Project Information

This is another Imperium Project development piece.

Mir is a manned, unarmed solar exploration vessel, funded and crewed by several nations, although primarily by the USSR, hence the Russian name. She was launched in 2044 to explore the solar system in greater detail than unmanned probes could achieve.

Powered primarily by a first-generation nuclear fusion reactor in the rear section, which provides the power for the array of ion-engines mounted on the aft bulkhead to propel the ship. The retractable solar masts provide supplemental, and in the case of a problem, emergency power to the ship. The 40-man crew live in the forward habitation module, which comprises 5 decks plus the command level. During acceleration periods, bulkheads serve as decks - as such cruising is kept to a minimum, and weightlessness generally only occurs in the short interval between acceleration and deceleration phases, and whilst in orbit of a planet.

Mir was modelled using Cinema 4D and textured in Photoshop. The polycount is high at about 1.4 million, owing mainly to the fact that the solar panels are fully modelled - each double panel requiring around 25k polys to achieve the grid effect. The masts are all rigged up in Xpresso and can easily be animated. I created a test animation showing the folding of the panels, and that can be seen here: Solar mast fold test animation (Requires QuickTime to view).

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