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Old 02-09-2017, 06:45 PM   #11
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
In 1973, it would probably be possible to get Saturn V production going again. With a bunch of those and an Earth Orbit Rendezvous setup with a NERVA stage, a manned Mars mission is doable, but quite risky. It would probably take something like ten years.
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Yes, there are Atlases in production in 1973 but no Atlas Vs
After the Saturn V (and the smaller Saturn 1b) the next largest US vehicle is the Titan series. The Voyager probes were launched on Titans.

There was still at least one Saturn V still in the pipeline, the one that launched Skylab. I think you need multiple ones though.

NERVA would help as propulsion for the Mars stage but just incrementally. The real hold-up is the crew vehicle including whatever landing and ascent vehicle you include. That's all being built from scratch and designing and building stuff that way just takes time.

If the Europeans on Mars hold out long enough it might be faster to send them unmanned missions filled with technological care packages. Evacuating more than a handful of people is a non-starter capacity-wise.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by marvin View Post
I was think of doing a GURPS Dying Mars/Space 1889 crossover with something like Red Storm Rising.

(SNIP)

Benjamin
You might want to take a look at S.M. Stirling's two books, The Sky People and In the Court of the Crimson Kings. They postulate that Earth people discovered in the late 19th or early 20th century, that both Mars and Venus were habitable. Earth history more or less followed the same path up through WWII, but the post-war Cold War between the western nations and the U.S.S.R. included a much more significant space-race.

That space race intensified when early probes discovered that not only were the planets inhabited, but Mars, at least, included ruins of a much older civilization with sophisticated biotechnology.

They're pretty good, if not his best work, and I hope he writes another story in the same setting. I know he has at least one short story that I haven't yet read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sky_People
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the..._Crimson_Kings
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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I think with the Atlas V still in production and a revived NERVA we might be able to get to Mars in less than 5 years.
Meant to say Saturn V here.

Boeing was working of Saturn V derived heavy lift rockets for a Mars mission well into the early 1970s. If Mars was suddenly habitable with a known multi-national presesence than these plans could be continued. Getting to Mars by 1980 might be possible.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
You might want to take a look at S.M. Stirling's two books, The Sky People and In the Court of the Crimson Kings. They postulate that Earth people discovered in the late 19th or early 20th century, that both Mars and Venus were habitable. Earth history more or less followed the same path up through WWII, but the post-war Cold War between the western nations and the U.S.S.R. included a much more significant space-race.

That space race intensified when early probes discovered that not only were the planets inhabited, but Mars, at least, included ruins of a much older civilization with sophisticated biotechnology.

They're pretty good, if not his best work, and I hope he writes another story in the same setting. I know he has at least one short story that I haven't yet read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sky_People

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the..._Crimson_Kings
I've read both of these, thanks.

"Old Mars" and "Old Venus", edited by George R.R. Martin, are pretty good too. They are collections of short stories wherein Mars and Venus are habitable as postulated long ago. Some of the stories are kind of funky and odd, but several from each are very steampunk and well worth the read.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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You seem to be thinking about _current_ activities in re Venus. I was working from the suggested change date of 1973.
Good point. I did miss that. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:55 PM   #16
dcarson
 
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

According to Wikipedia there were three Saturn Vs built and not used, SA-513, SA-514 and SA-515. The two lower stages of 513 were used to launch Skylab. So if Skylab hasn't launched yet you have three usable Saturn Vs. I expect that the shutdown was recent enough that you can restart production fairly quickly so you could probably maintain a yearly or twice yearly launch rate.

So Skylab is launched and then added on to to serve as the basis of a orbital rendezvous base for the much larger then Apollo manned ship for a eventual Mars mission. At least 5-10 years to design that A large Mars orbiter is built and launched using a Saturn V to get a close look at the planet. That can probably be done in a year since you can afford to use heavier parts with a Saturn V as a launcher.

New Moon orbiters are launched to see if there has been some minor changes to the Moon and possibly a expanded Apollo program to put a base on the Moon since space is now much more important.
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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By contrast they never had us look at Venus. Not much to see with simple optical telescopes in our world.
I thought Venus was a pretty common spotting target. Perhaps not at the astronomy "class" level, but at least the astronomy "club" level. Assuming it is in the night sky, it is the brightest thing aside from the moon, so it is easy to find and see even before dark sets in fully. The perfect thing to get the newcomers to a stargazing outing used to the equipment early in the evening.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

An interesting question is the interaction between the colonists (esp. on Mars) and the modern version of their home governments. By 1973 the British Empire was mostly gone, it's a very interesting question how London would react to suddenly have an extraplanetary empire, and whether the Martian British would acknowledge the 1973 UK as 'their' UK.

OTOH, one very important question is whether Martian liftwood still works. If it does...the economic impact of liftwood would be at least as huge in 1973 as it would have been in the 1890s. There would be serious demand for the stuff on Earth, if you could transport it from Mars economically.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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OTOH, one very important question is whether Martian liftwood still works. If it does...the economic impact of liftwood would be at least as huge in 1973 as it would have been in the 1890s. There would be serious demand for the stuff on Earth, if you could transport it from Mars economically.
Ether no longer exists in space, specifically. I was reading that as a bubble of Space 1889 physics working on the two other planets only, but maybe that isn't what the OP meant.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:35 AM   #20
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Mars and Venus both had probes sent by 73. Thus, it's probable that Venus would still get its historical probes, launch windows being what they are, and curiosity of whether Venus is different. Mercury would still get its probe.

I doubt Skylab would get cancelled, though it might be refocused on preparing for interplanetary missions. The Manned Venus Flyby is a definite possibility. The Saturns would remain in use. Post-Saturn launches would probably be a mix of Shuttle and bigger rockets.

The Russians might try the N1 again, though it will be dead by 2 months at this point and Chelomei didn't like it. I figure they would press onward with the Universal Rocket family. Soyuz would be used for shuttling people about.

The Apollo-Soyuz test project would probably be cancelled. Both sides would be too busy! Smaller nations might pursue spaceflight more aggressively, though interplanetary programs are probably out of their reach.

Nuclear engines might be key to the interplanetary missions, but clever thinking, like Mars Direct could dodge that bullet. Life support is still hard because of the 16 months spent in space. Venus is harder than Mars because of heavier gravity. If Mercury doesn't have an atmosphere, it's the hardest. Landing by 1980 is aggressive, but not impossible, especially for the Americans.
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