completed model on its stand.
Only a few rocket scientists will see a satellite during assembly;
after it's launched, no one will view it up close ever again. A model
gives control-center operators something tangible to focus
on and can even be used to plan and analyze complex maneuvers.
The actual satellite is over 50' long. I built the model at
1:40 scaleany smaller and the details would be difficult
to create in wood, any larger and it would be difficult to
handle. I chose maple and walnut, which contrast nicely.
For the solar panels (the two wings) and other light-colored
parts, I used a maple baseball bat blank. For the main antenna
(the longest strip on the base of the satellite), I used a
slightly warped walnut short I found in my shop. I keep a
few boxes of offcuts, which makes it easier to find blanks
for small parts and repairs. The main satellite body and smaller
dark parts were made from a 2" blank from my assorted