top of page
Hardware & Diagrams
Thomas Cook Wheel Space Station
An alternative digital version of this space hotel and passenger shuttle.
The 200-inch Hale Telescope (built long before the use of metric, but 508cm) at Mt. Palomar, California, was the world's biggest for 45 years: 1948-1993.It has now of course been superseded by many modern telescopes, on Earth or in space (ie. the HST), but is still regarded by many as 'The Cathedral of Astronomy'. (Gouache, from The Hamlyin Book of Astronomy.)
The 305-metre Arecibo Observatory is built into a natural amphitheatre in Puerto Rico. It is the lagest sigle-dish radio telescope in the world. This illustration was painted the same size as it was reproduced – only 4–5 inches across.
The Viking missions, which consisted of a Lander and an Orbiter, were the first to land on the surface of Mars and work properly, analysing the martian 'soil; and performing many experiments. Viking I landed in Chryse Planitia near the equator and Viking II further north in Utopia Planitia. (Digital, from Discovering the Universe, Horus.)
The Pioneer programme included a whole series of probes, many of which either flew by or orbited the Moon. However, the best-remembered are PIoneer 10 and 11, which explored the outer Solar System and eventually left it altogether. Each carried a golden plaque on which was inscribed a man and a woman, and diagrammatic information about our place in the universe. They sent back the first images and data from Jupiter and Saturn. (Gouache, from The Newsround Book of Space.)
The Voyager missions were planned to extend those of Pioneers 10 and 11 – but to do much more, and better. In the 1960s NASA planned a 'Grand Tour'; in the 1970s the outer planets would line up in a unique way that woud enable us to explore each one in turn, using a gravitational 'slingshot' technique. Both sent back wonderful images and valuable data, and continue out into interstellar space. (Gouache, from The Newsround Book of Space.)
Voyager at Saturn
Voyager 1 departs from the Saturn system and leaves the ecliptic plane away from the Sun, taking a last look at the ringed planet as a crescent as it heads towards the constellation of Ophiuchus. (Gouache, from Atlas of the Solar System by David A. Hardy, also its cover.)
Ulysses & Jupiter
A joint NASA/ESA project originally named Odysseus, Ulysses was launched by the Shuttle Discovery in October1990, having been delayed since May 1986 by the Challenger disaster. Its mission was to study the Sun at all its latitudes. To do this it needed to shift its orbital plane, using Jupiter's gravity. Here we see Ulysses as it swings above the north pole of Jupiter. (Digital, for BNSC)
The COBE – Cosmic Background Explorer – satellite was developed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to measure the diffuse infra-red and microwave radiation from the early universe, up to the present day. (Digital, for Weldon Owen, 1999.)
IRAS – the Infrared Astronomical Satellite – was the first-ever space-based observatory to perform a survey of the entire sky at infrared wavelengths. Launched on January 25, 1983, its mission lasted ten months. It was a joint effort between NASA, the Netherlands and the UK. (Digital, for Welcon Owen, 1999.)
The Kepler Mission is NASA's first mission designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover dozens of Earth-type planets in or near the habitable zone of tbheir star and determine how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets. It has been highly successful. (Digital, for Weldon Owen, 1999.)
In December 1965 the first orbital rendezvous took place between two manned vehicles, Gemini 6 and 7. This was essential for the Apollo missions to follow. Obviously there was nobody there to photograph the event!
Saturn 5 Crawler
The Crawler Transporters were used to take the Saturn 1B and 5 spacecraft from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the Pad 39 complex for their launches into space or to the Moon. Between 1981 and 2011 they also carried the Space Shuttle. They travelled at 1mph along a crawlerway that was 7ft (1m) deep and filled with river rocks. In 1971 Hardy actually touched the Transporter that had taken Apollo 15 to the launchpad earlier that day. (Gouache; From a First Facts book about Apollo.)
Saturn 5 Night
Saturn V/Apollo on the launch pad, the night before leaving Earth for the Moon carrying 3 astronauts, only 2 of whom will actually walk on the Moon. 12 men did so between 1969 (Apollo 11) and 1972 (Apollo 17); and humans have never been back since. . . (Gouache; from a First Facts book about Apollo.)
Ariane is a series of a European civilian launch vehicles. The first Ariane 1 was launched in 1979, and the first of the very successful Aiane 5 series in 1997. Shown here is Ariane 4, which was launched in 1988. Later versions had strap-on boosters. The vehicle is regularly used to launch satellites and probes into space, expecially by ESA, but even (with the demise of the Shuttle) in collaboratoon with NASA. (Acrylics; private commission for an ESA official's retirement.)
