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The R.A. Heinlein by William-Black The R.A. Heinlein by William-Black
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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Submitted on
January 1
Image Size
1.3 MB


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