Sunday, December 11, 2005

Lost in space -- again

Of all the posts I've done to date, the ones I've gotten the most reponse to are my 1/6th astronauts and the mention of incomplete space-station project. That darned space station has to be the most famous project never completed. I still get regular emails from people asking about it.

Sadly it got stalled when I went back to work on finishing my home office, and after beind stored in my sun-porch for a while, ended up disassembled. In truth, I'd run into a series of engineering problems that were frustating me, and when (and hopefully if) it gets completed, it may be rebuilt almost from scratch to get around those problems.

Still, it was the grandest thing I've ever tried, and it's worth revisiting some of those photos.

Note the shot with the original Major Matt Mason Space Station shown inside the structure of my larger version. In the later shots, you can see the roof beacon, and the roof-crane (a riff off the way that the MMM Space Crawler could be attached sideways to the Space Station roof to act as a crane). In some shots, I drew in lines on the computer to show where the transparent outer panels would be attached, but I never worked out the details of how those would work.

You can also some of the engineering problems that discouraged me. It was nearly impossible to keep the platforms, made of dozens of connectors and short pieces of pipe, flat and level. Even tiny errors in assembly got magified by the many joints and the circular nature of the structure, so that closing each circle, be it the outer rim of the platform, or the inner rim of the roof section, was an excercise in frustration. I never worked out the details of the transparent panels, and there were many other hurdles to be resolved.

Still, every time I look at these, I want to take another run at it. Where I'd store or display such a big piece, and where I'd take it even for photos (the coastal Northwest is just generally too green to look like the Moon or Mars) are nagging questions though.


Brigadier Graemon said...

A space station! Decent idea, Steve. Sure wish you'd give it a try again. It don't have to be perfect--it only has to look "as if." Heck, ya wouldn't really need to make the thing as big as before, or entirely 3-D--ya could just make it "shelf-sized" and only a front half without a back half, ya know? If ya don't turn it around, who'd know?

And, instead of a vertical format, like the MMM station, why not consider a horizontal format, like a series of rooms that lead Fore and Aft? Maybe a control room, a science station, a crew dorm, a storage area, and an engineering deck--as a start. Might be able to make it work like your previous entry about your "creativity" shelving.

Just an idea...keep up the blog entries. They are "stimulating."

J. Steven York said...

Thanks for the comments and ideas. A "half" space station is an idea I suppose, built it like a shelf against a wall (though wall space is always at a premium around here).

That's my problem though. I want to built the whole thing, encluding all the parts you can't usually see (like the air-lock I intended to build inside the orignal MMM space-station console). Some parts of the design, like the working roof-crane, really require the station to be built "in the round" (or at least, "in the octagon" anyway).

Is it better to do half-a-thing rather than nothing at all? Maybe. Not sure.