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Old 09-18-2012, 02:59 AM
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blackshire blackshire is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Originally Posted by Brain
BTW: Just for gits and shiggles, I thought I'd show you a recent steampunk-based bit of 3D/digital artwork I did a while back... ever see the video 'Steam Trek'?
Not yet... The Vernian Moon and Lowellian Mars in the background certainly look like proper ports of call for that un-chronicled predecessor of NCC-1701... Also:

A Steampunk orbital launch has actually been done, after a fashion:

The UK's first--and so far only--self-launched satellite, Prospero (see: ), was orbited by a mostly steam-powered launch vehicle called Black Arrow (see: ). Its first two stages were powered by hydrogen peroxide (its small third stage used solid propellant), whose tanks took up nearly the entire volume of each stage. The decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide in a silver mesh catalyst pack in each rocket engine produced superhot steam that contained some gaseous oxygen. A small tank of kerosene in each stage provided this fuel to burn with the hot oxygen gas. The exhaust was clearly mostly steam, though, as Black Arrow's exhaust flames were very pale, small, transparent, and dim. It was definitely "Neo-Victorian" technology, but it was quite practical nonetheless! In addition:

Below are several links to scale data (and historical information) on Black Knight, which was also steam-powered and--with its riveted panels--had a "Neo-Victorian" appearance. Like Black Arrow, it is also covered in "Rockets of the World: 4th Edition" by Peter Alway, which is available from NAR Technical Services (NARTS, see: ). It is also covered in "A Vertical Empire: The History of the British Rocketry Programme 1950 - 1971" by Nicholas Hill (see: ), which is available cheap (both the first and second editions) from And:

There is a downloadable Black Knight cardstock model that can be flown as a model rocket (see: [they also have cardstock models of other rockets!]). 110 pound (199 grams per square meter) cardstock (available in A4 and 8.5" X 11" sheet sizes) works well for such models. If one wanted to depict Black Knight 15 (the round that carried a 36" copper sphere re-entry body, which looks more "Neo-Victorian"), a Ping Pong (table tennis) ball could be used to depict the re-entry body (copper colored Ping Pong balls are available here: ). As well:

Before printing it on a computer printer, the downloadable cardstock Black Knight model could be re-scaled if necessary so that its diameter would match the diameter of the Ping Pong ball (40 mm, in the case of the above-linked copper colored balls). For additional realism (flight points!), the copper colored Ping Pong ball could be allowed to separate and fall separately from the parachute-recovered rocket body; in fact, the timed descents of rocket-lofted Ping Pong balls are used for altitude determination in educational model rocketry experiments--please see the last page of this issue of interspace... here: . Below are seven links to scale data and historical information on the Black Knight vehicles:

Black Knight history pages (they have links to photos and dimensioned drawings): and

Black Knight 15 with 36" copper sphere re-entry vehicle:

Black Knight article (it also contains links to more information): [NOTE: If this direct link does not work, go to the main Wikipedia page and type in "Black Knight"]

Black Knight article:

Brief Black Knight article:

Various Black Knight images:
Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
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