Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

25 March 2013

MER-A Spirit - second part: Troy 1/40 [2]

Well, here we go with Spirit herself! It is quite small but not too small. 1/40 is very well doable, I think. First up were the solar wings. In the flight to Mars, Spirit's solar panels were folded up into a triangular way. On the surface it all deployed into these wings. 

In the original 1/20 model the solar panels were a one-piece part. I decided to cut off all panels and use paper "hinges" to glue them into place. I also wanted to make this model a bit more moveable.

More in the part after the jump!

First up was the body of the rover. A simple rectangular box into which I  glued a small brass tube for letting the wheel axles pivot a bit.

Next came the golden overcoat for the little rover. Using crumpled chocolate paper it kind of resembles the multi layered mylar coat she originally has.

Then Spirit's eyes on a stick. Up front is this boom sticking out of the body that can rotate and move its head up and down. It contains cameras and sensors for the people back home. The boom was rolled around another small brass tube.

In the central part of the solar panel wings I drilled a small hole and underneath, a rolled up paper cylinder keeps the boom in place while it can rotate.

Next I glued four layers of thick black paper on top of each other and cut a very small strip off of it. The strip then was cut into small pieces. These would become the hinges for the solar panels.

I spot welded them into place with CA glue, and attached the outer wings (which also were divided into two segments) on to the main part. It starts to look like Spirit!

The grey spots on the central solar panel are reserved for the high-gain antenna (the square) and the low-gain one, which is a straight stick-like antenna. The small dot on the tail panel is for the "dust probe", a piece of equipment looking like a pawn, with which the amount of dust on Spirit's surfaces could be measured.
Both of the Mars rovers relied on the wind to get cleaned now and then. There is a known occasion on which Spirit's energy level was very low before the night set in and after sunrise, its energy levels just shot up to almost full because the solar panels were blown free of dust during the night time.
I think this was one of the reasons they estimated the lifespan of Spirit and Oppy to be just 90 days.
Spirit caught small dust whirlwinds on camera, so there must be a lot of those on Mars. It drastically stretched both of the rover's lifespan.
This is all for now,
more next time!
Thanks for watching!
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