Thunderstruck1

The ThunderStruck Evolution

ThunderStruck Phase 1

ThunderStruck Phase 1

ThunderStruck Evolution is Essential.

by Robert Brand

Over the couple of months since officially announcing Project ThunderStruck, I have received lots of comments about the craft and not having detailed drawing. I made it very clear that in the early days, my son Jason had to earn his keep and create the art work for the craft. He tried his best, but the only tools that he had were not CAD 3D tools, but he did have Kerbal Space Program (KSP)and he used that to crate the craft details that he was looking for. So let’s have a look at his first drawing.

Jason's CAD picture of ThunderStruck above the earth

Jason’s CAD picture of ThunderStruck above the earth

Well, everything is wrong about this craft, but he was stuck with fixed sizes and it got our website up and running. Fuselage too thin, wings are simply wrong and much more. We did add a supersonic spike, but that was actual dueling as a radio antenna and may end up on the final craft too.

We ended up agreeing that we needed wheels and that there was no way to fit them to this craft. This started the move to the current craft. Jason again resorted to using KSP. The results were closer to the current craft.

Now people really gave us a hard time over KSP and they did not really understand that we had given the responsibility for much of the work to Jason and he simply resorted to the tools at hand and KSP really did do more than I expected. It was a reasonable attempt at making a model close to the final product.

Below is the second evolution of the transonic ThunderStruck.

ThunderStruck mk2 closeup

ThunderStruck Design and 1-2 size measurementsSince then we brought in the big guns and I created the plans for the craft. Mind you the published file had an error. The length of the nosecone was 200mm too short!  That is now fixed in the later plans.

Well from the plans, Ben Hockley created a view using SolidWorks software. From the plan came a rendered image that been added to a cloud image as seen at the top of page.  Here are Ben’s plans and view:

Thunderstruck plans

Thunderstruck plans

Below the composite image showing the craft in the transition from the dive to horizontal flight:

Thunderstruck Phase One Craft in Flight

Thunderstruck Phase One Craft in Flight. Credit Ben Hockley (ThunderStruck) and NASA (clouds and Moon)

I know that this is a long time coming, but if we hit you with too much to soon, you would probably think we were cheating. We may change the odd thing or two before the flight, but this is essentially the craft that will go into the record books.

ThunderStruck Mission Logo

Project Thunderstruck Draft A 7OCT2014Project ThunderStruck has a Logo

Story by Robert Brand

Our Logo has been designed by Tim Gagnon and Dr Jorge Cartes

Tim Gagnon is a fine graphic artist from Florida and he has pledged support for Project ThunderStruck by designing the mission patch. If you have any thoughts about his skills, have a look at our mission patch design and his website. I believe that he has done one or two before!

Jason and I absolutely love this design and it incorporates everything that we asked for and more. If you can use Tim to design art for your project, please contract him. You will not be sorry. It is a wise investment!

This is from his website:

Tim Gagnon

KSCartist.com Fine Art & Graphic Design from America’s Space Coast

 Ever since reading about the design of the Skylab 1 patch in an article written by the artist Frank Kelly Freas in 1973, Tim dreamed about creating a patch for a flight crew, to actually use his artistic talent to contribute to the space program.  He came close in 1985 when Bob Crippen invited him to submit designs for the first shuttle mission scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, STS-62A.  That mission was canceled after the Challenger accident.

In 2004 his dream finally came true when astronaut John Phillips selected Tim to design the emblem for the Expedition 11  mission to the International Space Station.  In 2006 he was invited by mission Commander Pam Melroy to submit draft designs for the STS-120 patch. The competition was strong and Tim placed second.  In 2007 Tim was selected by astronaut Eric Boe to design the STS-126  mission emblem. Knowing how much it meant to participate, Tim invited his pen pal Dr. Jorge Cartes of Madrid Spain to join him on this project.  The STS-126 crew was so happy with the result that they recommended Tim and Jorge to the STS-127 crew. In 2008 together with astronaut Tom Marshburn they designed the crew emblem for STS-127. Then later that year Tim and Jorge were asked by astronaut TJ Creamer to design the Expedition 22 and 23 increment mission emblems. 

 In 2007 to raise funds for the Apollo Program Monument the Space Walk of Fame Foundation conducted an online auction. To support this effort Tim donated the creation of an 18” x 24” painting. The winning bidder challenged Tim to create a piece that would illustrate the entire 50 year history of space exploration. They soon realized that the scope of the painting required a larger canvas. After researching the idea it was decided that it could be done on a 48” x 24” canvas. The painting became Past Is Prologue” – Celebrating 50 Years of America in Space.  It was unveiled on Space Day, May 2, 2008 in front of the Apollo Monument in downtown Titusville, FL. The painting will remain on display at the Space Walk of Fame Museum for one year and then be returned to its owner.

 In 2008 keeping with his dedication to support activities that can promote space science education for children, Tim designed a souvenir “mission patch” for the team launching Steve Eves 1:10 scale model of an Apollo/ Saturn V rocket to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11. The patches will be launched aboard this incredible working scale model. The launch date is set for April 25, 2009.

 Tim has also designed a ten-part series of patches to “Celebrate 50 years of America in Space.” The first patch which is the 50th anniversary patch has been shown on the NBC Television Series: “Law & Order SVU” and has also flown in space. The designs which range in size from 4″ to 12″ cover the range of human exploration from Project Mercury to the International Space Station. While not widely distributed they have been well received by all who have seen them.

Tim is currently working with other flight crews and NASA officials on new mission and project emblems

10717663_10204994119557795_344220275_n

KSCartist.com Fine Art & Graphic Design from America’s Space Coast. For those that are not from Florida or have not seen a video from a launch across the water to NASA’s facilities – a night launch and the assembly building.

Dr Jorge Cartes

This is his bio as provided by him:

I’m 60 years old. Always lived in Madrid, and I’m married to Olga, a Physician like me, and we have a daughter, Monica who is 24. I have only one brother (Ph. too), my father died in 1979 and my mother in 2004.

I finished my medical studies in 1979 and since then I worked always in Primary Care (Family Practice) and Emergencies (our # 112 is your # 911, I believe). At this time I’m working in a big food and restaurant enterprise which includes your Starbucks Company in Spain.

Since the time of the Apollo 10 I was following all the space launches of NASA and collecting their patches.

Dr Jorge CartesMy wife and I like to travel, and we have been at last ten times in USA, traveling across your big country, and visited all Florida (from Key West to Tallahassee and from KSC to Emerald Coast, and travelling across AL, MS, LA (New Orleans for many days), Baton Rouge, TX (Houston and JSC, of course), AZ (Hoover Dam), NV (Las Vegas), CA (from San Diego to San Francisco and the Wine Valleys), WA (Seattle), AK (cruising from Vancouver to Anchorage -Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Yukon…), IL (Chicago), NJ, NY (I love New York and I had the luck of knowing the WTC just 6 month before the crime), DE, MD, Washington DC and Puerto Rico.

We also have been in Haiti, Dominican Rep., Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Guatemala, Venezuela (my wife was born there), Brazil, Argentina, and in this side, many other countries, (all Europe, some African countries and Turkey) We think that traveling is the best way to understand our world and keep us more and more great and rich in experiences… so I would like to be an astronaut: they can travel where I never would be.

Finally I get a good friend who helped me to get one of my dreams: made a space patch!

Tim and Jorge, again, MANY, MANY thanks for your support and great artwork. This logo will be available from our shop soon and on a number of items such as caps, cups and shirts. We will fly some on ThunderStruck.