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May 28, 2012
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Strange New Worlds by Landscape-Painter Strange New Worlds by Landscape-Painter
I love all sci-fi, but the early stuff, with tight silvery suits and fishbowl helmets, have a special place in my heart. And maybe they got it right at the first go. There's no practical reason it wouldn't look like this when technology finally allows travelling between stars.

Acrylics on canvas, 70x90 cm.
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MJBivouac Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012
She has sort of a Russian flavor to her, and I like it!
Sagittarius-A-star Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Nice job- you did a good job on the rocket ship and the metallic colors. The woman's face looks a little odd, however. The planet in the background might look better if you made it belted with colorful clouds like Jupiter. You portrayed the airless landscape of this moon well- the surface features would indeed be crisp and clear to the horizon, since there is no obscuring atmosphere to get in the way. This often makes it hard to judge distance and size on places like the Moon. Anyway, keep up the great work!!

There aren't any practical reasons why we wouldn't use ships resembling the classic tail-lander rocket ships when we do travel between the planets and stars, and quite a few practical reasons why we would. The direction of down on a rocket is the direction that the rocket exhaust is shooting, so a rocket ship would be laid out with the engine and landing gear at the bottom and all the decks stacked on top like a skyscraper. Other ship geometries than a cigar are possible, of course, especially for a strict orbit-to-orbit craft that only needs to withstand the gentle acceleration of an ion rocket- but long cylinders are practical and easily built. Streamlining makes sense for a ship that lands on planets with thick atmospheres. Ironically, a starship will probably be tapered and streamlined into the classic cigar shape to minimize dangerous impacts with interstellar gas and dust at relativistic velocities. It also makes sense for a rocket ship to have three fins to land on, since three legs will always settle into a stable position instead of rocking back and forth like a badly made chair. If you decide to have more than three landing legs, perhaps for safety reasons, then they had better be adjustable or the rocket will crash if it tries to land on a bumpy surface.
Landscape-Painter Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks. The rocket is my favourite detail in this, too. Or, maybe her figure is, can't say for sure. Perhaps I spend too much time obsessing over those two shapes and did everything else too hastily. I think I need to try this subject again. I have a feeling I could squeeze more out of it...
I think I'm going to stick to 4 leg(at least) design. I think it looks better, more symmetrical like. Also, makes some sense in real world situations: On completely even surface 3 or 4 makes no difference. Landing on uneven terrain, both versions would need to have some sort of moving stabilizer leg anyway. If ground unexpectedly gives away under one leg, 4 leg design still has a chance of staying upright, but 3 leg design must fall. Even Apollo Lunar Module had 4 legs, and they were desperate to save all the possible weight. In that respect, 6 legs/wings would be ideal. Maybe even 8! I'll have to try and do some new designs...
Sagittarius-A-star Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Student Digital Artist
A rocket with three landing legs/fins does not need adjustable landing jacks. Three landing legs will always settle into a stable position even on uneven terrain, just like a stool with three legs. Three points determine a plane, so three landing legs automatically settle into a stable plane. A rocket ship with four landing legs needs adjustable jacks if it lands on uneven terrain, or one of the legs might not touch ground and the ship will rock back and forth until it topples. A rocket ship with four legs will be less likely to topple then a ship with three legs, but you could always make your three landing fins extend further out sideways and skip the weight of an extra foot. If you are worried about losing a landing leg on a wilderness planet, you could splurge and put in five landing legs. You can come up with many different designs for spaceship landing gear, and which one is superior probably depends on other factors of your rocket design, like conserving mass, stability, safety, etc. Personally, I think three or four landing legs look fine, but do whatever you want with your rocket ships!! :) This [link] has information on SF rocket ship landing legs/fins, and lots of pretty pictures.
Landscape-Painter Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's a tricky subject. One of those thing that seems granted, but the more I think about it, the more I can come up with reasons contradicting each other. I understand that three legs always touch the ground, and that is a solid good reason, but I won't agree on that always stable position. What is the center of gravity on a very tall object, and so forth. If you put a three-legged stool on uneven ground, is its seating surface always on horizontal level? That's why all legs need to be adjustable, even if there were only 3.
Now that I think about this more, also a one-legged design would be viable option: With some sort of gyroscope and stabilizing thrusters, it would stand there like a totem pole. So there's always possibilities.
Sagittarius-A-star Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I don't think it matters if the rocket is not completely level. If you draw lines between a rocket's landing legs, you will end up with a shape such as a triangle or a square. As long as the rocket's center of gravity does not move out of the area defined by this shape as seen from above, the rocket will not topple. It doesn't matter if the rocket is tilted just a little bit. As long as it stays upright, we will be okay. Adding a fourth leg or extending the three landing fins further out increases the distance the rocket will have to tilt in order for its center of gravity to move out of the imaginary triangle or square and topple. If, however, not all the legs touch ground, the rocket will rock back and forth and topple, possibly breaking her spine. This is why a four legged design needs adjustable legs, but a three legged design does not.

One leg? I'll stick with three- I don't want to have a rocket that has to keep a massive gyro clutched and several thrusters ready to fire just to stand upright!! :) A practical rocket design will have three landing legs/fins or four or more adjustable landing legs/fins. You'll want to keep your center of gravity low, too. It probably will be, with all those propellent tanks and the heavy atomic rocket engine located at the base and the relatively light crew cabin located at the top.
Landscape-Painter Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can't convince you then? Fair enough. I do get what you're saying and it's a valid point. However, my spoiled passengers do need those stabilizers, so that a coffee mug doesn't slide off from a table. Or, to prevent that giant shark aquarium, that is in the main lounge, flooding over. Other than those sort of things, I agree that terrain is rarely too much tilted or rough, everywhere on a planet.
Sagittarius-A-star Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Stabilizers are complicated, heavy equipment that cuts into your mass budget, and mass is very precious indeed on most rocket ships. The tilt won't be too much on most landscapes, and I think most rocket pilots will aim for flatter landing sites. Also, there is no guarantee that the rocket ship won't be tilted slightly even if the landing jacks are adjustable. The point of adjustable landing jacks is making sure that all the legs touch ground, not that there isn't a tiny tilt when you bump down on an alien planet. If your passengers are so spoiled that they can't deal with the idea of spilling their coffee, how will they deal with high accelerations, spacesickness, your coffee bladder floating away in microgravity, and so on? Space travel calls for those who are capable of facing terrible dangers and forgoing the comforts of home, not groundhogs. I agree that you don't want your ship tilting noticeably, or you are probably in danger of toppling.

P.S. The Project Orion nuclear pulse spaceship would have plenty of extra mass budget for a shark aquarium- but your spoiled passengers could hardly handle being battered by the sudden accelerations caused by a thousand micro-atomic bombs detonating just aft of the ship!!
Landscape-Painter Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not to mention that olympic-size swimming pool. Obviously closed when in zero g, but becomes hugely popular when the rocket sets on a planet with more than one g. Wouldn't want that to flood into sauna section.
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AmongTheFirst Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
A color version :D Keep up the great work!
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