[Image of a Cassini spacecraft model inside a black gimbal structure comprised of three concentric rings, mounted on a plexiglass stand and sitting on the corner of a desk.]

Now that I'm back at work, I present another of my Rare Objects from Space History for #tbt. This is a model of the Cassini spacecraft, mounted in the centre of what I can only think to describe as a gimbal. The high gain antenna is pointed toward the bottom of the photo. The model was distributed to instrument teams to aid them with pointing design. It can be rotated around three axes within the gimbal. Each circle of rotation is marked in degrees, so that from a set of numbers indicating its orientation (eg "RA & dec"), an instrument engineer can work out which way the spacecraft is pointing.

I have no idea when it was originally given to our team but it predates me joining the Cassini project (ca 2006).
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

From: [personal profile] kaberett

Ooh - is it an armillary sphere?

Also: this is gorgeous and I thank you.
cmcmck: (Default)

From: [personal profile] cmcmck

Being a historian, seeing a thing like that immediately reminds me of a thing like this:

jesse_the_k: Cartoon drawing of original Mac with screen displaying the "happy Mac" smile indicating successful boot (old Mac)

From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k

That something so lovely is also useful explains why I hold space scientists in awe.
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

From: [personal profile] silveradept

That is both a lovely thing to look at and probably a very useful tool for making sure that your instrument is pointed in the right direction.
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)

From: [personal profile] redsixwing

That is so cool.

Here's to useful items that also possess beauty.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

From: [personal profile] davidgillon

Ooh, nice! Part of me wants to insist the rings should be spinning gyros.
submarine_bells: jellyfish from "Aquaria" game (Default)

From: [personal profile] submarine_bells

Wow, that is the coolest thing! Thanks so much for sharing it - cheered up a dismal morning, seeing that. Do feel free to share pics of any other unusual or interesting Rare Objects From Space that you might happen to have or know of. :-)
coughingbear: im in ur shipz debauchin ur slothz (Default)

From: [personal profile] coughingbear

Oh wow, that is lovely and lovely because it is functional.
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)

From: [personal profile] siliconshaman

That is elegant in it's functionality, and beautiful in fact that the designer went to the trouble of crafting a model of Cassini when a simple pointer would've done the job.

I really hope someone donates theirs to a museum otherwise it's exactly that sort of rare tool that ends up getting lost to history as they're put away and forgotten about when people move on to other projects.
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)

From: [personal profile] siliconshaman

Good to know!

It's always good to archived backups, just in case. This applies to physical stuff as well.
ed_rex: (Default)

From: [personal profile] ed_rex

New SF trophy?

Granted that I would really like to see a colour photo of that, I feel confident in saying that would be a gorgeous trophy for a science fiction award of some sort. (I'd suggest the Hugo, but they have a tradition of phallic rocket ships that, despite that, I rather like.)
ed_rex: (Default)

From: [personal profile] ed_rex

Re: New SF trophy?

Thanks for that. I think Cassini's golden colour really adds to the image.

But cardboard! Shatter my delusions illusions, why don't you! :)