After the Apollo programme ended, Saturn 5 rockets and Apollo Command & Service Modules (CSM) were used for the Skylab programme. The first US space station remained in orbit from 1973 to 1979, and included a workshop and a solar observatory. On its first launch the solar panels, needed for power, failed to open properly and one was torn off, along with a micrometeoroid shield. A gold Mylar sheet acted as a sunshield to prevent overheating. (Gouache, from Challenge of the Stars.)
Discovery Night Launch
A commission from some people who were lucky enough to see this night launch at Cape Canaveral in March 1995, and wanted a painting to commemorate it. Acrylics on canvas.
The term Space Shuttle actually means the entire vehicle at launch, including fuel tank and boosters; only the Orbiter stays in space. NASA's official name is the Space Transportation System (STS) and it was the USA's manned launch vehicle from 1981 to 2011. It is the only manned, winged vehicle ever to have achieved orbit and make multiple trips to orbit, carrying a variety of payloads. (Gouache.)
In addition to ferrying people and hardware such as satellites and probes into orbit, the Shuttle was used make repairs – notably to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and to carry crew and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). There were 2 major disasters: Challenger at launch in 1986, with the loss of 7 astronauts, and Columbia in 2003, on re-entry. The final launch was Atlantis, on 8 July 2011. (Gouache, from Inside the New Technology.)
Built by Astrium, Europe’s first radar Earth observation satellite, ERS-1, was in orbit from July 1991 until March 2000, exceeding its planned lifetime by more than three times. Its successor, ERS-2, was launched in 1995 and has also worked for longer than planned. Radar satellites are able to observe Earth day and night, in any weather conditions. (Gouache, for BNSC.)
SMART-1 (Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology) was designed for ESA in Sweden, and was launched from Kourou in September 2003. Only about 1 metre across without its solar panels, but these powered an important new technology: electric propulsion. Unlike chemical rockets these take a long time to build up a very high speed, spiralling slowly away from Earth. SMART-1 went into orbit around the Moon; it was deliberately crashed into the lunar surface in September 2006. Gouache/Digital
The next US probe to land on Mars was Sojourner, sent out by Pathfinder, on 4 July 1997. One of its first objectives was to find water, and this has now established, with the help of later probes and rovers such as Mars Global Surveyor, Spirit and Opportunity. (Digital, for Weldon Owen.)
Mars in 1995!
Hardy's first cover for Analog was in June 1981. It illustrates an article by Dr. Bob Parkinson (now President of the British Interplanetary Society [BIS]), showing how 3 ships, consisting mainly of ESA Spacelabs, could travel to Mars then dock in a cruciform configuration, extending solar panels for power. They would use NASA's Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV) for power. Down on Mars, the giant volcano Olympus Mons can be seen. (If only!) (Gouache, for Analog SF/Fact.)
Aerobraker was a NASA design for a landing vehicle which could descend through the thin atmosphere of Mars, then open ike a clamshell to land using retro-rockets. (Gouache, from The Newsround Book of Space, 1992, which was voted by children their 'Book of the Year'.)
The space station was originally painted when Hardy was Consultant on Space Tourism for Thomas Cook, which followed publication of his book with Bob Shaw, Galactic Tours in 1981. It consists of a 'wheel', rotating to produce artificial gravity by centripetal force, and a 'zero-G stadium' in which tourists can engage in games and sports, and even fly using strap-on wings in weightless conditions. He produced the digital version, with the ISS in the distance, for Futures in 2004.
Painted originally in 1972 (gouache) for Challenge of the Stars with Patrick Moore, this 'photon starship' has appeared many times since. It shows a type of propulsion which is still being developed, using effectively a 'beam of light'. This is allied with other exotic forms of propulsion, such as 'electric' and 'ion motors'. Here the starship has reached its destination – an earthlike world.
Ion propulsion is a development of the electric motors used by SMART-1 (q.v.) NASA says "they are the most exciting new rocket propulsion system since the Chinese invented the rocket". Ion Engines use electric fields instead of chemical reactions. They tend to be much less powerful, but can last for years before running out of fuel. Here a starship arrives at an earthlike world. Its radiator fins glow cherry as it dissipates waste heat. (Gouache, from Energy & The Future by David A Hardy)
Initiated by Alan Bond, Daedalus is the result of the world's first engineering design study, between 1973 – 1977 by the British Interplanetary Society (BIS), for an unmanned spacecraft to reach another star. The star selected was Barnard's Star, 6 light years away. The method of propulsion chosen was nuclear fusion using pellets of a deuterium-helium-3 mix, ignited in a reaction chamber by an electron beam. It developed into Project Icarus, which is ongoing. (Gouache, for Marshall Cavendish.)
