A Shift in Priorities - Sequel

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by rast, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Dain Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2013
    The main drawback of solid fuel is that once it burns, there is no throttling down. It will burn at full blast until the fuel is exhausted. This makes them a liability both for safety reasons as well as useless for any mission profile that is more complicated than 'generate a lot of thrust quickly and in one go'.
    And even as launch boosters they are not optimal. Ideally larger spacecraft want to throttle down and back up again during the early phases of ascent to be able to safely and efficiently push through the period of maximum atmospheric stress on the vehicle. A purely solid fuel first stage doesn't have that option.

    As the bottom line concluded, this technology is stricly limited to putting payloads into simple orbits... or ballistic trajectories.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  2. Tuna-Fish Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    Sure it does:

    Also, solid rockets can be "turned off" by changing the nozzle configuration into something that does not produce net thrust, or by somehow reducing pressure inside the casing to a point where combustion stops. Most rockets that use SRBs do either or both. A really crude solution is to just blow up the nozzle -- without a nozzle with a throat, most SRBs don't do much in space.

    The big downside of SRBs is that everything must be pre-planned perfectly, and if anything unexpected happens, your only option is pretty much to keep following the plan, regardless of if it makes any sense anymore.

    The current champion of the "look how solid my propulsion is" cup is LADEE, a probe that went to the moon on top of a 5-stage solid fuel rocket. The cross-section of each stage was fine-tuned to match the requirements, and after the final solid stage was exhausted there was iirc less than 1 m/s of error in the velocity in the rocket.

    For any useful satellites, you of course still need some kind of liquid-fueled attitude control system, but those and booster rocket engines are very different beasts. I can see a solid+monopropellant system working as a moon architecture, although the stack would mass a lot more on the pad than cryogenic liquid propellant version.
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  3. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind.
    (Theodore Roosevelt)

    There was no doubt: she was pregnant. That was slashing, really. But, good grief, she was thirty-eight today. Would it turn out well? Makambo was as proud as he should be. Yet, the bloke was – of course – looking forward to sire more kids. Should she survive childbirth, she was due for the next pregnancy… It was going to kill her, rather sooner than later. Medical care in this country was a joke.

    Yeah, it was a big problem indeed. Many women hereabouts were pregnant. But there were no midwives and no gynaecologists. – The expectant mothers were no primitive savages who might manage without medical support; they all had been born and raised in the USA; they needed doctors and nurses… One was heading for a debacle. She had enquired: the survival rate was one in three. Only one third of those women who had already given birth were still alive…

    It had been clear from the start that this society was bound to shrink. With – on average – only one woman available for every ten men, shrinkage was inevitable. But with two out of three women not surviving pregnancy and childbirth, extermination was threatening. Something had to be done. Anne Robbins was determined to achieve an improvement.

    Queen Vera was pregnant too. However, she had at her disposal the only professional physician found in this godforsaken country. – Big Chief Amagasfano should nevertheless be able to perceive the quandary. One couldn’t plough ahead as hitherto. One had to ask the Germans for help. They were guarding the islands; one ought to be able to contact them.

    She had already started to bludgeon Makambo. He was the one to propose to Amagasfano. – The trouble was that Makambo hated Amagasfano. Asking the man for a favour would cause him pain. But it wasn’t a favour; it was a dire necessity…
  4. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third.

    Field Marshal Dang Gangjun loved those displays. It had been hard work to train his staff to do them correctly. They had to show the reality, nothing but the reality; sugarcoated information was useless. And it wasn’t his staff alone; all subordinate staffs had had to be taught to stick to strict truth as well. Accurate reporting was essential. – Now, he could review the strength of his forces every morning – and be sure it was the real thing he was looking at.

    Yes, it was an impressive array. Men and machines under his command were truly numerous. And the equipment was quite good. Much of it was made in the US – to Dang’s displeasure, but nevertheless of excellent quality. Morale of the troops was outstanding. A pity there was no war pending at the moment… Well, the Russians weren’t forgotten; there still was a score to be settled with them.

    Right now, the point was moot anyway. The Great Qing Empire had been ruffled, yet ancient China had survived fairly intact. Běijīng and Shanghai had been rebuilt – to a certain extent. The rest had to be left to private initiative. The outlying provinces in the north were still waste, but they had never been part of the Middle Kingdom of old. There truly was no need for self-deprecating.

    One was the Asian hegemon, no ifs, no buts. Hence one ought to perform accordingly. Dang couldn’t abnegate that he felt a certain sympathy for Chiang Zhongzheng. The man had known how to wield China’s power. Kicking out all aliens had been a masterpiece. And the aliens had lumped it. Because Chiang’s power had been obvious to all. – In fact, relative to the population count, Dang’s displays were clearly showing that Chiang’s armed forces had been smaller than his, Dang’s, were today.

    But the Little Man from Sichuan was insisting that China should continue to eat humble pie. Dang didn’t like it. It was unnatural. The Middle Kingdom was the centre of the world. Deng’s gibberish about the economy was blatant rubbish. – Should he really tolerate these shenanigans?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  5. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I enter into each planet, and by my energy they stay in orbit. I become the moon and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables.
    (Bhagavad Gita)

    While MARFAK was unswervingly busy chasing its tail, SUS had geared up to stage another spectacular stunt. On June 2nd, 1959, the Brüderchen Bhaee – once again – hoisted the Große Schwester Mā'usa to the upper stratosphere, from where the glider promptly darted into outer space. But Mā'usa’s objective wasn’t Earth’s orbit, it was the Moon. – The Indians had decided to repeat DELAG’s Grand Tour of October 1952, when Egon Zengerle and Hansi Hächer had successfully circled around the Moon.

