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You know, I know when I look at clips of the Orion shuttle on its approach to the station, it doesn't seem to be all charred up on the botton, but if the thing is a reusable shuttle (which it obviously is), wouldn't the bottom of the thing be all black and charred up from re-entry? Seems to me one could paint a relatively clean movie version, and a more realistic, and seriously weathered version. Am I missing something here, or should it indeed be all charred up on the bottom?

Brad.
 

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If it had amazing retrorockets to slow its descent on re-entry then it wouldn't get charred at all. Look at all those vents/ports all around the ship just rear of the round PanAm insignia. As those ports are pointing forward so they could potentially be used to slow the vehicle to a slower re-entry speed, hence no charring or the need for heat sheilding etc..

I should work for NASA;)

Alien
Todays Kiwi (New Zealand) Language Primer:
"wop-wops" out of the way location, backblocks, boonies
 

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Yah, it's on the way UP to the station. It hasn't reentered yet. All shiney and clean from a washdown after its last flight.
 

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Well, in the pre-release info, it was described not just as a clipper, but also as a spacePLANE (probably in the movie program as well, I don't have mine anymore), so re-entry definitely seems part of the profile, as do the lines of the craft.
 

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If you read Arthur C. Clarke's novelization of the movie, the Orion is the second stage of a shuttle system, being launched from a rail (like Fireball XL-5) on top of a flyback booster that separated from the Orion and returned to the Kennedy Space Center. So, the Orion III should show the wear and tear of both launch and stage separation, as well as re-entry.
 

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Steve CultTVman Iverson said:
i don't know that it was ever established as a landing craft....

Steve
Why should it have wings when it is not supposed to fly in an atmosphere?

I guess a bit dirt would make it more realistic looking, but ALL vehicles in 2001 are very clean.

Greetings from Germany
Marco
 

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The skin of the Orion III is made of a new class of ceramic composite that is renewed electrostaticly after each flight. During re-entry, the ablative component heats to a critical temperature, swells slightly and is held in place by an open-cell substructure, but the excess heat is dispersed by the outgassing of the heated material, much like steam. Upon cooling after landing, the spent ablative contracts and is washed off, using a normal garden hose with a pistol spray nozzle. The resulting detritus washes into holding tanks, where it is collected once a month and used as fill in road construction. It really is a fabulous process, developed-- believe it or not, by Maaco.

Scott
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Scott, if anyone else had come up with that I'd think he was BSing, but somehow, you, I believe.
 

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I guess the bottom doesn't look charred because Stanley Kubrick didn't want it to look charred. The only way to model a "realistic" Orion III is to model what we see in the movie, since that's the only "real" Orion III.
 

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Seriously, there was talk of using a heat resistant ablative paint of some sort that would be renewed after each flight for the Delta Clipper program. But then, that's a different critter. :confused:
 

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Ignatz said:
It's the future so it has to be shiney and new!
Sigh* The future ain't what it used to be...
Except in 2001, the future is cold, and anitseptic. :lol: Ah, the 1960's

Back in the 60's ablative coatings were the way to go, so that is how I think the Orion was done. It would burn off, and they would just spray a new coating on.

Back in the 90's I read a reprint of an interview with S.K. from back in the 60's when he was filming 2001. His big fear, was that with the way the U.S. space progam was progressing, was that he was being too cautious in his view of the future.

If only he had been right. :cry:

David.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah, too bad about that. I can't believe I used to believe that we'd actually have a moon base by now!

Brad.
 

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While ablative coatings were used on the manned spacecraft of the '60s, I'm not sure if that's what futurists imagined for vehicles down the line. The X-20 Dyna-Soar didn't have any ablative, as I recall, but I could be wrong. I think they envisioned metal (some form of Inconel?) that would withstand entry, or they envisioned more benign entry profiles, or both.
 

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CaptCBoard said:
It really is a fabulous process, developed-- believe it or not, by Maaco.

Good one Captain. But you can get it cheaper over at Earl Schieb's... :jest:

Oops, my age is showing.

Mark
 

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The wings of the Orion are supposedly designed to act as scram jets with the vents in the wings. So I imagine something like this isn't designed to plow into Earth's atmosphere with the same type of profile as a Space Shuttle. If the ship was to do say a one orbit aerobrake manuever with multiple atmospheric skips to shrug off a little speed, then the heat loads would potentially be less then just plowing in on one pass. Power from scram jets would give the Orion better cross range capability as a result compared to a shuttle that has to come in and land at a pinpoint target and do it in one pass.

As for it not weathering, the actual studio model did have tonal paint variations on it with the various hull panels and on real shuttles one does tend to see similar tonal variations on space shuttle tiles. So, who's to say the thing doesn't have some sort of tile protection like a shuttle as well, just a bit more advanced so they don't need black tiles on the bottom.

As for charring, a thermal protection system is designed to keep the hottest plasma away from the structure and if you do have charring anywhere, something is wrong. On shuttles, the plasma doesn't touch at all, but gets kept away from the structure if everything is working right (unlike Columbia from STS-107). The tiles don't really get charred, but change color over time as a result.

However, with that being said I do recall seeing one spot of black streaking on top of the Orion from a picture published in the Piers Bizony book. It sits behind the rectangular patch up there and I represented it on my model with a little pastel chalk. So it appears that there is one area of charring on the Orion.
 
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