Tn-01 Tn-02 Tn-03 Tn-04 Tn-05

Space-Lifeboat - $$3.50

Designed by Krafft A. Ehricke to usher astronauts to safety in the event of a space program emergency. Another great model designed by our friend Vlad.

Ehricke's Space Lifeboat

Ehricke's Space Lifeboat

Krafft Ehricke Space Lifeboat art by Vlad

  Just when you thought you knew all there is to know about German rocket scientists, along comes another paper model by our Ukrainian paper model designer, Vlad.

  The model is of an emergency vehicle that was never actually built. It would have been attached to the sides of an Atlas rocket which was to be converted into an orbital space station. It could be used as a way to bring astronauts back to Earth if the space station (or the astronauts) were to malfunction. The model is fairly easy to build.

  This spacecraft was designed by Krafft Arnold Ehricke after he was transplanted from Germany to America as a part of Operation Paperclip.

  Krafft's folks knew he was destined for great things when he started his own rocket society at the age of 12. Little did they know that by 1942 he would be working at Peenemünde for the war effort on one side of the ocean, and later with the Von Braun Rocket Team at Huntsville on the other side. After leaving the government sector, he remained in the field working for various aerospace companies including Bell Aircraft, Convair, and General Dynamics.

He believed that the Moon and Mars should be developed for industrial purposes as a way to further advance the spread of mankind into the heavens.

vast black outer space picture showing active moon industrial site

Krafft A. Ehricke photo
"The 52 million square miles of land on Earth are the most precious real estate in the solar system. Precisely for this reason, we will increasingly find the 100 million square miles of Moon, Mercury, Mars and the asteroids to be a valuable source of raw materials. Our attitude will change from 'who needs it' to 'we couldn't do without it.'"

Krafft A. Ehricke, 1970

These days, the lifeboats of the International Space Station are actually a couple Russian Soyuz spacecraft which can carry 3 astronauts at a time. This allows for 6 workers on the space station. Each Soyuz holds three people. So with two docked, there can be six people working on the station at any one time.

Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation and SpaceX are working on designs to provide something more suitable. What is needed is something that can protect people from micrometeoroids, can be up and running very quickly in an emergency, and can use very little power when it is docked at the space station. It also has to have ready-to-breath air in it, it has to be able to get folks back to Earth safely within 24 hours, and there needs to be storage space for comic books, video games and snacks.

assembly details for convair orbital lifeboat

Instructions to build the A-9 rocket paper model

Instructions for the model ofEhricke's Space Lifeboat

label of the convair atlas space station plastic model kit label of 1966 convair atlas space station plastic model kit with orbital life boat

I was told there was a Hawk plastic model that included the orbital life raft with the Convair Atlas Space Station. Above are pictures that show the label from the 1950's and another from a re-release in 1966.

Below is a video with the voice of Krafft Ehricke called "A Study of Early Manned Interplanetary Missions" At that time his title was "Astronautics Director of Advanced Studies" at General Dynamics This was created in 1962 to explain a planned manned mission to Mars (and possibly Venus) which would take place in the 1970's.

To the right is an image I found in the San Diego Air and Space Museum. It's a close-up they had in their archives which looks a lot like the Ericke design. I'm not sure if it is the model or the original that the model was based on.

Krafft Ehricke with the Convair model

space-toilet on the orbital life boat


What People Say...

Tell Vlad we love him!