Model Of The Week: Wet Orbital Workshop (Pre-Skylab 1968 proposal: 1/96)

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by Paper Kosmonaut, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. When the Apollo Applications Project was initiated, one of the proposed projects was an orbital Workshop, made out of Apollo and Saturn materials. In early 1968 this was the proposed configuration: A "Wet Orbital Workshop", meant to be fully fueled when launched on a spare Saturn 1B and when drained of fuel residues would be modified and used as a.. well, skylab. This is my try to bring that vision off the paper.

    This is NASA's sketch:
  2. ...and this is what I came up with. The SIVb is Ton Nooteboom's, the J2 engine is a 50% downscaled version of Greelt Peterusma's beautiful kit, the Apollo is partially Ton Nooteboom's kit and Carl Hewlett's 1/32 big one. The LM is U-don's kit which I also reduced 50%. The rest is fantasy from the scratchbox.
    Part one:
  3. And on with the show:
  4. and then Apollo:
  5. The baseplate shows the Cape Verdean Islands, shot during an Hubble maintenance mission.
    Hope you like it!
  6. underwoodl06

    underwoodl06 Member

    that is definitely a masterpiece and a great envisionment of the skylab precusor. the only problem I see with the design is living in the fuel residue whic probably would be a health concern for the crew. But you pulled the model togeter quite well!
  7. ovation

    ovation Member

    Quite special

    Is the flat piece (under the LEM) a sunshade ? as I read the Apollo Telescope Mount "is under the multiple docking adapter"
    I imagine then the early design was to include it into a LEM base ?

  8. Thanks a lot for the kind words.
    About the square underneath the LM ascent stage: I can only guess. I worked from the sketch made by NASA.
    In a later stage the square was replaced by the well-known windmill/helicopter style solar panels but still with the LM ascent stage as observatory. So my guess is that it was planned to serve as solar panels all the time. The telescope protrudes slightly through a hole in the middle.

    The Wet Orbital Workshop was conceived by NASA, before adapting it to the SIVb, Wernher von Braun wanted to do it to a SII stage. I presume hydrogen and oxygen are easy to vent. This was what they had in mind. And perhaps the residue LOX could be made useful for breathing air, I don't know.
    Fact is, the mesh floors Skylab ultimately had still were from the "wet" phase of the project. With such a floor, the fuel could easily flow away.
  9. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member


    Model Of The Week 'fer sure! :thumb::thumb::thumb:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2014
  10. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    A deserving MOTW. Glad to see it up there.
  11. Oh wow. What a way to start the week.. This is somewhat unexpected. Thanks a lot, Ekuth! it is great to see people enjoy looking at it as much as I had fun building it.

    Wow. Thanks.
  12. @Ovation: here's some more background info about the solar panel question.
    First the engineers of the AAP planned a Apollo Telescope Mount mission in which an Apollo CSM would fly with a modified LM ascent stage with a telescope. Because the telescope would have to work under its own energy they fitted it with fixed solar panels. That became the flat square underneath the LM/telescope structure.
    Soon they figured out the panels had to be able to rotate to catch the most sun they could so they changed it to a set of rotating arrays. When the ATM became part of the OWS altogether they increased it with two more panels.
    Those four panels together appeared to be so powerful in producing electricity the need to rotate them was no longer necessary. That's when the famous helicopter wings came to be.
    A helpful member on a Dutch modelling forum provided me with this info and these pictures. These are all proposals for the OWS in its different stages of development made by several aircraft corporations. It also shows the LM in its different configurations as ATM.
    A nice piece of never realised space history, as far as I'm concerned.
  13. ovation

    ovation Member

    Thanks for the info,


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