Computational analysis is conducted to study the effect of an linear aerospike engine plume on the X-33 base-heating environment during ascent flight. To properly account for the freestream-body interaction and to allow for potential plume-induced flow-separation, the thermo-flowfield of the entire vehicle at several trajectory points is computed. A sequential grid-refinement technique is used in conjunction with solution-adaptive, patched, and embedded grid methods to limit the model to a manageable size. The computational methodology is based on a three-dimensional, finite-difference, viscous flow, chemically reacting, pressure-based computational fluid dynamics formulation, and a three-dimensional, finite-volume, spectral-line based weighted-sum-of-gray-gases absorption, computational radiation heat transfer formulation. The computed forebody and afterbody surface pressure coefficients and base pressure characteristic curves are compared with those of a cold-flow test. The predicted convective and radiative base-heat fluxes, the effect of base-bleed, and the potential of plume-induced flow separation are presented.