Air and Space Photos from Alternate Worlds.

Sparrow Avengers timeline - Letov L-395 "Raven" traction monoplane figher (late 1920s - 1940s) of the Zemplín Federation (1930s)

Letov LZ-395 Krkavec vo farbách ZF.png

Another specific air force's fighter plane from the interwar era of the Sparrow Avengers universe.

The Letov L-395 Krkavec, developed by Letov Kbely in the Czech-Moravian-Silesian Republic in the late 1920s and exported or license-built in a number of countries, including many of the Slovak-speaking successor statelets to Austria-Hungary (where it was known as the Krkavec or Holló).

Here's a specimen of the L-395 "Raven" from the Zemplín Federation, one of the east Slovak successor statelets.

With the standard version of the roundel of the Zemplín air force, as well as a small flag with five rows of colours, associated with the Zemplín Federation and its air force, on the tail rudder.
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May 1960, the first truly Franco-British rocket proposal (previous proposals involved only France co-funding a British Blue Streak- and Black Knight- derived rocket (often called Black Prince)

Made of the Blue Streak missile as First Stage and Super Veronique (ancestor of Émeraude - First stage of Diamant - and the Vesta sounding rocket , studied by the LRBA since 1958 and tested at component level in 1960)

A third stage was needed, so here it is envisioned with both a 800mm diameter solid stage (the "Mammouth Block" of Agathe and Topaze - which originated from late 50s french tactical missile studies -, the Second stage of diamant, which was considered by the SEREB on top of Super-Veronique concurrently in May 1960) , and a British Kerozene-HTP S3 taken from Black Prince (ancestor of Black Arrow S2, developped by Saunders Roe and Bristol Siddeley ) which was being studied at the time according to C.N.Hill's "A Vertical Empire", both realistic options for 1960.


Between the ineficient upper stages and their small diameters, this was clearly a waste of the Blue Streak's capability, it probably couldn't reach 500 kg of payload to Orbit, yet it may have enabled a launch in 1964 or 1965, since all components had been tested by then IRL, maybe even before Harold's wilson election, which may have enabled stronger british commitment to the program.

The French second stage proposal would then become a full-fledged Emeraude stage by late 1960, and eventually become Coralie - First by switching from a 1.2/1.4m wide, Turpentine + Nitric acid, solid-fuel-pressurised-tanks-pressure-fed design to a 2m wide, UDHM + Nitrogen Tetroxide,
liquid-fuel-pressurised-tanks-pressure-fed), then by switching from a Single combustion chamber design to a Four-chambers design.
The third stage would be neither French nor British, first considered as an international stage, it then became a German, Fluorine-Hydrogen pressure fed stage called "OPHOS", before becoming the Aerozine + NTO pressure fed Astris stage.

The HTP+Kerozene third stage would eventually become the basis for the Black Arrow's second stage (which is why I took the freedom to give the second diagram the black arrow's fairing)

References include:
H. Moulin: "A-1: The First French Satellite"
H. Moulin 'La construction d’une politique Spatiale en France'
C.N.Hill: "A Vertical Empire"
J. Blamont La politique spatiale française et son avenir" in "Cahier de la fondation Charles de Gaulle #12"
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A comparative image of several different types of spacecraft from my setting, circa the 2690s.
The Dreadnought truly lives up to its name, dwarfing nearly all other combat spacecraft at 1600 meters in length and massing at up to 10 million tons. They are the centerpiece of most Navy strike groups, and despite being classed as a battleship, are a very flexible spacecraft with several configurations for space combat, planetary assault, and command-and-control.
Next to it is the Excalibur class battlecruiser, a more straightforward main battle vessel. It was previously the mainstay of the Terran Imperial Space Navy, but was retired in the early 2680s a few years after the end of the Great War.
The next ones over are the Kite class cruiser, Gawain class destroyer, Tristan class frigate, and the Chard class light frigate, the workhorses of the Central Galactic Navy's space branch. The Kite is an attempt to design a "scaled-down" Dreadnought, incorporating seamless improvements while reducing the size of the powerplant, laser weapons, and crew size. Lastly is the Archer class missile boat, an unmanned or AI-operated combat craft that supports nearly every fleet action by providing highly mobile fire support.

Further over are a variety of civilian spacecraft, including particularly famous pirate or outlaw ships. Along with the UN Space Forces' Constantine class cruiser from the Interplanetary War era (2160s) and the NASA Saturn V moon rocket (1969) to provide a sense of scale.

Scale is 1 px = 1 meter.

Hello! It has been a very long time since I posed here. So here is something new I have researched. It is from a research project from the Massachusetts Institute of technology back in the late 1960's. Students were given the problem of an asteroid named Icarus striking the earth and and finding a solution to stop it. Project Icarus used all of NASA's Apollo program and unlimited funding to deflect Icarus. And a super sized H-bomb from the Soviet Union. Here are some photos I made of the launch vehicles.


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Hello! It has been a very long time since I posed here. So here is something new I have researched. It is from a research project from the Massachusetts Institute of technology back in the late 1960's. Students were given the problem of an asteroid named Icarus striking the earth and and finding a solution to stop it. Project Icarus used all of NASA's Apollo program and unlimited funding to deflect Icarus. And a super sized H-bomb from the Soviet Union. Here are some photos I made of the launch vehicles.
IPBM (Inter-Planetary Ballistic Missile)
France launched its first satellite Asterix in November 1965 aboard Diamant A, but Diamant was merely an offshoot of the French ballistic missile R&D program, led by the French Armament Directorate (DMA/DGA) through the SEREB, the ballistic missile development consortium. CNES, the french space agency, only had a small, not very technical participation in this program.

