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AlexanderHowl 06-15-2019 01:43 PM

Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
Sol-1 diverged in 1969 with the survival of Mary Jo Kopechne during the car accident with Teddy Kennedy. Without her death, Teddy Kennedy's reputation was relatively untarnished, and he was able to defeat Jimmy Carter in the Democratic Party primary and Ronald Reagan in the 1976 US Presidential Election. With his election, Teddy Kennedy prioritized investment in economic justice, social justice, and scientific research.

In particular, Teddy desired to build upon the dreams of JFK and supported the expansion of NASA and pushed through NASA's plan for the orbital solar power array in 1978, using the OPEC oil embargo as a justification and to drum up support for American energy independence. With the support of the President, NASA proposed an ambitious plan that required 1% of the US GDP, which Teddy was able to push through Congress through supporting modest increases in military and domestic spending.

In 1978, Teddy forced the Shah of Iran to resign through convincing Congress to support the secular movements and pushed through a UN resolution for a 5 year caretaker government, under the supervision of the UN, that would prepare Iran for democratic rule. With the support of the USA and the UN, the secular revolutionaries were able to limit the effectiveness of the religious extremists and, with the death of Khomeini in 1979 due to food poisoning, the religious extremists spent more time fighting themselves than the secularists.

Teddy Kennedy easily won reelection in 1980 due to his personal popularity and his foreign policy accomplishments. In exchange for a 10% share in the orbital solar array, the USSR agreed to a large reduction in nuclear weapons in 1979, with a maximum of 500 weapons for each of the USA and USSR.

In 1984, John Glenn, a longtime ally of Teddy, became president of the USA, easily winning against George H.W. Bush. Famous for his work as an astronaut and as a Senator of Colorado, he continued the construction of the orbital solar array. In 1988, with the successful completion of the first SPS and the generation of 10 GW of electricity, the promise of American energy independence started to be fulfilled, allowing John Glenn to easily defeat Bob Dole after he defeated George H.W. Bush for the nomination.

With the collapse of the USSR during his second term and the growing production of energy from the orbital array, John Glenn would have easily gone down in history as one of the best presidents in US history. In addition, he sold shares of the 20% of the orbital array to US allies, and negotiated two major successful peace deals. The first was the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, with the threat of a US embargo similar to the embargo against South Africa, the Israelis agreed to a negotiated settlement in 1991. The second was the Chinese-Taiwan conflict, where the Chinese agreed to recognize Taiwan in exchange for a 10% share of the orbital array in 1992.

In 1992, Jerry Brown defeated Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot in the Presidential election. With the growing success of the orbital array and the end of the Cold War, Brown pushed for a reduction in military spending and an increase in social spending. Without the deficits from the Reagan tax cuts in OTL, Brown was capable of pushing massive cuts in military spending and massive increases in domestic spending.

In 2000, John McCain became the first Republican in a quarter century to win the presidency. With the discovery of a Saudi funded plot to attack the USA in retaliation for the USA not supporting the Saudis against the Iraqis in 1991, McCain organized the invasion of Saudi Arabia. While the Saudis had been victorious, the war had wrecked the economies of the Gulf (with the exception of Iran, which benefitted from the oil disruptions). Within a year, Saudi Arabia was divided amongst its neighbors, and the USA had not sent in a single soldier, using its air power to support the invasion.

In addition to the dissolution of Saudi Arabia, McCain oversaw the modernization of the US military and the continued support for NASA. He oversaw the successful manned mission to Mars in 2003 and then a permanent station in 2006. With the ice mines on Demos and Phobos in 2006, regular transfers of material from Mars orbit to Earth started arriving in 2007. By 2008, space was profitable, and the US and its allies owned 80% of space.

After McCain, the next president was Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008 and then Senator Barack Obama in 2016. They continued the successes of previous administrations's and, by 2020, governed a prosperous and progressive America with commercial enterprises that stretched to the Main Belt. Without a doubt, space is considered good business.

A Q7 timeline, Centrum and Homeline consider Sol-1 problematic because the majority of physics research is in space. Laboratories on the Moon and Mars due most of the physics research, and they fear that the America of Sol-1 may stumble on paratronic travel without them being the wiser. Reports of research into a jump drive causes them additional worries, as both politics know that FTL is impossible.

David Johnston2 06-15-2019 01:52 PM

Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
Nice place to live. Boring place to visit.

whswhs 06-15-2019 02:24 PM

Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
I'm not sure that it's valid to assume the collapse of the Soviet Union in this timeline. It seems plausible to suppose that it wasn't independent of US policy or of who was in the White House.

