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Old 11-22-2019, 07:32 PM   #21
dcarson
 
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

Sea Dragon is expensive because it is big. Cost per pound is a lot cheaper then Saturn V. One possible advantage, construction is shipyard workers not aerospace techs. This means it avoids bottlenecks that competing projects can run into.
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Old 11-22-2019, 07:34 PM   #22
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

The Sea Dragon would have been 1960s technology and would have allowed launch costs of $25-$50/lb in the 1960s (~$250-$500 [GURPS]). Of course, that would have meant a $30-$60 million launch in 1960s, but it would have been one-third to one-sixth of the cost of a Saturn V (with nearly four times the capacity). For example, you could have taken the entire ISS in one trip and still had enough room for a Space Shuttle Orbiter.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:37 AM   #23
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

1976

January 7: China's Long March 2A takes a new 'weather' (spy) satellite into orbit, with a name that translates as 'Lightning Watcher.'

January 11: Star Trek's fifth season begins with a new format: twelve tv movies (generally between 90 minutes and two hours in length, and one per month) rather than normal episodes, and a per-episode budget nearly three times that of Season One (adjusted for inflation). Kirk appears in five of the tv movies - three cameos and two where he's a special guest star. Also, Scotty has grown a mustache by the time the first episode starts.

January 27: Transtator experiments at the Rhine Research Center are able to fairly consistently generate a number of very minor psychic effects <equivalent to Psi Perks, at best>, by running them 'backwards' in comparison to the detection mode. Similar experiments are done at a number of other facilities, most notably the Universities of Paris and Oxford (and less openly at a NASA/CIA facility).

February 3: First launch of BLACK ARROW 1*, an improved version of the original BLACK ARROW, which also takes a spy satellite disguised as a weather satellite (called Argus 1) into Earth orbit - a slightly higher orbit than China's 'Lightning Watcher.' Several news services call this the 'New Space Race' or 'Second Space Race.'

February 21: Soyuz 20 returns from Salyut 4.

March 4-5: In and around Carlsbad, New Mexico, several UFO incidents occur, primarily sightings of glowing, saucer-shaped objects flying overhead; in the early morning of the 5th, two campers are awakened by bright lights, and see a saucer land, and three small, grey-skinned beings with large heads and eyes step out, wearing silver suits. The beings appear to take samples of the soil and scrub-brush, and collect one lizard that didn't run away fast enough, then return to the saucer and depart. Returning to the site after sunrise, the campers note burn-marks where the saucer had been seen, which they point out to a local sheriff's deputy. A few other locations with similar burn marks are found in the area, but no reliable witnesses to these come forward.

March 6: About 12:41am, a shootout occurs in Carlsbad between two Deputy US Marshals (actually CIA psychics, investigating the UFO incidents on March 4th & 5th, though they are legitimately deputized) and a pair of highly eccentric men in black clothing who identified themselves as federal agents, but had invalid ID cards and lacked proper security codes. Both men in black escape, though one is wounded; the blue substance left behind is found to be similar to hydraulic fluid. Interviews of people in the surrounding area determine that the men appear to have been harassing witnesses to the incidents, trying to keep them from talking to anyone.

March 15: Soyuz 21 takes Vladimir Kovalyonok and Yuri Ponomaryov to Salyut 4.

March 20: Gemini 22 returns to Earth.

March 30: Harold Wilson officially resigns as Leader of the Labour Party and First Lord of the Treasury of the United Kingdom, succeeded in both positions by Michael Foot, who won the internal Labour Party leadership election by twelve votes. Foot is briefed on the Spice that same day.

April 9: Second launch of BLACK ARROW 1*, carrying an Australia-New Zealand communications satellite into orbit.

April 21: The Rhine Research Center publishes a study of the results of their transtator experiments, in which they describe ten categories of psychic power: Astral Projection (which seems to involve ghosts and out-of-body experiences), Biokinesis (manipulation of living things in various ways, aka psychic healing or psychometabolism), Ergokinesis (the psychic manipulation of energy), Extra-Sensory Perception (kind of self-explanatory), Meta-Psi (the suppression or amplification of other psychic abilities), Probability Alteration (manipulating luck), Psychic Vampirism (empowering oneself by draining energy and power from others), Psychokinesis (mind over matter), Telepathy (mental communication and manipulation), and Teleportation (moving objects from A to B without apparently passing through the intervening space). As the results are replicated elsewhere, various intelligence agencies begin to reconsider reports that they had previously considered highly dubious.

April 26: China's Long March 2A carries a solar observatory satellite into orbit.

May 3: The government of Brazil begins reaching out to other nations on the matter of a cooperative manned space program.

