The Mars expedition's NERVA nuclear engines come to life to slow the ships into an elliptical orbit abound their objective. The manned landers are exposed now at the forward end of the ships. Also visible are the two probes to be dropped into Venus during the return leg of the journey, and the airlock tunnels which lead to the forward off-axis docking ports. The thrust plumes are artistic license- the exhaust of a hot hydrogen rocket is nearly invisible, in reality. Also, the Mars depicted here has been slightly exaggerated to reflect the more moon-like Mars that was in vogue, after the Mariner fly-bys of the 1960's.
Modeled and rendered in Lightwave 10, and Photoshop. Thanks for taking a look!