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Designing An Airlock Door for Mars Station One

I’ve decided that I want to create an airlock door in Blender, part of a mission to create my own little Mars Station. I started out with looking at designing an entire space station, but then sanity kicked in and I decided to start smallish. I got to looking at the model I had tossed together and realized that the most significant detail was going to be the airlocks that would allow the crew to seal off various areas of the station. Here is the model I have so far designed.

As you can see, I did not get very far before I realized that the airlock would be the most vital part of this model. I then went on a search for airlock doors using Google’s image search. My initial search was for “space station airlock NASA”, since that was what I wanted; images of the ISS’s doors. This lead me to a realization that I already knew that, in space, doors are round. You do not have fancy rectangle doors on space stations, not in reality at least. Astronauts are in a zero G environment, they float… you glide through the door in space. Yeah, noob mistake on my model. oops.

Still, it was roughly 5 minutes worth of modeling time, so not a terrible loss – unless you count the loss of “I know what I’m doing!” ego that I did not need a reference image for something as mundanely Sci Fi simple as a blocked out apace station. Good lesson: always use reference images, even when you know what you are doing – possibly especially when you think you know what you are doing.

So… shortening this story a lot, I decided that I wanted to skip the space station and design an airlock door for the actual outpost on Mars. I’ve made other parts for the outpost in the past… such as this early section I made for a hydroponics bay back when I was first learning how to make transparent surfaces.

I am thinking I will resurrect these old designs as part of the new design to build an outpost. First step, however, is to create a door for the outpost airlocks. After some consideration I realized that it would make sense to look at something along the lines of doors used in the antarctic, bank vaults, and bio-hazard containment doors for viral research in addition to the kinds of doors being used on the ISS. Add in a little submarine design, since I imagine the first station will hold a lot in common with submarine design, and I think I am on a good trail for finding the right type of door for my Mars base.

I will post more about it as I get more into the design. For now, I am off to research various airtight door designs to decide what is best for my Mars station.

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