May 7: Vance D. Brand and William Thornton reach orbit in Gemini 24, bringing the Manned Orbiting Laboratory Module with them. Docking problems with the MOLM require a spacewalk, and eventually manual docking (as in, they literally get on either side, grab handholds, and gently guide it into place). Once docked, the MOLM is tested, and determined to be fully functional and habitable, significantly increasing the crew-space and laboratory space on the station.

May 12: Salyut 5 (OPS-3) launched, and enters orbit around the Earth.

May 25: Gemini 23 returns to Earth.

June 3: The new RASBC launch site in Guyana is completed.

June 11: A Star Trek crossover with the British TV series Doctor Who is broadcast, guest starring Tom Baker & Elisabeth Sladen. The TARDIS prop used in the episode is larger than that used by the BBC, as the Trek prop department based theirs directly off the plans for the model of police box common in London in the 1960s.

June 24: Soyuz 22 carries Boris Volynov and Vitaly Zholobov to open Salyut 5.

July 6: Another Long March 2A is sent up, this one carrying a communications satellite.

July 12: The director of the SDECE briefs French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac on the Spice, having learned of it from an agent in Brazil.

July 19: Gemini 25 brings Karol Bobko and Robert Parker to Skylab.

July 29: Soyuz 21 returns to Earth.

August 2: French intelligence personnel begin briefing their counterparts in several other Western European nations on the Spice, and the nations they know or believe are already aware of it.

August 3: President Giscard d'Estaing has a fairly tense telephone call with Prime Minister Foot, and another with President Ford, on the matter of sharing important information with one's allies.

August 10: First launch of BLACK PRINCE 2, a variant with a notably higher payload mass than BLACK ARROW 1* (though still not enough to put humans into orbit safely), and greater safety and efficiency than the original BLACK PRINCE. Also, the first orbital launch from the launch centre in Guyana. Another BLACK ARROW 1* is launched from Woomera at about the same time (putting the satellite Ariel 6 into orbit), the timing being a publicity stunt more than anything else. Most BLACK ARROW launches will continue to come from Woomera, with BLACK PRINCE rockets being sent up mostly from the larger Guyana facility, which was purpose built for manned rocket launches.

September 8: Star Trek's tenth anniversary episode is broadcast, with a Klingon villain played by BRIAN BLESSED. Shatner and Blessed engage in what some viewers describe as 'a brilliant performance of Ham to Ham Combat.'

September 14: Command Pilot Wally Funk and Pilot Joseph Allen (ergokinetic) launch in Gemini 26 for a satellite rendezvous mission, capturing, modifying, and releasing SOLRAD 7A. They also take pictures (and Allen makes an ergokinetic scan) of China's 'Lightning Watcher' in passing (in fact, SOLRAD 7A was chosen because its orbit would allow Gemini 26 a plausible reason to get close enough to Lightning Watcher for long enough to be useful). Wally Funk is thus the first woman to command a multi-person spacecraft. To the surprise of the public, who have little to no understanding of orbital mechanics or what 'delta-v' means, Gemini 26 does not visit Skylab.

September 17: Gemini 26 returns to Earth. Portugal joins the ESRO and ELDO (the ESA is not yet in effect legally, but is de facto running both organizations at this time).

September 22: Brazil enters into a cooperative agreement with the ESRO and ELDO.

October 5: Gemini 27 returns Joseph Kerwin to Skylab, along with command-pilot Rusty Schweickart.

October 9: Soyuz 23, carrying Valery Bykovsky and Vladimir Aksyonov, docks with Salyut 4.

October 15: Gemini 24 returns to Earth.

November 7: Soyuz 22 thumps down safely in Siberia.

November 12: RASBC publishes an artist's conception comparing the existing BLACK ARROW 1, 1*, and BLACK PRINCE 2 with the upcoming BLACK PRINCE 3, a notably larger rocket, intended to be man-rated, and BLACK PRINCE 3*, which is to be equipped with reusable liquid-fuel rocket boosters, and is the designated launch vehicle for the RASBC's space station. Artists' conceptions of possible space capsule designs are also published, including a version of the BAC Mustard, and variants on existing American and Russian designs.

December 10: Star Trek's fifth season ends; USS Enterprise enters spacedock for an extensive refit. The personnel on Starbase One wear a new uniform, which proves rather unpopular with the fans, being derided as 'penguin greys' or 'footie pyjamas.'