    Piloted by Kiaan Singh Dhillon and Hitesh Ramal Ghosh, Mā'usa left Earth’s orbit on the eighteenth turn and headed for Luna. Of course, Puri Control was guiding every move – however, SUS had managed to instal a zusie, which was precalculating the next move – or at least it ought to do it. Ghosh was the one to struggle with the gadget, while Singh Dhillon was performing as jockey. SUS was utilising the navigation system DELAG had originally developed for the Zengerle-Hächer mission – and subsequently had refined. It had been part of the package the Indian Federation had bought.

    Designed for short orbital operations, conveyance of passengers or cargo, the Schwestern did not feature facilities. That was limiting their employability. Already Zengerle and Hächer had suffered from health problems after their flight; sitting in replete nappies for several days was no fun – and due to cause infections. In fact, a short trip to the Moon was considered the ultimate limit for what was feasible with the DELAG system. But the government in Lahore had urged SUS to do something sensational.
  6. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I’ll go anywhere as long as it’s forward.
    (David Livingstone)

    Hah! These Indians had done it again, had outdone the MARFAK dozy devils– and had scored a nice PR hit. Max Sikuku wasn’t surprised. His ideas how to structure the Middle African space effort had been smiled away – and a bureaucratic monster with two left feet had been created. And it hadn’t even been the lousy socialists, but the grandiose MANaP dudes, his coalition partners, who had done it. – Okay, he had turned away from MARFAK ab initio and produced SIRAB out of thin air, but it was vexing nevertheless to have these Indians cocking a snook at Middle Africa.

    Vice Chancellor Gottfried Idodi certainly wasn’t the person to alter anything connected with technology. Nor were the SDPMA functionaries – and their praying partners in government – in general prone to understand the problems at all. No, in their perception MARFAK was the ideal space agency; it offered ample jobs for over-the-hill comrades and other welfare cases. – It was hopeless. He should stop bothering. SIRAB was doing well. The MAX-1 mission had been an outstanding success. But he couldn’t manage Middle Africa’s space effort single-handedly. Building a space-going missile was one thing, setting up an entire space enterprise quite another matter.

    Yet, look what the cunning Indians were accomplishing with just a single Dornier Projekt SR aircraft and two space gliders. Their economists must have a feast day every day. – Could SIRAB be morphed into a serious competitor for MARFAK? What did it take to breed kosmonauts? He would have to discuss the issue with Herbert K’nilowe. Two or three kosmonauts would do; one didn’t need a whole bunch of them. And what could be earned in the process? – The technical side was manageable, said the scientists and the engineers. It would take more tests, of course, but a manned mission was feasible within the next two years.
  7. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    All progress depends upon the unreasonable person.
    (George Bernard Shaw)

    At Ras Fartak, Wernher von Braun had noticed the Indian space adventure with indifference. He was quite familiar with the DELAG system and its limitations. So, let the chaps muck around with the stuff; it was about all they could do. – However, in the Ottoman capital, many important people had become excited. OŞU was blowing an elusive clutch of funds – and the rotten Hintliler were stealing its thunder. When was the highly esteemed space agency intending to produce results at long last?

    It was Mirliva Şengör Bey whom the high level wrath was hitting in the first instance. The General did not hesitate to share it with Director Ba’Mansur and Doctor Fırıncı. And together, the three had come flying down to Ras Fartak to breathe down von Braun’s neck. – Well, there was nothing to worry about. Gökyüzü Atılgan Üç, Sky Charger Three, was ready; as was the capsule, Göktaşı – the Shooting Star. Training of the kosmonauts was still ongoing, but the lads were basically fit for action – at least the best five or six of them.

    So, yes, one could mount a launch, sure. One had two GAÜs here at Ras Fartak. Making one of them ready for launch would take nine days. The Göktaşı, though, had to come in from Sakarya; such a transport usually took seven days. Then, the capsule had to be checked – and checked again. Counting everything up: how about June 29th? Would that be all right?
  8. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Such is the lesson of history. It shows us that all civilizations derive from the white race, that none can exist without its help, and that a society is great and brilliant only so far as it preserves the blood of the noble group that created it, provided that this group itself belongs to the most illustrious branch of our species.
    (Arthur de Gobineau)

    Since establishment, the DVU had been able to rely on a stable electoral base that regularly bestowed them forty to sixty seats in the Reichstag – and similar results in the state diets of Hesse, Thuringia and Bavaria. They had even risen to 124 Reichstag seats in the March 1949 election. But thereafter, decline had set it. Actually, the party held only four pathetic seats in Berlin, ten in Darmstadt, nine in Gotha and six in Munich.

    What was the reason for this decline? Neither the withdrawal of Julius Streicher, the movement’s founder, who had ended in a lunatic asylum, nor the imprisonment of Erich Koch, his successor, had done much harm. No, it was the rise of the star gazers of the AFV that had hurt the party. Why should die-hard xenophobes and racists suddenly vote for these degenerates? Well, it had to be the charisma of Herbert Weller. People were trapped by his charm – and simple folks from rural areas seemed to fall for him a good deal easier than hard-boiled metropolitans.

    But now, a palpable change might be achievable. Franz Josef Strauß, a talented young man from Bavaria had become the talking point of the crackerbarrels. He had been minister of war in the Schmidt Government, but had been fired because of a scandal precipitated by Jewish muckrakers. In a knee-jerk action, he had won chairmanship of the Bavarian section – and was now applying for national party leadership. The current chairman, Ferdinand Werner, was aged and infirm – and pretty much a drab pipsqueak.

    Strauß had drive and a certain – rugged – charisma. And he had a message: the Jews were the enemies of civilisation; and the Heymshtot was their stronghold. He ought to be able to win voters back – and lead the party to new grandeur. One had nothing to lose; one could only gain.
  9. Miker Still lurking...

    Nov 26, 2009
    Oh no...