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Hermes Infographic by francisdrakex Hermes Infographic by francisdrakex
Near-future concept of an interplanetary crew transport
Mission: Transport a crew of 6 to Mars, single trip duration 124 days
Size: 85 m long x 22 m span
Mass: 60 ton dry, 7 ton crew & supplies, 6 ton RCS fuel, 29 ton propellant
Engines: 40 ion thrusters @ 5 N each, acceleration 2 mm/s², ISP 50 km/s, dV 24 km/s
Power: Reactor 10 MW thermal, 600 kg Pu 239
Gravity: 0.4 g @ 3 rpm during cruise flight
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nexusoflife Featured By Owner Edited Feb 21, 2017
This is a cool spacecraft!
trevize1138 Featured By Owner Edited Oct 12, 2015
Really love the design. I used it (linking to your site here to give you full credit) for the current "The Martian" recreation challenge. Everybody is doing the one from the movie but your design is so much more simple and elegant. The album "code" at imgur is "U0gYl" (I'm guessing this site doesn't allow direct links to imgur because spam?)
francisdrakex Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015
Glad you like it! For the Kerbal challenge: Looking out of a rotating spacecraft will make you absolutely dizzy!  :-)
Maybe there is a way to rotate the mesh, but keep the vessel straight.
trevize1138 Featured By Owner Edited Oct 13, 2015
There are mods for the game that allow for a rotating middle section and I've done that before. I do like how your design rotates the ion engines but, again, that'd be a mod and I've got a personal challenge to do things without mods so I kept them in a fixed position. Very useful design. Only issue I have is one likely related to just within the Kerbal game is I can't pack enough battery power to perform long "burn" times unless I supplement with solar power. Absolutely sips fuel, though. I flew it to Duna (the Mars equivalent in the game) and performed beautifully (album is rRj2l on imgur)
pjwerneck Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015
Your version is amazing, but I'll have to nitpick one minor detail. When they are planning to explode the airlock, Lewis asks Martinez to close the doors to the reactor room, implying there's a pressurized crew tube connecting it with the rest of the bridge.
francisdrakex Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015
You caught me! :-)
In the book there is also a scene where Watney climbs up from the reactor room, through the neutral center of the ship and down into the crew space. This would imply a long tube connecting the manned section with the reactor. I omitted that for these reasons:
- It is not necessary to be near a reactor to control it. This can be done from a control room in the crew section.
- Radiation decreases with the square of the distance. It is not a good idea to crawl close to a radiation source.
- There are no serviceable parts inside the reactor. All critical systems are redundant and fault tolerant. Any maintenance will be done in Earth orbit with remote controlled units.
So I did not see the necessity of a long pressurized connection tube and omitted it.
NyrathWiz Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The version of the Hermes shown in the movie is different, but I like yours better.
francisdrakex Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2015
Thanks Nyrath! The inspiration of your Atomic Rockets website contributed a lot to this design.
longibando Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2015
No doubt you have noticed your approach do differs a lot from the Ridley Scott's one. I think not to read the book so, what is the most accurate to the book description?
Movie's one is spectacular, logically. Your ship is not spectacular nor cinematic, but it can better better for readers.
francisdrakex Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2015
When I did this concept only the book was available. I tried to retrieve all information from the book on the ships design, like payload, acceleration, travel time, artificial gravity. Then I shaped it into a concept, using formulas from the Atomic Rockets website (…)

Finally I tried to 'build it' with minimum hardware requirements. For example the cinema version uses a cool-looking rotating centrifuge ring to create artificial gravity. This concept here uses a head-over-heels spin with no extra hardware, while still retaining the ability to thrust continuosly (old NASA concept).

So if you watch the movie, enjoy their concept. When you read the book, make your own picture.
b.t.w if you do not want to read the book: There is also an excellent audio book available for listening.
LordOmegaZ Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
also very epic! :D

i would fly in this to mars X3
LordOmegaZ Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
no debris front shields?
francisdrakex Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
Space is pretty empty, so it is not too likely to hit debris. Micrometeorite protection would be by multiple layers of the hab walls, using Kevlar much like at the ISS. The radiators need to be fault tolerant, so individual lines can be switched off to avoid coolant loss. The reactor is protected in its casing.

A forward looking Radar system will probalby scan the space ahead to detect larger sized particles, to avoid them. By the way, this vehicle has not a real 'front', it is flying sideways for most time in the cruise.
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Submitted on
October 3, 2014
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