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The R.A. Heinlein



The full resolution art is presently available to my patrons, follow this link William Black on Patreon to sign up. Full resolution digital copy can be purchased for $15.00 on request from, see my profile page for details.

The R.A. Heinlein is a Gas-Core Open-Cycle nuclear thermal rocket rendered in pulp-era style from NASA TM X-67823 Gas Core Rocket Reactors-A New Look. See figure 7 on page 15 of the linked pdf.

Winchell Chung recently observed, in his December 19 Atomic Rockets update, that the preliminary design has more than a slight air of being an Atomic Rocket that Heinlein might have dreamed. Playing on that theme I added slightly swept structural supports to the aft mounted radiator panels then worked a whole lot of post-work magic to achieve a look somewhere between early NASA concept art and a faded pulp era magazine covers.

Image Credit:

Background image is modified from ISS-42 Moon on the Earth's Atmosphere courtesy NASA/JPL.

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Image details
Image size
4928x3280px 1.33 MB
© 2017 - 2023 William-Black
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A fantastic tribute to RAH. He would have smiled on this ship for sure.