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Old 05-23-2014, 03:36 PM   #181
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by VulpesFulva View Post
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.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:44 PM   #182
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Heck, they might get rid of Admiral Donitz and vastly reduce the Nazi threat in the Atlantic.
Dönitz ceased to be in operational command of U-Boats in January 1943, when he became head of the German Navy. They might kill off the advanced U-Boat projects, which would be actually to Germany's advantage: those projects were expensive and hadn't produced anything significant by the end of the war. Canning them would free up resources for something more productive.
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:19 PM   #183
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...

EDIT: Considering how many champions he sired, I wouldn't be surprised to see the 2014 Kentucky Derby in this alternate being run by horses without jockeys. Having the mile-and-a-quarter be an Olympic sport might be pushing things a bit, though.
Finally have real man vs. horse races. And show how silly the whole concept is when they don't have chattering primates on their backs.
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:43 PM   #184
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Alternate Rickover:

In 1946, Joseph McCarthy loses the Republican primary for the Senate to the incumbent, Robert La Follette (in OTL, McCarthy won by 5,358 votes out of 410,492: about 1.3%). La Follette is isolationist and anti-Stalin, but not the rabid self-promoter that McCarthy turned out to be.

Without McCarthyism in 1950-1954, Hsue-Shen Tsien remains at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, rather than returning to China to head up the Chinese space program. A then-unknown Sergei Korolev is visiting New York in 1950 when he comes down with mild bronchitis. Routine blood work in the hospital identifies his incipient kidney disease, which allows his physicians in the Soviet Union to treat it effectively.

In 1958, acrimonious debate in Congress over an agency to develop the US answer to Sputnik is settled through a compromise proposed by Senator Clinton Anderson. The new National Atomic and Space Administration is based on around the Atomic Energy Commission "which boasted a reputation for skilled scientific work under tight deadlines and also had a long-range interest in applying nuclear propulsion to rocketry."* The Army Ballistic Missile Agency and Jet Propulsion Laboratory complete the initial set of transfers. Congress appoints Rear Admiral Hyman Rickover as the first Administrator, in view of his outstanding work on the Navy's nuclear program.

John Glenn is still the first American in orbit and Kennedy still commits the US to land on the Moon by the end of the 1960's, but with Rickover heading NASA there is no all-up testing of Apollo in 1965, nor the Apollo 1 fire in 1967. In 1968, the Soviets use Earth Orbit Rendezvous to send one of their existing Soyuz spacecraft around the Moon.

NASA lands "Lucky" Apollo 13 on the Moon in 1969, but (with Korolev still alive) the Soviets follow before the year is out. Landings alternate through 1970, and then NASA steals a march by sending a modified Apollo CSM on a manned flyby of both Mars and Venus in 1971. Plans for a "space shuttle" are dropped in favor of additional advanced missions using Apollo-derived hardware, including a highly successful pair of space stations.

In 1976, Rickover's protege Jimmy Carter is elected President with freshman Senator John Glenn as his running mate. With vigorous vice-presidential support, NASA finalizes its Ares program to reach Mars, based around the Saturn-IVN nuclear third stage and a Mars Direct style ISRU strategy.

In 1981, Ares 7 touches down in Chryse Planitia, inaugurating the first permanent American base on Mars. Subsequent missions at each biennial launch window expand the network of bases across the surface. Admiral Rickover retires in 1982 after 24 years as "The" Administrator, and dies in 1984.



*Koppes, Clayton R. JPL and the American Space Program: a history of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. New Haven: Yale University Press (1982): 96.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:22 PM   #185
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Can I moved to this world. ;)
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:05 PM   #186
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Alternate Rickover:

In 1946, Joseph McCarthy loses the Republican primary for the Senate to the incumbent, Robert La Follette (in OTL, McCarthy won by 5,358 votes out of 410,492: about 1.3%). La Follette is isolationist and anti-Stalin, but not the rabid self-promoter that McCarthy turned out to be.

Without McCarthyism in 1950-1954, Hsue-Shen Tsien remains at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, rather than returning to China to head up the Chinese space program. A then-unknown Sergei Korolev is visiting New York in 1950 when he comes down with mild bronchitis. Routine blood work in the hospital identifies his incipient kidney disease, which allows his physicians in the Soviet Union to treat it effectively.

