NASA's "Botany Bay"

In the classic Star Trek, there was an episode called “Space Seed”. It featured a DY-100 class spacecraft called the “Botany Bay”. It was launched from Earth in the far futuristic year 1996. :smiley:

Recently, a gentleman named Paul Davies wondered what the Botany Bay would look like if it was actually built with 1996 technology. He created some blueprints which can be found here:
(scroll down to “Paul Davies re-designs the Botany Bay with actual 1996 technology.”)

As you can see right below that, I have been attempting to make a Blender mesh of Mr. Davies spacecraft. He has given me permission, and indeed supplied me with some hi-res blueprints to aid the process. I’m going to have to replace my NASA style NERVA nuclear rockets with his version, which is going to take a bit of time.


Very nice indeed ! Cool concept. Great composition with the background image and nice retro-style comic book colour scheme (that’s what you were going for… right ?). Can’t really think of any crits, looks finished to me.

This must be one of the few original series episodes I’ve actually seen… I suppose in the real 1996, it’d have to carry GM food instead of super-soldiers. :smiley:

What does Paul Davies have for propulsion, and how far could it get by the 23rd century ?

Very very nice… Are you going to take your model and put it in the free Orbiter space simulator software? That way you could even fly your creation, realistically if you wanted.

Check out for the blender interface.

here for some neat mods

Wiki link

and I think here for the main application

The color scheme is more or less straight from Paul Davies blueprints, yes, it is a bit garish.
The engines are some sort of advanced solid core nuclear thermal rocket.

How far? Off the top of my head, not very far at all.

Lessee: the theoretical maximum exhaust velocity of a solid core nuclear thermal rocket is about 12,000 m/s which is a specific impulse of about 1,200 seconds.

If the ship was at the limit of an economical cargo vessel it would have a mass ratio of 4 (75% of ship mass is propellant). This means its maximum change in velocity (deltaV) would be about 16.6 kilometers per second. In 204 years it would travel 1.07e11 km, which is about 43 astronomical units or about 0.01 light-years.

If Khan managed to fuel the Botany Bay to a probably impossible mass ratio of 20 (95% of ship mass is propellant), it would have a maximum change of velocity of 35.9 km/s. In 204 years it would go 93 AU or 0.02 light-years.

If the Botany Bay had a (probably science fictional) Nuclear Salt Water Rocket with a max mass ratio of 20, in 204 years it could get a respectable 9.5 light years, which is more than halfway the distance between Earth (Sol) and Vulcan (40 Eridani).

Nice piece :slight_smile:
When do you plane to make her fly? Does she have Warp capability?

Only think I can think of right now is, maybe the colors are too saturated… It makes it look like these vintage 60’s space pictures…

But it might also be my screen…

EDIT : I think the “vintage 60’s” might have been done on purpose (from what I see on the website), if yes, nice job :wink:

No warp, Khan’s ship was strictly sub-light.

The colors actually are a bit too saturated, I’ll have to tone them down. I was focusing more on making the mesh instead of fine-tuning the textures. But you are correct, the colors look like something out of a comic book.

I may try, but first I need permission from Paul Davies, and a lot of free time.
I’ve tried a couple of times to make Blender meshes into Orbiter files, but never quite got anything finished.

Though I haven’t tried using the export script yet, it will help a lot. I was exporting to *.obj format and using the converter program.

First you have to get the mesh to under 15,000 polygons, or Orbiter will be so slow as to be unplayable. Currently the Botany Bay has 130,000.

Then you have to separate out anything you want animated. And write the animation scripts.

Finally you have to write the file with all the performance specs.

ouch, didn’t know it was that complicated… but then again, that is one awesome simulation program, so I’d guess it would have to have some massive details to back it up.

And Blender can make pseudo-blueprints that ain’t half bad.


Bah, do your own sim in Blender. Sim yourself up a nearby wormhole and everything is right again in the universe. Well, almost. Somebody must’ve screwed up our timeline or something… probably big oil companies -to delay the introduction of the fusion powered flying cars. Which we should have already. Darn it.

Cool model!

Those pseudo blueprints look amazing. I didn’t know whe could get this much detail with Blender. Nice!

AHAH! Dream on…
You’ve entered a world where wars are fought for oil because surprise surprise we were doomed to hit rock bottom someday.

The originals were even more detailed. Blender Artists Forum imposes a limit on the size of uploaded images.
You can see the originals at the bottom of this page:

Orthographics make great blueprints.


But you are correct, the colors look like something out of a comic book.

I’d keep it like that, looks in keeping with the illustrations on the rest of the site.

You can see the originals at the bottom of this page:

Neat ! Looks pretty interesting with all the pods too, but then you lose that nice truss detail.

Orthographics make great blueprints.

Yes. Yes they do. Any plans to label them ? For instance, what are those yellow and red things on either side of the engine section ? How many prisoners can you get in each pod ?

I’d love to label them, but Paul Davies hasn’t told me what anything is.

Except for the yellow-red things, those are heat radiators. You can stop laughing now, I know they are ludicrously tiny. But if they were made any bigger, it wouldn’t look anything like the original Star Trek design.

Meanwhile, Mr. Davies has done some modifications. He was thinking about what sort of mission this spacecraft would be used for. So he’s thinking in terms of a Mars mission.

He realized that he needed some way of getting crew to the Martian surface. After doing a bit of research, he took the basis of his idea from an old NASA design for an aerodynamic lifting body type capsule, with an upper crew return stage. This has now replaced the old nose.

So he gave me these images. Gee, it’s a good thing I did the mesh as a modular design.


Cool, capsules !

After doing a bit of research, he took the basis of his idea from an old NASA design for an aerodynamic lifting body type capsule, with an upper crew return stage. This has now replaced the old nose.

Could that also be a variant of the DC/X ? They look pretty similar…

I wouldn’t be surprised.

Mr. Davies does all his work in Adobe Illustrator, those images I posted of his have been reduced by me to about half size.


The Botany Bay visits the K-7 space station.


The Botany Bay visits the International Space Station.

More here:


cool model, that is some nice texturing too.