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Old 05-25-2014, 04:50 AM   #191
tantric
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

There is a difference between an outpost, which depends on continual resupply, and a self-sufficient colony, though I assume one might lead to the other. We cannot, at this point, copy our technology base and move it next door, much less to another planet. We can't even build a human supporting closed ecosystem. Developing the tech to do this would logically start on Earth, probably Antarctica though anywhere would work. Maybe two decades of trial and error, along with massive environmental damage to the experimental area, then perhaps. Doing it in situ on Mars is a recipe for disaster, even given twice yearly resupplies. This is what I'd like NASA to be doing now, while completely dropping manned space exploration (funding? do it as reality TV).

What is the power source for a Mars outpost? Fission reactor? What is the best way to create power on Mars not dependent on outworld supplies?

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Old 05-25-2014, 06:17 AM   #192
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... Fun setting, but not anywhere near as realistic as many of the seeds in this thread.
I've never understood this point of view. One of the sidebars in Britannica-6 discusses how unrealistic and improbable it is to have a timeline where Victoria became Queen of England - yet we live in just such a timeline.

My opinion is : If it can happen, it's fair game for an alternate. Only if it physically cannot happen is it off-limits for an alternate.

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... We can't go to the moon anymore, ...
Sure we can - the Chinese did earlier this year. We just don't want to.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:18 PM   #193
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Sure we can - the Chinese did earlier this year. We just don't want to.
Well, more accurately, a politically significant percentage of the people holding the purse strings don't want to.

Hmmm. There's a potential brace of worldlines (Divergence points are based on our timeline instead of Homeline, since POD is after van Zandt):

Divergence point: 2010: Tea Party gets a Super-majority in House and Senate, enough to override Presidential Vetoes easily.

Timeline A: Things turn out well according to the Tea Party's line at the time.
Timeline B: Things turn out poorly.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:38 PM   #194
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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I've never understood this point of view. One of the sidebars in Britannica-6 discusses how unrealistic and improbable it is to have a timeline where Victoria became Queen of England - yet we live in just such a timeline.

My opinion is : If it can happen, it's fair game for an alternate. Only if it physically cannot happen is it off-limits for an alternate.


Sure we can - the Chinese did earlier this year. We just don't want to.
No, we sent small probes to the moon. We did not go there. Sending living people there and back is far out of any nation's capability right now.

Improbable is one thing. Unrealistic is another. Getting people to Mars before 2030 is 1960s Jetsons in the year 2000 stuff.

Improbable is the creation of the universe leading to my existence, but of course, I am a perfectly realistic occurrence.

But with alternate times lines, one can easily invoke different physical laws to conquer the lion's share of unrealism. Pushing some alternate to unrealistically have TL 9 in space tech, but only 7 in everything else.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:45 PM   #195
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Well, more accurately, a politically significant percentage of the people holding the purse strings don't want to.

Hmmm. There's a potential brace of worldlines (Divergence points are based on our timeline instead of Homeline, since POD is after van Zandt):

Divergence point: 2010: Tea Party gets a Super-majority in House and Senate, enough to override Presidential Vetoes easily.

Timeline A: Things turn out well according to the Tea Party's line at the time.
Timeline B: Things turn out poorly.
Fraught with thread locking potential, that would be an interesting list of alternates. Each political movement magically comes to unified majority power and events either come out best or worst case scenario.

Though movements inherently disliking the "conspiracy of scientists" makes me especially uncomfortable. Yes, I know each movement has its biases against certain fields of mainstream scientific consensus. But some headbutt the very idea of scientific principles.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:46 PM   #196
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No, we sent small probes to the moon. We did not go there. Sending living people there and back is far out of any nation's capability right now.

Improbable is one thing. Unrealistic is another. Getting people to Mars before 2030 is 1960s Jetsons in the year 2000 stuff.

Improbable is the creation of the universe leading to my existence, but of course, I am a perfectly realistic occurrence.

But with alternate times lines, one can easily invoke different physical laws to conquer the lion's share of unrealism. Pushing some alternate to unrealistically have TL 9 in space tech, but only 7 in everything else.
If you mean, "We lack the infrastructure and political will to go to the Moon." then I have to agree. If you simply mean, no one can do this again with today's technology, then I disagree. We did it with a less advanced technology, so it can be done if we choose to do it.