Thoughts?
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:24 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
September 8: Star Trek's tenth anniversary episode is broadcast, with a Klingon villain played by BRIAN BLESSED. Shatner and Blessed engage in what some viewers describe as 'a brilliant performance of Ham to Ham Combat.'
An excellent detail, sir!
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:59 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
An excellent detail, sir!
Thanks. It seemed like something that would happen, and the fact that AFAICT, BRIAN BLESSED has never been on Star Trek in RL makes me a bit sad.
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Old 06-18-2020, 06:06 PM   #26
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

Sorry this isn't an update, 1977 is being stubborn.

I'm wondering if the Boeing Flying Aircraft carrier and its attendant microfighters would be viable in this timeline, and am thus asking the readers for opinions on it. Yes, it's a bit mad, but the fighters that made it a sillier idea might not be developed, or could be developed later, in this timeline (due to budgets being distributed differently).

What do you think?
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:18 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

Microfighters are a poor idea in the first place, SAMs were cheap and effective enough by 1977 that microfighters would be flying coffin. Larger fighters can function as bombing/missile platforms, which is why they have continued utility, but microfighters lack even that utility. In addition, the 747 would lack enough endurance to give it enough range for the microfighters to be anywhere near effective because the majority of the fuel tanks of the 747 have either been removed or repurposed for microfighter support.
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Old 06-19-2020, 03:17 AM   #28
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Yes, it's a bit mad, but the fighters that made it a sillier idea might not be developed, or could be developed later, in this timeline (due to budgets being distributed differently).
As well as SAMs, there's no obvious reason why conventional fighter development should be different in this timeline. That would require jet engine development to have been very different, in which case the existence of the Boeing 747 is in doubt.

The timeline hasn't been divergent for long enough for fighter development to have changed significantly due to differing budgets. The process of developing fighters has slowed down continuously since the end of WWII, and was taking about a decade by the mid-70s. As of your date, the MiG-21, MiG-23 and MiG-25 are in production, which are perfectly capable of killing any plausible microfighter.
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Old 06-19-2020, 01:19 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

Yeah, kind of figured, but I got curious, and decided I should ask before deciding to drop the idea completely.

Along with 1977, I'm working on an article in this setting, about how Star Trek goes in the late 1970s and well into the 1980s. The TV movie format seems like it would work pretty well, due to spreading the budget over fewer hours, with more time to tell individual stories (though fewer stories total), and leaving the actors available to do other things.
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:17 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Psionics] The Spice Must Flow... from Skylab

Star Trek in the late 1970s through the '80s and '90s

Starting in 1977, Star Trek settled into a format of roughly 5 to 9 high-quality telefilms per year (later increased to 10 to 15 per year starting in 1984, partly due to an increased budget), each mostly between ninety minutes and two hours long, though a few went a little longer. Very few had the full original cast of the classic series - most had one to four of the original cast, plus a few other stars; other characters, if popular enough, would sometimes get TV movies of their own. A number of series shook out of this, generally lacking official names, but fan names became fairly common due to fanzines and eventually the internet. Many of the show's spacecraft and space station models in this era and later were built by Industrial Light & Magic (though they still tended to be less angular and much less greebly than typical Star Wars vessels, in keeping with the Star Trek style), taking some inspiration from Franz Joseph Designs.

In the 1980s, Roddenberry floated the idea of an exploration vessel with families aboard, but this proved unpopular, and was never more than implied on screen (though it did appear in a few novels and comics).

The concept of subspace corridors, implied in earlier years, was formally introduced in this era: The effective speed of a vessel depends both on the strength of the warp field, and on local subspace conditions; the latter can make the vessel significantly faster or slower than the warp factor would indicate. A path though which the local conditions largely make the effective speed much higher on average is called a subspace corridor, or less formally, a 'warp highway.' Since the actual locations and speed divergences of warp highways are not generally stated on screen, this provided a Watsonian justification for Doylist need to have the vessel move at the Speed of Plot.


Dreadnaught series: This series focused on Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Federation. It saw extensive use of Jim Henson's Muppet Factory, along with the Star Fleet Academy series, below. A few episodes were written partially by Larry Niven, and feature the Kzinti as enemies. Also has the largest number of 'contemporary' Doctor Who crossover episodes (as in, using the same Doctor and companions as are appearing on the BBC at the time) of any single Star Trek series.


Star Fleet Academy series: Generally has one or more popular characters (or characters the writer or director likes who might become popular) taking a turn teaching, and sometimes commanding a Cadet Cruise. Tends to be what could be described as 'sci-fi slice-of-life, with occasional adventures thrown in.' Many episodes are written with input from George Lucas, though only the first was mostly his work. Several characters from this series would later appear on others, most notably Robin Crusher (played by Ashley Judd), who would join the Enterprise crew in the late 1980s, and Wes Kirk (Wil Wheaton). This series also has the largest number of cameos from and references to other things George Lucas or his friends have worked on, such as Harrison Ford being the xenoarchaeology professor, some of E.T.'s people being students, or Alec Guinness being the Academy fencing master in several episodes. Jim Henson briefly appears as a counselor, and Ray Walston regularly shows up as the wise groundkeeper, Boothby, a native of the Martian Colonies.


