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Old 06-16-2019, 08:58 AM   #21
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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Originally Posted by Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2 View Post
Just out of curiosity, is William Proxmire dead in this reality? Because I can't imagine a massive space initiative happening while that ... person is alive.
Good point. Do we write in his brutal death or just keep his parents from ever meeting?
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:59 AM   #22
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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N

As for the allocation of money, JFK managed to get a lot of money allocated to the Apollo mission,
Not how things worked back then. Rather than hope and optimism it was fear that the Soviets were passing us by. You need the Cold War and an (at least outwardly successful-looking) Soviet space program to continue to tap into the same source.

You also might need Wehner von Braun to live longer to work his magic upon visiting Congressmen. They'd come for the guided tour and then ask him if needed more money.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:10 AM   #23
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NASA's OTL budget peaked at 0.8% of a much smaller GDP in 1966, and hasn't exceeded 0.25% since 1972, so this is a substantial increase. I don't think "modest increases" in other programs are a realistic trade-off.



In OTL, John Glenn was elected to the Senate from his home state of Ohio in 1974. I suppose it's possible that he moved to Colorado for some reason in this one.
That was an error on my part. I somehow confused Colorado with Ohio in my original post (though, since the divergence was 1969, Glenn could have decided to move to Colorado instead of staying in Ohio before running for the Senate). The modest increase would be the political gifts given to other politicians to gain their support for massive increases in NASA's budget. It is surprising how much support an extra $1 million for roads or schools in a Congressional district could buy in 1977.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:37 AM   #24
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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You also might need Wehner von Braun to live longer to work his magic upon visiting Congressmen. They'd come for the guided tour and then ask him if needed more money.
Or perhaps another booster with the magic touch. Have Julie Newmar (yes Catwoman) fall in love with a NASA scientist and move to Huntsville. Have Ms. Newmar, who is both smarter and better educated that most Congress Critters, and very pro-space, charm congressional parties visiting NASA installations. Hollywood glamour and deep smarts could win most Congress Critters over easily.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:44 PM   #25
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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Or perhaps another booster with the magic touch. Have Julie Newmar (yes Catwoman) fall in love with a NASA scientist and move to Huntsville. Have Ms. Newmar, who is both smarther and better educated that most Congress Critters, and very pro-space, charm congressional parties visiting NASA installations. Hollywood glamours and deep smarts could win most Congress Critters over easily.
I like this idea. NASA's unofficial slogan during those years: "MEOW!" XD
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:31 PM   #26
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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...An orbital solar array also has the advantage of avoiding the NIMBY problems that crippled the spread of nuclear. People can see the cooling towers of nuclear power plants from miles away. The receiving fields of the orbital solar arrays can be hidden by tall hedges....
I would not be too quick to dismiss NIMBYs, how long do you think it woulds take for the coal,oil, nuclear industries, or KGB the for that matter, to start running ads of a kid with a magnifying glass and an ant hill?
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:41 PM   #27
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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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.
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Well, Bill was Governor of Arkansas so that might be one possibility. I admit that I know nothing about the state apart from the fact that I can locate it on a map.
As somebody that lived across the border in the Ozarks, I suspect that H. Clinton would have had a decent shot at becoming a Senator from Arkansas, in a history where a Democratic Party South did not collapse. Given the generally more successful Democratic party posited here, it is not an unreasonable inclusion.

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Just out of curiosity, is William Proxmire dead in this reality? Because I can't imagine a massive space initiative happening while that ... person is alive.

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Good point. Do we write in his brutal death or just keep his parents from ever meeting?
Why does he need to die, or not exist? Give him a change of career, or an early election loss.

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Nuclear was never 'cheaper' than orbital solar. Even in the late-70s, it was experiencing delays, cost overruns, and safety issues due to scaling that concerned many of the scientists involved in the initial designs. At best, nuclear required a wholesale price of electricity of $100/MW-H (2019) to be profitable while orbital solar was potentially profitable at $25/MW-h (2019). In addition, orbital solar power is exportable while nuclear power is not, requiring only an easily built receiving field that can be assembled quickly and safely without issue....
1970 numbers would be nice to see, solar panels are a lot cheaper now, more durable, and lighter, plus Space-X has significantly limited the rate of growth on space launches.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:16 PM   #28
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Much lower than the actual cost of solar nowadays when you remove the tax subsidies (with the state and federal tax subsidies, the government effectively pays 75% of every solar panel installed in CA and NY). While everyone talks about how 'cheap' solar is, that is the cost after tax subsidies, not the cost before tax subsidies. In the EU, where they have direct payments rather than tax subsidies, we have a better idea of the true cost of solar, with European governments paying producers up to $200/MW-h, and then customers pay the normal price that the utilities charge them.

In addition, they would have avoided the environmental cost of building the solar panels, as the lunar environment would have been wrecked, rather than the Earth environment. They would have also gotten four times the production out of each panel because of optimal orbital positioning, so they would need 1/4 as many panels per TW of energy production. Even with the cost of going into space ($500 per kg in 1977$), they estimated a cost of ~$10 per MW-H in 1977$ (remember, they needed to worry about competing with coal before many people worried about global climate change). A factor of 5x would be the conversion between 1977$ and GURPS $.
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:01 PM   #29
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

Good point on the subsidies, the weight however would still be a factor on cost to orbit.
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:14 PM   #30
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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A

Why does he need to die, or not exist? Give him a change of career, or an early election loss..
An early election loss would be perfectly believable in a setting where his politics go substantially against the flow of politics.
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