Pragmatically, we'll have to wait until both parties value governence and have a broad agreement on the national interest. A rejection of anti-Intellectual and anti-science worldviews would also be needed.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:47 PM   #197
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Al Gore becomes president and either his dire warnings about global warming come early and horrible, or scientific research shows that earlier predictions were wrong. Things are actually getting cooler, and only mass air pollution can save us from an ice age.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:51 PM   #198
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If you mean, "We lack the infrastructure and political will to go to the Moon." then I have to agree. If you simply mean, no one can do this again with today's technology, then I disagree. We did it with a less advanced technology, so it can be done if we choose to do it.

Pragmatically, we'll have to wait until both parties value governence and have a broad agreement on the national interest. A rejection of anti-Intellectual and anti-science worldviews would also be needed.
The former, especially as there is no scientific or even absurd political reason to send live people there and back.
I love humans IN SPACE. But there really isn't much reason for that, unless technology advances enough to bring the price and danger down to reasonable levels. So much more SCIENCE! can be done with that money and intellectual resources with probes.

The cold war was a horrible atrocity of human suffering on a global scale, but damn if it didn't advance the space program leaps and bounds.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:11 PM   #199
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PCs would not expect it, I'm sure. The real genius behind a Confederate Cavalry General: His horse.
This could be an Alternate Traveller Universe.
Ah yes, a surgically modified K'kree in a time machine. The Confederacy wins the Civil War thanks to this half-mad talking horse, the CSA essential becomes Drakia and has Terra under the yoke by the time of Vilani contact. The Vilani have no compunction about scrubbing the planet in the Third Interstellar War. The Long Night comes earlier and much harsher to the Vilani Imperium, and the K'kree face no organized resistance on that flank. They still are stalemated with the Hivers since you can't turn a horse into a starfish.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:53 PM   #200
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If you mean, "We lack the infrastructure and political will to go to the Moon." then I have to agree.
And the gives my only critique of the Rickover timeline; the only reason the USSR and the USA went to the Moon in the first place was measure each others missiles, as it were. If there had been any military or political advantage of actually putting something on the Moon we'd have had missile bases there by 1972. And if there was any reason to whip out our missiles again to measure them against Chinese missiles, we'd have bases there in 5 years, 10 tops.

But we don't. We can't afford to have the Chinese as too big an enemy, and same for them, since we are attached at the economic hip. Without a Big Bad Wolf at the door, we can't drum up the support for a decidedly expensive endeavor, no matter what it is, much less Men on the Moon or Mars.

Interesting to see the NASA budget get a big boost now that the Russians shockingly threatening to withhold access to the ISS.

Timeline Spacestation Freedom

July 1985 Gobachev attempts to replace Andrei Gromyko, "Mr Nyet", with Shevardnadze. Gromyko represented the Old Guard, and here the Old Guard fought back. Shevardnadze is disappeared, followed by a patchwork of assassinations, riots and sealed military bases that culminates in a military coup by December.

The West stays carefully neutral, and the world holds it breath as news leaks out of a sealed USSR. Violence, revolts and counter-revolts, Gorbachev hounded from power, Boris Yeltsin taking the reigns of the now powerless Communist Party, massive troop movements.

In the end the USSR survives, much battered and missing most of its old East Europe holdings. Its grumbly, grouchy, mean and armed with atomic weapons, but internally ruined and still at war with itself.

The rest of the world moves on apace. The instability of the Soviet situation keeps the EU and Japanese space programs separate from, and competitive with, the US space program. Japan launches their automated Kibo Station in 1989. The US pushes forward the Orion-Ares program to supplement the Shuttle, putting up the first parts of space station Freedom in 1993.

Current year is 2002. The Japanese have just moved a small asteroid into lunar orbit, under the strident objections of the the rest of the world. President Gore has secretly authorized the NSA to militarize Freedom and Copernicus, while the Russians (just consolidating under Putin) are rolling out Polyus-II in full glory at Mir-2. The ESA and their Columbus Station are the also-rans but still command the European telcom industry as well as the robotic exploration of Venus and Mercury.
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