In 1958, acrimonious debate in Congress over an agency to develop the US answer to Sputnik is settled through a compromise proposed by Senator Clinton Anderson. The new National Atomic and Space Administration is based on around the Atomic Energy Commission "which boasted a reputation for skilled scientific work under tight deadlines and also had a long-range interest in applying nuclear propulsion to rocketry."* The Army Ballistic Missile Agency and Jet Propulsion Laboratory complete the initial set of transfers. Congress appoints Rear Admiral Hyman Rickover as the first Administrator, in view of his outstanding work on the Navy's nuclear program.

John Glenn is still the first American in orbit and Kennedy still commits the US to land on the Moon by the end of the 1960's, but with Rickover heading NASA there is no all-up testing of Apollo in 1965, nor the Apollo 1 fire in 1967. In 1968, the Soviets use Earth Orbit Rendezvous to send one of their existing Soyuz spacecraft around the Moon.

NASA lands "Lucky" Apollo 13 on the Moon in 1969, but (with Korolev still alive) the Soviets follow before the year is out. Landings alternate through 1970, and then NASA steals a march by sending a modified Apollo CSM on a manned flyby of both Mars and Venus in 1971. Plans for a "space shuttle" are dropped in favor of additional advanced missions using Apollo-derived hardware, including a highly successful pair of space stations.

In 1976, Rickover's protege Jimmy Carter is elected President with freshman Senator John Glenn as his running mate. With vigorous vice-presidential support, NASA finalizes its Ares program to reach Mars, based around the Saturn-IVN nuclear third stage and a Mars Direct style ISRU strategy.

In 1981, Ares 7 touches down in Chryse Planitia, inaugurating the first permanent American base on Mars. Subsequent missions at each biennial launch window expand the network of bases across the surface. Admiral Rickover retires in 1982 after 24 years as "The" Administrator, and dies in 1984.



*Koppes, Clayton R. JPL and the American Space Program: a history of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. New Haven: Yale University Press (1982): 96.
I like this, but can we get a spaceplane and L-5 Colonies in the picture too?
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:13 PM   #187
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I like this, but can we get a spaceplane and L-5 Colonies in the picture too?
It sounds like a way to shoehorn in science fiction of the 60s. Fun setting, but not anywhere near as realistic as many of the seeds in this thread.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:21 PM   #188
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I like this, but can we get a spaceplane and L-5 Colonies in the picture too?
Spaceplanes, maybe. My original draft had a mention of a Dyna-soar derived crew vehicle. Having a vigorous space program and a functional space station (Skylab) or two might allow NASA to proceed without the Air Force's support and technical demands. The technology for a fully reusable SSTO, though, is beyond the 1985-ish horizon where I left off.

My assessment is that O'Neill colonies were never viable. The only economic justification anyone could find was solar power satellites, but the advantages of building them in orbit simply don't outweigh the complications. Anything else a free-floating habitat could provide is better off coming from Mars, where you don't have to ship in raw materials.

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It sounds like a way to shoehorn in science fiction of the 60s. Fun setting, but not anywhere near as realistic as many of the seeds in this thread.
With one exception, every point in the description was proposed as a serious possibility or was technically feasible at the time. The exception was Korolev's visit to New York and subsequent survival into the 1970's: necessary (I believe) to keep the Soviet Union competitive.

Last edited by thrash; 05-24-2014 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:53 PM   #189
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A Mars colony is simply not possible with modern tech and 20 years of R&D no matter how much money you throw at it.
We can't go to the moon anymore, and Mars is orders of magnitude harder to reach.
Also, I've heard the USSR's proximity to a moon launch during the space race was grossly overestimated.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:13 PM   #190
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A Mars colony is simply not possible with modern tech and 20 years of R&D no matter how much money you throw at it.
We can't go to the moon anymore, and Mars is orders of magnitude harder to reach.
This is my area of academic expertise and I disagree, both with your assumptions and your conclusion. This is not the place to argue it out, however.

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Also, I've heard the USSR's proximity to a moon launch during the space race was grossly overestimated.
The way they planned to do it, yes. But the Soviets developed the techniques for orbital rendezvous very early. If they had concentrated on building up a moon mission from modular components using existing rockets (rather than essentially trying to build their own Saturn V), they quite likely could have given NASA a genuine run for the prize. Better oversight of their program under a surviving Korolev could have given them the opportunity -- rather like a surviving Alexander preventing the fragmentation of his empire so early.
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