Terry Regan is a technician and the Chief spacecraft model builder for the Initiative for Interstellar Studies.
Terry Regan lives in Chelmsford, Essex, in England. His love of astronomy began when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, and he has since developed a keen interest in planetary spacecraft. He is a passionate and enthusiastic member of his local astronomy club, the North Essex Astronomical Society, and the proud owner of a 10" Dobsonian telescope. He acts as Outreach Officer for the society and is often seen supporting stargazing workshop events with local schools and community groups. His other great passion is model building. He is a member of the Chelmsford Scale Model Club, having served as its chairman for ten years, and he mainly constructs 1/48 scale models of aircraft flown by the Royal Air Force. Some of his models are conversions from kits, while others are scratch built. Terry is renowned both in his model club and the astronomy society for his amazing, fantastically detailed scale replicas of spacecraft, including Galileo, Magellan, Cassini-Huygens and Voyager 1, all scratch built. His current project is a model of Daedalus for Project Icarus, a joint initiative between Icarus Interstellar and The British Interplanetary Society. He works for a large truck dealership as a truck technician. In the rest of his spare time he enjoys cycling, clay pigeon shooting and walking.
=== Terry Regan Gallery ===
Voyager 1 & 2
The planetary grand tour was an ambitious plan to send two unmanned probes to the outer planets of the Solar System. The idea was conceived at NASA and JPL in the 1960s when it found that all four gas giant planets could be visited using gravity assists while needing a minimal amount of propellant and a shorter travel time between planets. The original proposed mission was to send four probes under the Mariner programme: the first two, with proposed launch dates in 1976 and 1977 were to fly by Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto and the other two with launch dates in 1979 were to fly by Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. The spacecraft were to have been designed with multiple redundant system on-board to ensure they would last over the missions spanning up to 12 years. Due to a NASA budget cut in 1972, the grand tour missions were downsized to two “mini Grand Tour” probes and the Voyager programme was born. The two Voyagers were launched in 1977 on board a Titan 111E/Centaur rockets, Voyager 2 was the first to go on 20th August 1977 and Voyager 1 on 5th September 1977 on a faster trajectory which enabled it to reach Jupiter and Saturn, it was decided to make a close flyby of Titan which would remove the chance for the Pluto flyby. On 17th February 1998, Voyager 1 overtook Pioneer 10 to become the most distance man-made object from Earth at the time it was 6.5 billion miles from Earth. Pioneer 10 and Voyager 1 are heading almost in the opposite direction outward from the Solar System. On the 18th December 2004, Voyager 1 passed the “termination shock”- the point where the solar winds slow to a subsonic speed and the tenuous point where the solar system can be said to end. Now in 2017, Voyager is 20,664 billion km (12,827billion miles) from Earth travelling at about 38,200 mph and it takes over 30 hours to transmit and receive radio signals. Voyager 2 is currently 17,075 billion km (10,609 miles) from Earth and is travelling at 35,000 mph, taking over 31 hours to transmit and receive radio signals. Each Voyager probes carries a Golden Record-a gold-plated copper phonograph disc containing sounds and images selected to portray the Earth and its inhabitants. They were intended for any intelligent extra-terrestrial life forms, or even for future human life, who may find them. Both are still sending back information and are expected to carry on until 2025 when their power runs out or when they can no longer be monitored – What an amazing pair of spacecraft!
This is the fourth spacecraft model to be made for Terry’s collection and as with the last three all have been scratch built from plans available online and using plans from a card model. Terry first started to build the main body using styrene plastic card, the material that professional model makers use. A ten sided body, 12mm high and 55mm in diameter, was made and glued, and then shaped and cleaned up to form the main body. He made four thermal control louvers and added them around the side of the body and also not forgetting the famous gold record. He then made up three “V” shape struts that supports the antenna dish and another four “V” shape brackets that held the rocket engine to give the boost from the Earth orbit. The struts was made from plastic rod and then the whole thing was primed and checked for blemishes then a coat of satin black was airbrushed on with the louvers airbrushed in chrome silver. Next he made the R.T.Gs or Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator. He cut a length of plastic tube, 50 mm long and 6mm diameter. He cut and shaped 18 fins and added to the tube. These are cooling fins. He also added slithers of plastic strips to show panelling and detail to the R.T.G and finally a round disc was made and added to the end of the R.T.G all airbrushed in a black metallic with the end plate in chrome silver. He then added some brackets to the RTG, these lock the RTG in a folded position on launch. Terry then turned his attention to the long magnetometer boom and yes its long, all of 400 mm long. This was made up the same way as the mag boom on Cassini but this time he used 0.5 mm plastic rod. Again it’s a triangle construction 5 mm wide and 400 mm long and over a thousand pieces and three days' work went into making the boom, it was then airbrushed in metallic dull yellow. The science boom, which is mounted opposite from the RTG, holds, cameras, sensors, various instruments and a large Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer/Radiometer. The boom was again made from 1.2 mm rod made into a square lattice frame work and which supports the equipment, again all airbrushed in black with the cameras pick out in silver to represent the lenses. Now for the antenna dish, he searched through his collection of oil filters until he found the size he needed. He clamped a piece of 0.030 mm plastic card over a large piece of Plywood with a hole in the middle. He then softened up the card and plunged the bottom of the truck oil filter to form a dish shape. A tripod antenna feed cone was then made all sprayed up and mounted. A few bits of detail was added here and there. And finally a base was made from a piece of Pine, the edges was rounded off and the whole thing was then sanded smooth cleaned up and vanished and once dried he made up the NASA logo, the mission badge and the name plaque, Finished. The Model is1/40th scale and its 260mm long from RTG to the edge of the science boom and the antenna dish is a 100 mm diameter and not forgetting the Mag boom of 400 mm long.