Star Fleet Intelligence series: Lt. Cdr. Nyota Uhura is a translator and cryptanalyst for Star Fleet Intelligence. She is rarely shown in the field, but is very clearly vital to the success of missions, which are generally team-driven, like Mission Impossible. In one famous episode, a senior agent is played by Sean Connery. From 1980 on, this series mostly concentrated on newer characters, as Uhura was elsewhere, although she returns as a Captain and SFI's Deputy Director of Subspace Intelligence in 1987.


The Triangle series: Lt. Cdr. (later Cdr., and then Capt.) Hikaru Sulu commands the recently-refitted Saladin-class destroyer USS Eisenhower in the Triangle, a region of overlapping influence between the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans (and to a lesser degree, the Orions and others, due to convenient subspace corridors). Lt. (later Lt. Cdr. and Cdr.) Chekov is his XO & Chief Tactical Officer, before moving on to Squadron XO and CO of the Avenger-class USS Dasher in the mid-1980s. In the 'pilot' episode, Scotty is aboard as Acting Chief Engineer for the shakedown cruise, but he is replaced by Lt. Janice Rand for later episodes. Eisenhower is part of Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 17, and becomes the lead ship when Sulu is promoted to Commander; prior to that, the lead ship is the USS , commanded by Cdr. (later Capt.) Kevin Riley until he was given a cruiser command. DesRon 17's home port is Starbase 17, commanded by Commodore Elizabeth Chapel (formerly Chris Pike's XO, still played by Majel Barret-Roddenberry), an older cousin of Nurse Cdr. Christine Chapel. Other vessels in the often-overstrength squadron (varying with transfers in and out) generally include a couple more Saladins, one or two more Avenger-class destroyers, one or two Hermes-class scouts, and some number of Chicago-class (refitted Paris-class) utility frigates.


Frontier Doctor series: Centered on Dr. McCoy serving as CMO of a border outpost near Gorn territory, this was mainly a sci-fi medical drama, with a few telefilms that seem to have been more inspired by Quincy, M.E. This series ended when the Enterprise series (below) began, but a few more McCoy-centric telefilms did get made after DeForest Kelley left that series in 1987.


Enterprise series: Starting in 1980, a refitted Enterprise began appearing, with several of the classic cast members. Spock was captain, McCoy returned as CMO, Scotty was XO for the first couple of years, replaced by Commander Uhura in 1982. In 1985, Nichelle Nichols moved over to Doctor Who for a while (see below), and Patrick Stewart joined the cast as the new XO (and later captain), an Anglo-French officer named Jean-Luc Picard. By 1987, the only original cast member regularly appearing in this series was DeForest Kelley, who left the show during that season. He was replaced by Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher, who had been Assistant CMO for the previous two seasons. Starting that year, the Enterprise series was spun off into an episodic TV series called 'Star Trek, The Next Generation,' though it regularly crossed over with the ongoing Star Trek telefilm series. In the 1990s, Riker (Jonathan Frakes) became Captain of the Enterprise, as Picard was promoted to Commodore, and assigned as Commandant, Star Fleet Academy.


Star Fleet Command series: Begun in the 1990s, this series was much more political, and concentrated on several members of the classic cast and others in their age group, who by then were largely members of the Star Fleet Command Staff.


Doctor Who crossovers: Most of these involve the current Doctor and companion(s), but a few occurred with earlier Doctors (most notably the Second Doctor's appearance in the 1980 Enterprise series episode Sic Transit Gloria Mundi), other Time Lords, or even with just the Time Lords' Celestial Intervention Agency dragging a convenient Star Fleet vessel (or just an officer or two) into their problems. Also, both Doctor Who and Star Trek often include references to each other, such as Uhura translating a Draconian report on the Daleks, or the appearance of a Vulcan and an Andorian in the background of a 'space café' scene on Doctor Who. A side effect of this is that the BBC gives Doctor Who a bigger budget and more episodes in the 1980s (though this doesn't save Colin Baker, who ends up getting only one full season and two partial seasons). The fact that Uhura was a companion of the Doctor for most of the season that was Colin Baker's last and Sylvester McCoy's first undoubtedly helped (it's generally believed that she was the biggest reason that Colin was willing to stay on for a few episodes after being told that he was getting the sack).


Thoughts?
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Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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