I'm not seeing how Hillary Clinton gets into the Senate if her husband was never President.

maximara 06-15-2019 02:42 PM

Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 2269119)
I'm not sure that it's valid to assume the collapse of the Soviet Union in this timeline. It seems plausible to suppose that it wasn't independent of US policy or of who was in the White House.

The Soviet Union would have political/propaganda pressure to "catch up" with the Americans and the proxy wars they engaged further would add to their already strained finances. The political and social changes that were required set the stage tot he point that a collapse was only a matter of time. As things went it was a relative bloodless collapse in OTL but it could have turned into a civil war bloodbath.

AlexanderHowl 06-15-2019 02:47 PM

Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
I think that the invasion of Afghanistan caused the collapse of the USSR, as well as their untenable economy. It would have been a softer landing than in OTL, but they would have likely still collapsed in the early 90s, especially with the increasing prosperity of the West luring the members of Warsaw Pact away from its control. In addition, I am sure that Glenn would have likely played hardball against the USSR, though he would have likely used soft power rather than hard power.

Concerning Clinton, I think that without the burden of the bad press of the Clinton years, and the Republican propoganda machine demonizing her, she could have succeeded on her own. It is a different timeline, with a more progressive and prosperous America, and a female President in 2008 would have made sense, especially as a reaction to the more aggressive McCain presidency. Of course, you would have had a more moderate Republican Party, since a more progressive and prosperous America would have not supported a conservative surge, so who knows who the Republicans would have nominated by 2008.

Phantasm 06-15-2019 03:12 PM

Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
This timeline is treading a fine line where the forum's RealPolitics rules are concerned, I think. Let's not focus too hard on the politics.

I love the push for more and better outer space exploration in this timeline, though. Do they have a moon base and/or a Stanford Torus or O'Neill Colony in orbit? Manned expeditions to Mars? Near-Earth asteroid mining?

Randyman 06-15-2019 03:14 PM

Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phantasm (Post 2269125)
This timeline is treading a fine line where the forum's RealPolitics rules are concerned, I think. Let's not focus too hard on the politics.

I love the push for more and better outer space exploration in this timeline, though. Do they have a moon base and/or a Stanford Torus or O'Neill Colony in orbit? Manned expeditions to Mars? Near-Earth asteroid mining?

How close is this world to what we see in the movie 2001 - A Space Odyssey? Ex: Did PanAm survive to become an orbital spaceline?

AlexanderHowl 06-15-2019 03:32 PM

Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phantasm (Post 2269125)
This timeline is treading a fine line where the forum's RealPolitics rules are concerned, I think. Let's not focus too hard on the politics.

I love the push for more and better outer space exploration in this timeline, though. Do they have a moon base and/or a Stanford Torus or O'Neill Colony in orbit? Manned expeditions to Mars? Near-Earth asteroid mining?

The NASA plan in 1977 (OTL) required lunar mines and L4/L5 Stanford Torus assembly plants with a population of 10,000 by 1990. In the ATL, the greater amount of funding (allowing a faster and larger orbital solar array) would have required larger lunar mines and larger L4/L5 colonies similar to O'Neill, but only supporting 800,000 people each, by 1990. The first manned mission to Mars was in 2003, followed by the permanent base and the Demos and Phobos ice mines in 2006. During the Clinton administration, the push would have been to the asteroids, first the NEAs in her first her and then the big five in her second term (Ceres, Vesta, Juno, Eugenia, and Pallas).

Astromancer 06-15-2019 05:23 PM

Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2269116)
Nice place to live. Boring place to visit.

The adventures would be in trying to infiltrate and spy on off planet research bases. Done right you can have nerve racking claustrophobic adventures.

Astromancer 06-15-2019 05:30 PM

Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 2269119)
I'm not sure that it's valid to assume the collapse of the Soviet Union in this timeline. It seems plausible to suppose that it wasn't independent of US policy or of who was in the White House.

I'm not seeing how Hillary Clinton gets into the Senate if her husband was never President.

Hillary we won't argue about. But the Soviets had big problems for a long time. They seemed to have hit the limits of authoritarian growth in 1960 and never grew afterwards. When then tech came along that could have restarted economic growth, the personal computer, they rejected it as a massive security breach. The shock isn't that the USSR collapsed, the shock is how long they survived.

And with solar displacing oil in this world, Putin remains a bitter second string player.


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