The Ship of the Imagination from "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey"


New Member
First post! Lovely to actually post here after years of lurking. :lol

I've been modelling Neil DeGrasse Tyson's sleek Ship of the Imagination from "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," and boy, is it quite the challenge.
After rewatching A Spacetime Odyssey in anticipation of "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" next year, I started to realise my appreciation for the design of the S.O.T.I. (designed by Ryan Church). My current dream is to be able to get the sucker to a point where it can be 3D printed and assembled so that it is articulated at the spherical bridge as it is in the show. First things first though, I've got to model the darn thing!

Some reference images:

This is what I have modeled so far in Sketchup:

It's mostly a proof of concept model so that I can get comfortable with modeling every part of it. But, as I predicted before I began, the most challenging part is the cowl-like structure that falls over the sphere. It seems to slightly resemble an eyelid (likely intentional), and protrudes at the top, less so further down towards the bottom of the sphere. It slopes perfectly into the outer structure of the ship, and I simple can't come up with a way to achieve this in my model. I've tried so much!

This is simply my cry for help in modeling this thing. :lol Any help/advice is massively appreciated, and I look forward to being more active in this community. Thanks!


New Member
If you did Carl Sagan's 'ship of the imagination', it could double as the Superman ship from the late 70's movie.


Sr Member
From the title of the thread, I thought you were talking about the Carl Sagan one too.

How big are you planning on making your model? I like seeing the bridge through the sphere.
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