Since Diamant A was heavily derived from test stages, it was both unoptimized as a launcher and produced in limited numbers, so CNES studied ambitious replacement early on (going as far as what is essentially a 60s version of PPH A6 of Soyuz class), but in 1966 budget cuts, as well as the growing imperative of building the Kourou space center since France agreed to vacate its algerian bases ahead of schedule, forced CNES to reconsider its plans.

There was a short period where a variety of launcher were proposed, from Avro Vulcan launched Diamant, to near direct conversion of the S2 ballistic missile, or simply a purchase of Scout launchers (NASA had launched the second french satellite on a scout, and was ready to give the french very generous offers) eventually the propositions coalesced to two: Replacing the first stage of Diamant A with either a lengthened and improved version of its liquid stage, called L17 Amethyste, or with the first, solid stage of the ballistic missiles, called P16/902.

Given similar performances, the P16 quickly became the favoured solution, as it was already undergoing flight tests as part of the well-funded French Ballistic missile program, and its commonality with them ensured a sustainable production lines into the 70s, which would be useful if the launch rate is low. The L17, despite some advantages like a softer flight environment and theoretically lower cost at high cadence, would take a few years to develop, even with its improvement being already tested as part of Europa-Coralie and the Vesta sounding Rocket.
The debate became heated both within CNES, and between CNES and SEREB/DGA, indeed it was clear to everyone that it wasn't just a technical choice, but that this choice would determine the ownership of the French launchers, either with the civilian, public agency CNES, or with the military-led, industrial consortium SEREB. The General Aubiniere, the first CNES director, made winning the control of launchers one of its priority. Indeed, beside the direction aspect, many at CNES thought that liquid propulsion would be more important in the future, and that the end of liquid propulsion R&D would jeopardize Vernon's LRBA, which was at the time working on the early version of the Viking Engine.

Debates became most intense by April 1967, when something tipped the balance, ELDO, the european organisation that built the Europa rocket, wanted to test the new upper stage of the Europa II and sent a call to tenders (as the VEMPA propgra) for a booster rocket for this stage, Britain proposed the Black Arrow, while France, through CNES, proposed their L17-Diamant B, the later won, and with it an order and funding for 4 rockets, this, alongside the end of an electoral period, unfroze the debate and allowed CNES's proposal to win, with them gaining prime directorship and direction of the Diamant B, while SEREB would get a subordinate advisor and operator role. Eventually a year later the VEMPA program would be cancelled, and 2 of the four Diamant B would be repurposed.

So I decided to draw what the alternative Diamant B (sometime called Super Diamant) with a P16 first stage would look like, both in its original version and with a P4 RITA second stage, like the Diamant BP4, the livery is based on the Diamant, as well as some models of heavier SEREB launcher proposals of the time.


The diameter is 1.5m at the base, 0.8m for the Super-Diamant's upper stage, the height is 17m and 14m respectively, the mass is 22.5t and 24.7t respectively. Announced performance to orbit of the former is 250 kg to a 6° 200km orbit for the Super Diamant (left) version

The consequences of this choice would be important, Aerospatiale, inheritor of SEREB, would become the director of french launchers, CNES would probably be entirely moved to Toulouse (instead of its launcher part staying near paris) in the late 60s, and probably wouldn't be in a position, both in term of influence and skills, to propose the LIIIS launcher (the proto Ariane) as an alternative to Europa III in 1972-1973. Aerospatiale, busy with Airbus, may not have the interest and focus to fight for a European launcher after the failure of ELDO, and it may well flounder at the negociation stage, alternatively, its IRL proposal "Europa III National" (an Ariane 1 first stage with a single, larger hydrogen second stage using less advanced propulsion than the Europa III), may well be built instead of the Ariane 1 we know. Since the first two stages of the Super Diamant P4 are derived from French ICBM (the first stage of S2/S3 and the upper stage of M1), and with its fairing derived from the Black Arrow's (like the IRL Diamant BP4), only the third stage and equipment bay would be unique to it, ensuring a lower cost production line that may survive through the 70s' oil crisis cuts. The P4 RITA may as well be replaced by a P6 RITA 2 of the S3 Missile, achieving even higher commonality with ICBMs and giving it a payload of maybe up to 400kg to equatorial low earth orbit..

Some book recommandations on the subject:
-Politique Industrielle de la France, L'ambition technologique: Naissance D'ariane, Emmanuel Chadeau 1994
-L'aventure spatiale française. De 1945 à la naissance d'Ariane, Philippe Varnoteaux, 2015
-La construction d'une politique spatiale en France, Hervé Moulin, 2017
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Sorry, I've been rather negligent at cross-posting some goodies from A Sound of Thunder, which recently started Part 2. So:

Zvezda 4 blasts off from the lunar surface, September 1981.

Zvezda 4 re-entry vehicle separates from the Cacooned Habitation Block.

A NASA internal report on how to respond to the Soviet moon missions.