditions under which the station is being assembled. I am not sure how well this succeeded – and would be interested in your comment. Original image is 3360 x 2475 this version has been re-sized significantly to fit within the 512k limit. Image is composited from 14 individual renders of the various construction and support vehicles positioned on and around the central model of the hub construction, along with two renders required to show the construction crews working to secure structural panels (crews are visible on the inner surface of image Right and image Left panels at the rim of the hub) – and additionally one to three image Masks per render necessary for the compositing process. Foreground: A Crew Support Vehicle rotates around its short axis to align its docking node to the docking node of the Construction Rig visible along the lower foreground of the image. The Crew Support Vehicle is designed to transport crews around the construction site and provide support for extended EVA operations. Its Operations Module dimensions are 50’ x 25’ x 35’. It sports two airlocks, one being the docking node visible here, the other being an EVA lock with an external illuminated deck and spotlights for illumination of work-area. Command Module is the common-fleet module first shown on my Tanker-Transport – this being the first close-in detail depiction. OMS Stage is a larger diameter, higher thrust, up-rated version of the same stage design shown on my R.E.M. (Repair &Engineering Module). Total vehicle length is 165’. Foreground vehicles are just over half a mile from the station hub. To image Left and Center of the Crew Support Vehicle are three vehicles of the same type shown under thrust (from visually largest to visually smallest these are progressively closer to the hub) engines firing to match orbital velocity with the hub – the sense of this being that their direction of travel is in the direction their rocket’s are firing as they decelerate to zero relative velocity. My intent with this portion of the image is to show how spacecraft perform such operations in a real-world environment. I am not sure how many realize that the Space Shuttle actually approached the ISS flying backward, (the center of its approach vector being the primary docking node at the foreword end of the payload bay, and not the vehicle’s nose) its main orbital maneuvering engines performing timed engine-burns to trim its velocity relative to the ISS. In the same manner, and for same reasons, the vehicles shown here would fire their main engines in short time-controlled burns to maneuver around the structure at low relative velocities. Reaction-Control jets (the gold-colored thruster quads mounted on pylons (the pylon-mounting increases the moment-arm of the thruster quad)) serve to aim the main thruster, and deliver the fine control to rotate, pitch, and yaw the vehicle – as well as move the vehicle up, down, and back and forth (relative to its centerline) in short increments. Note that in the docking maneuver shown in the paired Crew Support Vehicle and Construction Rig image Foreground – thruster quads on the Crew Support Vehicle can be seen firing, inducing the rotation required to align its docking node to the Construction Rig. As scale reference, note the Crew Support Vehicle positioned next to the Construction Rig (Image Center upper quadrant) and the two Crew Support Vehicles inside the open end of the hub (Image Right and Image Left). These vehicles are positioned to provide EVA support for crews securing panels to the hub. One additional Crew Support Vehicle is visible (Middle Foreground Image Left) it’s spotlights illuminating the deep shadow along the hub in this part of the image as it moves into position to dispatch an EVA crew to this location. A regrettable loss of detail to the scale and compression requirement are the tools I crafted for each individual member of the EVA teams visible on the panels (Image Top, panels Image Right and Image Left) which conveyed the sense of what these crews are doing. I will save the exposition in regards to how the panels are secured and connected for an up-coming image showing in close-up the procedure these EVA crews are involved with.