The Galileo spacecraft was launched on 18th October 1989 aboard the Space shuttle Atlantis. NASA discovered that the main antenna didn’t fully deploy after its first flyby of Earth. After a six year journey it arrived at Jupiter in December 1995 to begin its orbital tour of the planet and its moons. Galileo spent over fourteen years studding Jupiter sending back high resolution data about the planet. It also launch a probe into Jupiter’s atmosphere to study the composition of the atmosphere for the first time. The structure of Jupiter’s magnetosphere was also mapped. Galileo discovered that the Jupiter’s faint ring system consists of dust from impacts on the four Jovian moons. Volcanism on Io was imaged. As well as its interaction with Jupiter’s atmosphere. The theory of liquid subsurface ocean under the ice world of Europa was further bolstered by data collected by Galileo and similar indicators were found to suggest the same occurring under the surface of Ganymede and Callisto. In 1994 Galileo also observed the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. On 21st September 2003, Galileo’s mission was terminated by sending the spacecraft into Jupiter’s atmosphere at a speed of 50 km/s. This decision was made so that there was no chance of Galileo crashing and contaminating any of Jupiter’s moons. The model is the first totally scratch built model using modelling plastic styrene sheets and rods. The plans were originally designed for a paper model. Although the main antenna never fully open on the spacecraft, Terry decided to show what the antenna would look like fully deployed. It is a 1/45th scale model and is 150 mm long and the antenna 110 mm in diameter (the real spacecraft weighing about 5000 Ibs and being about the size of a small car). The model took around six to nine months to make in spare time.
Cassini-Huygens was a joint mission by NASA, ESA and ASI to study Saturn, its rings and moons. It was launched on15th October 1997 on-board a Titan 1VB Centaur Rocket and after a journey of six years and nine months, it entered into orbit around Saturn on July 1st 2004. The attached Huygens probe was released from Cassini on Christmas Day 2004 and landed on the moon of Titan two weeks later. The mission had two extensions since then, the first in 2008 and the second in 2010, meaning that the spacecraft will stay in service around Saturn until 2017. At 22 feet high and 13 feet wide, the spacecraft is the largest and the most complex built to date, featuring over 1,630 interconnected electronic components, 22,000 wire connections and over 8 miles of cablings and at launch it weighed in at 5,600 kilograms (12,000 Ib). In June 1999, Cassini‘s velocity was recorded at 44.0 kilometres-per-second (98,346 mph). Radio signals to Cassini can take anywhere between 68 to 84 minutes to travel from Earth. This is the second spacecraft model that I have built, again, its scratch build from plastic styrene card, rods and struts, materials that architects and model railway modellers use. The plans were, like the Galileo model, taken from those designed for paper models, meaning features like the fuel cells would be two paper round discs slotted together at 90 degrees. I soften up a sheet of plastic plunge a small light bulb (I used a side light bulb taken from a car) forming a dish/half a sphere, made two of them and glued together to form a round fuel tank. The antenna dish was formed from thick plastic card, softened by a heat gun and pulled down over a bottom of a truck oil filter to give the correct dish shape, then trimmed up and detailed. To make the make the main body of the spacecraft, plastic card was cut to length and rolled to form a tube and ribs were made and added using small strips cut and shape to fit the body. Various pieces went into making the cameras, gyros and rocket engines. The magnetometer boom is, of a triangle lattices construction, and to make this I used (point) 0.6 mm diameter, 300 mm long by 6mm wide and individual pieces was cut to make the lattices structure, there is over 700 parts went into making the boom alone. The model was then painted and a base was made along with the mission logos, badges and a name plaque to display the model. The model is 1/37th scale and is 170 mm long, 90 mm wide with the magnetometer boom 300 mm long and the antenna dish 120 mm diameter. It took 9 months to build.
