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Crow's Nest
The Crow's Nest, an orbiting observation post
About this creation
In 2043, six years after the Radio Event [1], the Global Space Agency has delivered it’s first product resulting from the RERP (Radio Event Response Project).

It is a one-man observation post, designed to orbit the Sun in a slightly eccentric, inclined orbit. In this orbit, the observatory will spend approximately 60% of it’s time above the plane of the Solar System, to reduce the amount of dust it’s instruments will have to “see” through. Another Post will be launched from Earth in six months, to provide a constant clear view of GJ95. The staff of the RERP have nicknamed the orbiting observatory the “Crow’s Nest.”


[1] In 2037, the Solar System was hit with a very strong, uniform, but brief burst of radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation. It originated from the type G star, GJ95, which is 41 light-years distant in the Fornax constellation. Analysis by GSA has determined that it is unlikely that the Radio Event was a natural phenomenon, and this may be the first sign of extra-terrestrial intelligence.
Some within the GSA have speculated that the Radio Event may have been a powerful RADAR beam, sent by an intelligent species to scan our Solar System. This has fuelled some anxiety within the organization. An alien civilization capable of sending such a powerful radio signal and organized enough to wait 82 years for the return signal would dwarf humanity in terms of technology... It is hoped that the Radio Event Response Project can reveal some information about the origin of this signal, or possibly provide warning in case someone starts hurling relativistic rocks or cans of ravioli.

Piece count = 300



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   It is equipped with the latest observational technology, including a neutrino detector and radio, microwave, optical, X-ray and gamma ray telescopes. A pair of lasers constantly relay the enormous flow of data back to Earth.



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   Two electric flywheels are used for orientation. One is mounted externally on the port side to offset the mass of the larger instruments on the starboard side.



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   The thrusters are used for minor orbital adjustments. Enough fuel is stored to return the observatory to an Earth orbit in case of an emergency.



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   The job of an Orbital Observation Post operator has been likened to that of a lighthouse keeper. Operators are replaced annually by a replenishment shuttle launched from Earth. The window helps the operator maintain his or her sanity.



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   Here is an operator at work. To his right is the communications station, and the redundant RADAR and engineering stations. Next to the cupholder is the navigation system.

The Orbital Observation Post could have been implemented at a fraction of it’s cost if it were unmanned. The GSA has publically justified the expense of a manned station by reasoning that a human observer can react instantly to unusual signals, while a signal from Earth could take several minutes. Of course, modern computer systems could automatically react just as quickly to unusual signals, but the GSA is trying to keep their work on human space travel quiet.



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   Here is the main workstation. Everything onboard is controlled from the observatory’s computer. To the left is the water supply and washbasin.



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   The rest of the cabin.
At the centre of the rear wall is the other flywheel, which can be used to provide a small amount of gravity for exercise. Surrounding it are six electric batteries which can be replenished by unfurling external solar panels.
The waste disposal is at the bottom right. It feeds into the recycling array, which occupies a large part of the cabin. This is a series of filters and engineered bacteria chambers that make use of the latest bio-technology to purify water and provide nutrition to the operator.



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   The operator’s sleeping arrangements occupy the “ceiling” of the cabin.



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   The access hatch, only used once a year, is under the bed. The storage chests contain spare parts, medicine, personal effects (i.e. portable bot factory), and flavouring for the operator’s food (i.e. Tang).



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   The access hatch, where the replenishment shuttle will dock.



Comments

 I like it 
  March 28, 2013
I'm more of a bionicle builder than usual lego bricks, but still this is impressive. I like what you did to the inside of the vehicle. Proves that you're more genius with lego than I am. Actually, almost everyone is. XD Great moc!
 I like it 
  June 14, 2008
how much payload would it take to eliminate a radar station of that size,and what are some weak points?
 I like it 
  February 19, 2006
Very nice, grrreat use of those antennae
 
By Jeff Jardine
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