Dance of Angels
Starships Daedalus and Orion dance around Saturn in a short story, 'The Dance of Angels' by Kelvin F. Long for the book 'Visionary', published by the BIS. Acrylics, 2016.
This concept for a manned interstellar mission was proposed by Dr Robert Enzmann in 1964, and modified in 1973. An 11 million tonne ball of frozen deuterium would act as fuel to power thermonuclear powered pulse propulsion units. The deuterium might be obtained from Jupiter, as shown here. The craft would be assembled in Earth-orbit, and would be some 600m long. (Acrylics; private collection of K. Long.)
Ion Starship 2
Another version of the Ion Starship, this one created digitally for Hardy's book with Sir Patrick Moore in 2004, Futures: 50 Years in Space (AAPPL)
Valentina Tereshkova. This is one of 36 'bubblegum cards' painted by Hardy in collaboration with text by L.J.Carter, then Secretary of the BIS, in 1965. The first female cosmonaut is shown in training in a simple frame that can move the body to any angle – a far cry from the high-tech training equipment used by US astronauts! (Gouache, for Anglo Confectionery Company.)
Soviet Space Walk
In March 1965 cosmonaut Alexei Leonov made the first-ever first 'spacewalk' in his Voskhod spacecraft. Hardy met Leonov at the IAAA workshop in Iceland in 1988, and again in Canyonlands, Utah, iin 1989. There have been many such 'walks' since, both US and Russian, and this one is from a Soyuz spacecraft.
This digital image was produced for a competition to design a logo for a golf tournament at Spacefest 2009 in San Diego, featuring several astronauts. It was called the Moonwalker Invitational. This design didn't win, but came second!
'SAS' here means Shropshire Astronomical Society (what did you think it was?). David has been a 'friend' of the society for many years, and has given several very successful talks – actually 'digital slideshows', using Keynote, the Apple version of Powerpoint – so when they needed a new logo, who else would they turn to? (Digital.)
A cutaway of the Sun showing its main features: sunspots, flares, prominences, faculae, corona and, internally, its immensely hot core and the convection cells which bring heat to the surface. The core is shown as dark because no light is produced until photons reach the photosphere, by a zigzag route which can take a million years! (Gouache, from Book of the Universe by Ian Ridpath.) Available as an Original (see Original Artworks.)
The Earth with a section cut away to show the molten core, mantle and the thin crust on which we all live.
Diagram showing how 'plate tectonics' works: Subduction. When a thin plate of oceanic crust and a thick continental plate collide, the oceanic plate is drawn under the other and melts, eventually rising to form volcanoes. (Digital, from Children's Atlas of the Universe, Readers Digest.)
The plumbing system of three volcanoes: Top: Kilauea, Hawaii; Centre: Mt. Etna, Sicily; Bottom, Mt. Krafla, Iceland. Hardy has visited all of these volcanoes. (Gouache, from The Fires Within.)
Cutaway diagram of a typical volcano, showing the magma chamber far below, tubes leading lava to the surface, and layers of lava and ash. (Digital, from Mountains, Readers Digest Books.)
Diagram of how an earthquake can cause a tsunami. Far out at sea and deep below the earth, rocks slip against each other and create the earthquake; it causes only a slight disturbance to the surface of the ocean, but as it nears land and the shore rises it becomes immense – and unstoppable. (Digital, from The Book of Natural Wonders.)
How Caves Form
When illustrating whole books, encyclopedias etc., Hardy often produces diagrams, such as this one showing how caves form in limestone areas. Diagrams, while not usually considered 'art', require a special kind of skill in order to make them attractive as well as explaining clearly what is being described.
Astronomical Art is usually defined by its exponents as depicting 'pure' scenes in space or on other worlds; ie. landscapes, stars, planets, nebulae and galaxies as they would appear if we were out there looking at them with our own eyes.
Space Art can include all of these, but will include vehicles and hardware; spacecraft, probes, rovers, astronauts, bases, maybe even robots. . . This section concentrates on these. It also includes diagrams and cutaways, which can also be found in their own categories (eg. Volcanoes).
bottom of page