Orion Spaceship Reference Render
As I began to write about the Orion spaceship, I found it a little "slippery" inside my imagination. I could see parts of it clearly but not the whole, all at once. So I headed over the brilliant Tinkercad website and designed the above reference render. The colors used in the render only serve to differentiate the various sections and don't relate to the Orion's exterior paint job which is white. May I give you a tour?
Closest to the blue graph paper is the MagPlas Booster. The 3 red thruster nozzles are resting on the graph paper as if to blast off, however the Orion was built in space and designed for interplanetary travel only, it could never escape a gravity well. The dark gray Booster section contains the booster, booster fuel and Aija's engineering workshop with a microgravity capable 3D printer. This section is also where James faced his fear of empty space and made an EVA to patch the leaking fuel tank.
Above the booster section is the many decks of pill-shaped Pods. The colored Pods are the passenger Pods and the colors correspond to the colors on the inside that orient the passengers. In the render, the top set of Pods (Deck 1) isn't colored, but should be. James's and Nate's cabins were in Pod Blue 2, which is the topmost blue Pod. The Pods's shape evolved a bit from the pill-shape to more of a flat bottom to accommodate the thrusters need for the emergency landing. Beneath the Pods, barely visible, is the Gallery, the central "hallway" or "corridor" that connects everything.
The large orange ring is the Gravity Deck. The boxes on the ring are the two gravity rooms: the Fitness Room and the Gravity Lounge. James and Nate board the Orion through a flextube connected to floor of the Gravity Lounge and they proceed through the Transit which is the tube that connects the gravity rooms to the central hub that exits into the Gallery. I wanted to write how along the ring were electromag generators that created a field around Orion that protected it from harmful radiation and cosmic rays, but couldn't find a good place to add that detail.
At the top of the reference render is the Prow. This bell-shaped section contains 3 decks. The bottom and largest deck is the food services deck with both smartglass dining rooms and Chef Leo's kitchen. The mid-deck hosts the Captain's suite and the Command/Control/Navigation room. And the top deck is the Observation Deck with its domed windows. The final scene in the novel takes place here.
Thanks for joining me in taking a closer look at the Orion!
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