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Leonov 7: Heatshield Release



The seventh image of Arthur C. Clarke’s Leonov (from the novel, not the movie) by Drell-7 ( and myself is probably my favorite of the series. With the aerobrake complete, the Leonov discards its over-engineered, blackened aeroshell and vector’s towards Io and its rendezvous with the derelict Discovery. The shell’s jettisoned shroud lines writhe like fine metallic snakes, their function in stabilizing the large, ablative shield no longer required. What’s left is the Leonov’s configuration for the remainder of its mission. The observation deck windows are alight as the crew members try to get a glimpse of their still radiating “thermal umbrella”.

Art by Drell-7 (, design by Rob Caswell and Drell-7.
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Colourbrand's avatar
Far more plausable that Syd Mead's idea - although that design was brilliant.