For All Mankind (AH Tv series at Apple TV)

My understanding is the sea dragon was sold as a cost-saving device? Or do you just mean r&d and getting it off the ground? (No pun intended)
Sea Dragon's concept was that it would be built very cheaply once you're in production. Despite having a payload about 5x Saturn V, it would supposedly only cost about $181m, compares to the $113m cost of a Saturn V. However, this has two problems--it's only cheaper per kilogram if you're routinely filling the entire payload mass, and there's the expense of development to get flying regularly. Saturn V cost about $6.5 billion up front to get flying, so even if Sea Dragon only cost half that to develop and you're able to fully fill every flight to "save" $380m per launch, you'd need to fly Sea Dragon about 9 times to break even or have some payload which exceeds to massive 120+ tons to LEO of the Saturn V such that investing multiple billions in a new launcher is justified. That's about as much mass as launched in the entire Space Shuttle program. In other words, unless you're regularly launching lunar or Mars flights on a massive scale, then developing Sea dragon for a one-off is a waste.

It's not inherently a bad idea to seek "minimum cost" design. The idea of producing with larger margins and thus substantially lower costs--trading performance for ease of production--is something you see today in the early Falcon family, and part of how they achieved cost reductions and high rate production before introducing reuse. Sea launch from a floating rocket isn't even a horrible idea. It's just that the full scale Sea Dragon's the wrong way of doing it. It's very impressive, but it's too dang big.
 
Since there are people in this thread who knows about spaceships, could a Sea Dragon put a nuclear pulse propulsion ship beyond Earth Magnetosphere so firing the nukes doesn't irradiate the Earth' surface and lower atmosphere? As in, Sea Dragon as a first stage, Orion for the rest of the trip?
 
Because Moore needed him to in order to get the butterflies needed to supercharge Apollo.

And maybe also because, well, he hates Nixon.

(I'm a Ron Moore fan. But I can concede when he's taking shortcuts.)
A non-scandal Ted Kennedy is a reasonable victor in ‘72. Especially since we don’t know the details of the actual election, other than that Watergate still went down. Nixon with, let’s imagine, slightly worse luck, plus the bad feelings from losing the moon race, and Teddy at the top of his game? Do we need to call it a shortcut?
 
Sea Dragon's concept was that it would be built very cheaply once you're in production. Despite having a payload about 5x Saturn V, it would supposedly only cost about $181m, compares to the $113m cost of a Saturn V. However, this has two problems--it's only cheaper per kilogram if you're routinely filling the entire payload mass, and there's the expense of development to get flying regularly. Saturn V cost about $6.5 billion up front to get flying, so even if Sea Dragon only cost half that to develop and you're able to fully fill every flight to "save" $380m per launch, you'd need to fly Sea Dragon about 9 times to break even or have some payload which exceeds to massive 120+ tons to LEO of the Saturn V such that investing multiple billions in a new launcher is justified. That's about as much mass as launched in the entire Space Shuttle program. In other words, unless you're regularly launching lunar or Mars flights on a massive scale, then developing Sea dragon for a one-off is a waste.

It's not inherently a bad idea to seek "minimum cost" design. The idea of producing with larger margins and thus substantially lower costs--trading performance for ease of production--is something you see today in the early Falcon family, and part of how they achieved cost reductions and high rate production before introducing reuse. Sea launch from a floating rocket isn't even a horrible idea. It's just that the full scale Sea Dragon's the wrong way of doing it. It's very impressive, but it's too dang big.
I suppose if they can sell it as a military necessity (since we don’t yet know what’s going on in ‘83 this is just speculation) then costs be damned.

They also have the benefit of not having to compare things to the shuttle. IOTL, when the shuttle was pitched, I doubt they said “here’s why it’s better than the Sea Dragon,” even though they knew the theoretical specs. More likely they’d say, “here’s why it’s better than the Saturn.” And so would the Sea Dragon pitchmen ITTL.
 
A non-scandal Ted Kennedy is a reasonable victor in ‘72. Especially since we don’t know the details of the actual election, other than that Watergate still went down. Nixon with, let’s imagine, slightly worse luck, plus the bad feelings from losing the moon race, and Teddy at the top of his game? Do we need to call it a shortcut?
Well...to me, it comes across as wishcasting.

Kennedy would have been a tougher opponent than McGovern, no doubt, but also not as popular as either of his brothers, even without Chappaquiddick. Remember: that was an election that Nixon won by 24 pts (!) and in which George Wallace was a double digit indy threat until he was gunned down - that's the conservative nature of the electorate at that point.

A flat out smoking gun of Watergate as a fall surprise followed by an immediate meltdown of the congressional GOP might get you there, possibly.

I grok the need to get someone more Apollo-friendly in the White House to make this timeline work, but I think it would have been more plausible with a Humphrey or non-assassinated RFK win in '68. I mean, the point of departure is well before the 1968 election, so why not?
 
Well...to me, it comes across as wishcasting.