The Magellan spacecraft was the first interplanetary spacecraft to be launched by the Space Shuttle when it was carried onboard the shuttle Atlantis in 1989. Atlantis released Magellan into low Earth orbit, where a solid fuel motor was fired sending Magellan on a fifteen month cruise to Venus – arriving in August 1990. The main objectives for Magellan was to map the surface of Venus using radar, collecting topographical and gravity field data in the process. Due to Venus constant cloud cover, the surface couldn’t be imaged visually so high resolution “synthetic aperture radar” was used to get a near-global images of Venus surface. The spacecraft was designed and built by Martin Marietta and JPL. To save on costs Magellan was made from many spare parts from the Voyager, Galileo, Mariner and Ulysses spacecraft programmes. The main body of the spacecraft was a 10 sided aluminium spare from the Voyager mission containing computers, data recorders and other subsystems derived from the Galileo mission. For communication back to Earth included a two lightweight graphite/aluminium antennae spares from the Mariner 9 spacecraft. This added up to a spacecraft weighing just over a1 tonne (with another 2 tonnes of fuel onboard at launch), standing 15feet high with a 12 foot high-gain antenna. This was all powered by two large solar arrays measuring 2.5 meters across which supplied the spacecraft with 1200 watts of power although this gradually degraded due to the frequent extreme temperature changes experienced at Venus. On the 11th October 1994, Magellan’s mission ended having completed 15,030 orbits of Venus. During its final few orbits, the spacecraft executed a special “windmill” experiment and 2 days later it became caught in the atmosphere and plunge to the surface. Although much of Magellan would be vaporized, some sections were expected to hit the planet surface intact.
As with the other models, Galileo and Cassini-Huygens, Magellan was again scratch built from plastic card and rods using plans for a paper-card kit. As with all paper models they are in 2D and look rather flat! The first task was to find as many pictures of Magellan as possible from the internet and comparing them with the plans. Terry measured up the main spacecraft bus, a 10 sided body, and added detail like the equipment modules. The next step was to sort through various truck oil filter’s that he had acquired, pick out the required filter and plunge mould to form the antenna dish – again from plastic card and then made the tripod and feed cone to detail the dish. A coat of plastic primer so cellulose paint will adhere to plastic and 3 coats of Halfords Appliance Gloss White make’s a very good antenna dish white. Back to the main model, the Forward Equipment Module was then glued to the bus. Next stage was to build the Propulsion Module Truss out of 1 mm plastic rod. The Helium Tank was made from heat gun-softened plastic card with a small ball bearing plunged through. Now on to the Rocket engine Module again made out of 1 mm plastic rod and scratch built to make 8 rocket thrusters. The altimeter antenna along with the Medium Gain antenna was also scratch built. The actual spacecraft appeared to be wrapped in a white blanket held together with what looks like gold tape, possibly to reflect heat from the spacecraft. A good coat of primer, then the model was sprayed again in Halfords Appliance White, the gold trim came from a gold transfer/decal sheet cut and applied to the model, and then a couple of coats of matt lacquer to seal everything in. The last thing was the solar panels. Two square plastic cards were cut out, sprayed silver and then masked up into small squares to represent solar panels, then sprayed with transparent blue and a few coats of pearlescent lacquer. The solar panels and the antenna dish were added to the model. The model looked a little bland in the opinion of Terry, and it needed a bit more detail, so he found a picture of the booster rocket, (this was used to get it to Venus) it wasn’t a clear picture to go on and after a little more research he found some photos that he could work from and scratch built the rocket booster and its fuel tank. And finally a wooden base was made out of pine vanished to a high gloss, mission/badges and the name plaque was made. Back to the solar panels, he wasn’t overall happy the way the panels come out so they were placed in and not glued and could be replaced at a later date when he would find a better way of making solar panels. The model is 1/30th scale and its 200 mm long and 235 mm wide (from solar panel to solar panel).
Project Daedalus was a project of the British Interplanetary Society and the 5 year study came to fruition in 1978. Around 2011 Terry took up the challenge to build a model for the BIS which was sponsored by the i4is as a thank you for the inspiration they had given to many over the years in keeping the interstellar vision alive. Daedalus was a theoretical starship powered by an inertial confinement fusion engine that would take around 50 years to get to the nearest stars at 12% of the speed of light. It was unmanned (robotic) and flyby only (no deceleration). The payload was 450 tons in mass and the vehicle carried 50,000 tons of Deuterium and Helium-3 fuel, the Helium-3 of which was to be mined from the gas giant Jupiter. Terry took around 5 years to build the model in rigorous detail and it is now permanently exhibited at the Head Quarters of the BIS in Vauxhall, London, for the enjoyment of all.