2001:a space odyssey

page 5 (of 5)

The Orion One "lower stage"

(The "First stage" of the Orion Spacecraft combination )

 

 

From the book  '2001: a Space Odyssey'   by Arthur C Clarke.

 
As the plane banked Dr Floyd could see a dead-straight scar across the flat Florida landscape - the multiple rails of a giant launching track.

 At its end ,surrounded by vehicles and gantries a spaceplane lay gleaming in a pool of light. Then tiny figures on the ground brought home to him the real size of the spacecraft. It must have been two hundred feet across the narrow V of its wings..........................

 
The launching track began to sling its thousand ton payload out over the Atlantic. It was hard to tell when they lifted from the track, but when the roar of the rockets doubled in fury Floyd knew that the first stage engines had taken over....
 
...the noise abruptly slackened and captain Tynes announced "Preparing to separate from lower stage"
 
The spacecraft was flying now beyond all the dreams of da Vinci....and its exhausted companion was winging back to earth, in a thousand mile arc....the empty lower stage would glide down through the atmosphere and in a few hours, serviced and refuelled it would be ready again to lift another companion towards the stars.
 
Floyd shielded his eyes... out there the swept back wing of the Orion  was blazing like white hot metal in the reflected sunlight

 

 

(Click on to enlarge)

I have had the above sketch I made of the Orion 1 here on my website for over 11 years (since about 2001).

Some 6 years ago I made a cardboard 'mock up' Orion 1 'First Stage' based on the rough sketch, no engines though!  (see below pictures)

 

 

        

I intend to build a proper plastic display version of the above cardboard model in the near future.  Ian (stargazer May 2011)

 

The cardboard Model is made in 1/144 scale, this is the same scale as my Orion 2 and 3 models. The Orion 1 cardboard 'mock up' is based on  A.C.Clarke's description in the 2001 novel.

Whereby A.C.C says it is  "two hundred feet across the narrow V of its wings"   So I have made the Orion 1 to be a scale 200ft "across the narrow V of its wings" (In 1/144 scale) and to have a 'similar look' to the Orion's 2 & 3... but of course much

larger to accommodate that "200ft wingspan" description of A,C.C's...

In addition I have made the diameter of the body of the Orion One  33 ft... this is also the diameter of the Saturn V moon rocket. 

In the '2001 universe' where A.C.C describes (in the book) That  Saturn V's to still 'be in use' in 2001*...I figured that perhaps components of the Saturn V would find  themselves being utilized in the Orion 1 first stage, Tanks, Ribs, etc.

(indeed there were plans for a winged Saturn V for real ** drawn up by NASA in the early 1960's !!!) 

The 'Orion combination' *** is launched on a track,  A.C.C. says  "dead-straight scar across the flat Florida landscape - the multiple rails of a giant launching track"  the Orion combination sits on the launch track atop a

powerful 'Linear motor' a electro-magnetic device that hurls down the launch track at high speed flinging the Orion combination into the air at the end of the track.  

"The launching track began to sling its thousand ton payload out over the Atlantic. It was hard to tell when they lifted from the track but when the roar of the rockets doubled in fury Floyd knew that the first stage engines had taken over" and the Orion was on its way to Orbit.  

"The noise abruptly slackened and captain Tynes announced "Preparing to  separate from lower stage"  The Orion 2 or 3 'payload' were  "flying now beyond all the dreams of da Vinci" While the Orion 1 now  "exhausted  was winging back to earth, in a thousand mile arc....the empty lower stage would glide down through the atmosphere and in a few hours, serviced and refuelled it would be ready again to lift another companion towards the stars".

 

"As the plane banked Dr Floyd could see a dead-straight scar across the flat Florida landscape - the multiple rails of a giant launching track".

NASA tests a linear motor on a prototype Maglev railroad  in 1999. According to NASA "Tracks like this could be used to launch vehicles into space in the future".

SEE Photo:

 

* A 21st century Saturn 5 would of course be similar, but not the same as the 1960's vehicle, It would  by now be lighter with the extensive use of carbon fibres, have extended tanks, and much more powerful engines... as well as strap on boosters.

** In June 1962 NASA funded studies with several contractors on Operations and Logistics for Space Stations. North American's study was dated 18 March 1963. The second alternative was a two-stage reusable booster derived from the Saturn V. This would boost either an 11,400 kg cargo, or a half-disc lifting body spaceplane, which would accommodate two crew plus ten passengers and minor cargo

The next S-IC flyback booster study was made in 1963 by NASA-MSFC in collaboration with Boeing. The Boeing 922-12 had wings with span of 45 m (150 feet) and 930 sq m area. The wingtip fins provided a total vertical area of 85 sq m each. A manned cockpit would have been just ahead of the left wing.

The 2001 'alternate universe'

*** The original 'Orion' orbiter, is the Orion II  (Orion 1 being the larger 'booster' stage of the two stage Boeing Orion combination ) the Orion II cargo fleet, are the workhorse of the 2001 'what might have been' world. Used to deliver and retrieve satellites, and also used in the construction of the giant Orbital Stations, and later to ferry components of the Discovery spacecraft, notably the 'linkable spine' units and antenna module components, for final assembly in Earth orbit. The Orions II's are used exclusively by NASA and the USAF.

The later Orion III passenger fleet versions, are operated both by PAN American, and  BOAC Airlines between Earth and the orbiting Space Stations.

*by Stargazer.

 

Ok... now for something ODD !

While looking at the net a few of years ago I came across these images. (see below) They are from an internet '2001 game' and bare a striking similarity to my Orion One design as was/is seen on my website. Further... There is an image of a design for an Orion 2 cargo version (pictured below too) which has also been on my site for quite a number of years. And the picture next to it is a 'similar' Orion 2 seen at the same angle, with the same 2001orbital bomb, and even the USAF 'star and bars'. I think this is beyond coincidence. (Though that is not impossible)... So I e-mailed the folk concerned to ask, and did not hear back!! I said in my mail that I was very impressed, (and very far from being mad at them) I would be very pleased to learn that I perhaps had a small part to play concerning the pictures (and movies for those wanting to do an internet search) featuring the Orion space craft shown below. This still is true today.

 

       

 

 

 

And Finally

 

This Ad. for the 2001 movie has recently come to light. It shows the Orion 3 atop a vehicle similar to the Orion 3 but with different Engines.

There is a whole lot wrong with this picture (not the least the crushing acceleration needed to lift off from so short a ramp) and I think it can be regarded for what it is ...just an advert !!!.

 

 

Click here for page one

Click here for page two

Click here for page three

Click here for page four

Click here to go to Front Page