Kennedy would have been a tougher opponent than McGovern, no doubt, but also not as popular as either of his brothers, even without Chappaquiddick. Remember: that was an election that Nixon won by 24 pts (!) and in which George Wallace was a double digit indy threat until he was gunned down - that's the conservative nature of the electorate at that point.

A flat out smoking gun of Watergate as a fall surprise followed by an immediate meltdown of the congressional GOP might get you there, possibly.

I grok the need to get someone more Apollo-friendly in the White House to make this timeline work, but I think it would have been more plausible with a Humphrey or non-assassinated RFK win in '68. I mean, the point of departure is well before the 1968 election, so why not?
Yeah, I see your point about wishcasting. My first thought to answer your question is, “well how much of the audience would care about Humphrey, or even know who he is?” So that’s at least weak evidence that story concerns might’ve driven the choice.

Still, to me the interesting question is how is he doing by the standards of ah.com? (By which he’s under no obligation to play.) And there I remain fairly optimistic. There are certainly butterflies much less plausible that have flapped their wings in the post-1900 forum. I’ve certainly set some of them ridiculously flapping myself.

I do admit, I’m a little worried about the future, but I think season one was very reasonable from an ah perspective.
 
Just finished the series and I can honestly say I am impressed overall. The Cobb rescue was a highlight for me.

Was it me or did Ellen turn Shane's machines off?
I liked the interweaving of the various plots. The Mexican family subplot seems to be there to Humanise Magold as much as anything.
I think the Baldwin's are going to drift apart with Ellen become a lot more outspoken.
I do wonder what effects the extended, largely sucessful space program is having on pop culture?
 
Just finished the series and I can honestly say I am impressed overall. The Cobb rescue was a highlight for me.

Was it me or did Ellen turn Shane's machines off?
I liked the interweaving of the various plots. The Mexican family subplot seems to be there to Humanise Magold as much as anything.
I think the Baldwin's are going to drift apart with Ellen become a lot more outspoken.
I do wonder what effects the extended, largely sucessful space program is having on pop culture?
Which machines do you mean?

For pop culture, I have this vague idea for a late 70s tv show with a bit of a Battlestar vibe where there’s maybe a potential catastrophe looming on Earth and the Soviets use their ever-expanding rocket capacity to leave the planet en masse and travel to Alpha Centauri. The brilliant minds of the West avert the disaster and we get 200 years of peace...until the commies return!!!
 
Some proposed that with an expanded space race, Star Trek Phase II gets the green light with Decker being a woman, taking influence from Molly Cobb.

The establishment of the Jamestown Moonbase and all the drama around that makes me wonder if we’d get a space station focused Star Trek sooner. It would certainly be nothing like otl Deep Space 9 but it’s not hard to imagine Roddenberry and crew pitching something along the lines of “old west frontier town in space” to the executives. Deep Space K-12, distant federation outpost and the humanities gateway to the deepest depths of unexplored space, jostled right up near a similar Klingon/romulan station. Tune in the see the wonders of the galaxy pass through town with their amazing sights and stories while captain and crew push thelimits of knowledge and try to keep the machinations of the Klingon/Romulans/whoever at bay
 
Speaking of old TV shows, I'm borderline convinced that this is a Space: 1999 prequel series. Ron Moore is known to be a fan. All we need is mention of Moonbase Alpha and I'm sold.
 
So, I just got around to getting apple tv and binged the show in two days. In general I quite liked it- I agree with quite a few of the quibbles posted by others on this thread but overall it was nice to watch a new alt history show and one that had a good balance of cool shit happening in space (even if they're a tad loose with the technology) - it's not bad given the influence that Garret Reisman has had as a major adviser... It'll be interesting to see how all that progresses in the next season as head head into the 80s and beyond.

I agree that there wasn't quite as much the big deal about Danielle as I thought there might be. I did kind of like the way they did the first Asian American astronaut- tho it's a shame he was only literally a token character who's killed off the next episode which was kind of on the nose to say the least. I was half expecting Ellen to come out- but, between the era (1970s) and the last chat with Deke that right there probably spooked any thoughts of her going public- to say nothing of her loosing her position as an astronaut as soon as she returns home from the moon... Aids and gay rights will almost certainly be a plot point for season 2 as we head into the 80s.

I agree that I wish there were some scenes or even episodes from the Soviet sides - it would have been cool to have a parallel story line from the USSR and their program and make the show 15 episodes or something of that sort. I hope we get a greater glimpse in season 2. I also wonder if the 'fall' of the Soviet Union will somehow be butterflied into the 90s or something instead.

On the space side for season 2 - as I look at them using Sea Dragon I think we'll obviously see a massively expanded moon base, probably Space Station Freedom in some form as a continuation of the Soviet and US dick measuring contest (which of course is the reason for all of this) and for both NASA and the US to start looking more seriously at a path to Mars. I wonder if reusable rockets and/or shuttle type programs happen in addition to continuing (and improving) Saturn V. There could also however perhaps be budget fights with the likely upcoming Regan administration. My total guess is that the mission to Mars will launch on the last episode on season 2 to get us viewers to continue watching through multiple seasons. Between Moore and Apple's $ i'm hopeful we'll get quite a few seasons out of this show.
 
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