This painting is numbered "2 & 3" for unknown reasons possibly related to the multiple uses intended for it. It shows the Titan IIIM/MOL/Gemini-B "stack" on the launch pad in front of its Support Tower. The Gemini-B spacecraft at the top of the stack is seen to have a red nose section, a theme that was maintained in all of its appearances in this collection. Similarly, the MOL cylinder shows the "USAF" logo and roundel (see image below), and the roundel is repeated at the top of the Titan first stage.

The "roundel" insignia used on military aircraft of the United States since 1947.

Individual acetate overlays (composited, below) indicate the components of the stack. The entire stack of booster, MOL and Gemini-B is labelled "MOL Flight Vehicle." The second stage, the MOL and Gemini-B are labelled "Orbiting Vehicle."

A handwritten note on the cover sheet (at right) prescribed five separate views to be derived from this painting, perhaps in an animated sequence: first, the basic painting; second, the "Titan IIIM" labelled overlay; third, only the "MOL flight vehicle" labelled overlay; fourth, the third plus the "orbiting vehicle" labelled overlay; and fifth, an overlay not present in the collection.

The booster is clearly labelled "Titan IIIM" but its side-mounted solid rocket boosters have only five segments, which mark it as the Titan IIIC coming into operations in the mid- to late 1960s, and not the seven segments of the as-yet-undeveloped IIIM. It is odd that no one advised Jacobe about that distinction.

The missing fifth overlay is the most interesting because it relates to the decidedly artificial background in this painting. The note stipulates a "dashed line from top of [building] to top of Gemini (all other overlays removed)." Whoever wrote this note may have added just such a dashed line to the onionskin sheet to illustrate his point. The "building" is the tall box-like structure to the left of the stack. Several viewers of the painting have noted its resemblance to the United Nations building (but, sadly, none mentioned the monolith in 2001, A Space Odyssey). A few moments of Googling produced an image from the 1960s of the New York City skyline as seen from the East River that is a passable match to the background in this painting. It appears that the art director wanted to make a size comparison between the UN building and the Titan IIIM stack. If so, its point is unclear: the stack was to be 177 feet (54 meters) tall, while the UN building is 509 feet (155 meters) high. That difference of a factor of three is interesting but not consequential.


  • "Military aircraft insignia," Wikipedia, accessed January 16, 2016.
  • "Headquarters of the United Nations," Wikipedia, accessed Dec. 28, 2015.