For All Mankind (AH Tv series at Apple TV)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Michel Van, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Polish Eagle AntiFa Supersoldier

    Apr 11, 2009
    Where the skies are so blue
    Episode 3 running commentary, because I can sleep in tomorrow.

    Those are some really crisp pictures. To the point where I have to wonder if the Soviets don't take publicity shots on Earth before missions.

    I like the Ralph Abernathy quip--nice bit of local time color.

    Nice bit about John Glenn the hero character, and the attempt to bottle lightning again for the first American woman on the Moon.

    I like Tracy's greater confidence once Deke appoints her an astronaut candidate. But Ed's wife is being a complete bitch about that. I dig the complexity here--the antifeminist woman who complains because her husband's social standing, and therefore her own, are eroded. It doesn't portray women as a monolithic bloc--I like that.

    The line about Kosygin protesting American weapons placement on the Moon leads me to think that the signing of an expanded OST will be part of the season climax.

    A revised "I dream of Jeannie" scene touching on woman astronauts--that's a neat touch!

    Margot is no-nonsense. I like her.

    Gordo's got a good point. I hate when whoremongers make good points.

    I am geeking out at that Lunar Orbiter scene--presumably this is a suped-up second-generation Lunar Orbiter. Maybe with some Pioneer- or Voyager-surplus instruments.

    A model of Moonlab was in the trailers, so my design speculation will be without spoiler coloring: seems to be a single S-IVB tank barrel section with domes, or just a pair of domes or LOX tank, so not a wet workshop--just a dry workshop on the same tooling. Four landing engines that look like LM descent engines--so for hovering, that implies a weight of 18 kN or a mass of 11 tonnes dry. Landing propellant (no tanks visible--maybe drop tanks that are stripped off by the astronauts on landing?) would vary depending on whether this thing is supposed to be braked into orbit by a CSM, a modified S-IVB (as Douglas proposed in lunar surface application studies), a *transtage based on the SM, or it does it itself.
    Universal Century likes this.
  2. Neoteros Dux Mediolani

    Feb 26, 2007
    Duchy of Milan
    The female crew subplot felt kind of forced to me as well, but at least they clearly depicted internal (Nixon) and external (Ed's wife) opposition to it quite well, and they showed it's not without risks, since someone died at the end of the third episode. In the end, they're doing it to own the Reds, and not for much else.
  3. Tuskin38 Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Some might find this interesting. Those who don't have in depth knowledge of the US and Soviet space programs.
  4. Athelstane Anglo-Saxon Troublemaker

    Jun 8, 2011
    I haven't seen any of the episodes yet, so I can't spoil anything.

    I was a little surprised that Scott didn't take up the question of whether Korolev not dying would actually be a sufficient point of departure to get a Soviet victory, given how much time he spends discussing Korolev and the N1. But as we discussed both here and the Space Politics chat thread, it is hard to see how it is enough to get the Soviets to the Moon before NASA. The Soviets were too far behind by this point. Korolev could narrow the gap with his management and influence, but not by nearly enough. I think you need an earlier point of departure, back in (say) 1962. By mid-1966, the only major brass ring the Soviets had a chance at pulling off first was a circumlunar flight.

    I also can't think that even a Soviet Moon Triumph would alter the course of the Vietnam War in a serious way - even if you need more funding for a lunar base, you don't need THAT much funding. After all, Nixon was already pulling out anyway - "Vietnamization" (mixed success that it was) was underway.
    Universal Century likes this.
  5. robertsconley Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    This is the original schedule (from Wikipedia.

    N1/L3 program

    3L: Develop LV & Blocks G&D (September 1967)
    4L: Reserve
    5L: LOK/LK uncrewed (December 1967)
    6L: LOK/LK uncrewed (February 1968)
    7L: Crewed LOK/uncrewed LK (April 1968)
    8L: Crewed LOK/uncrewed LK (June 1968)
    9L: Crewed LOK/uncrewed LK with LK lunar landing (August 1968)
    10L: First crewed lunar landing (September 1968)
    11L: Reserve
    12L: Reserve

    Given delays and reflights due to issues. It is plausible that they would had a flight ready to go in June 1969.

    What I see happening is that the Zond flights didn't go well. But the N1/L3 flights did especially the N1. With Korolev in the picture, the Soyuz 1 disaster didn't happen, 1968 saw several unmanned Kosmos tests, perhaps some manned low Orbit tests as well. Not with N1s but the Soyuz Rocket. The first N1 test gave the Soviets the confidence to throw the Hail Mary landing with the second launch.

    Keep in mind the Soviet always had a shoestring approach to their space program. They put a lot more into unmanned testing the US did. They had a lot of automation as well on their spacecraft compared to the US. Plus with the Soviet lagging behind slightly they didn't have any of the doubts that American planners had which led to methodical tested. The Soviets had to focus on getting an operational system up and running.
  6. Athelstane Anglo-Saxon Troublemaker

    Jun 8, 2011
    Well, the schedule was wildly unrealistic...after all, no LOK's flew in 1968. Or 1969.

    But again, as many problems as the LOK had, the bigger problem was the N1. Which a Korolev riding herd could have corrected sooner. But not THAT soon, with a 1966 point of departure. Way too far behind Apollo at that point.

    They didn't, but with a 1966 departure it's not *impossible* that they could have resolved them sufficiently to do a crewed circumlunar flight by December 1968. They weren't that far off with Zond, at least...there is evidence that in December they were trying up to the last minute of the launch window to try to put together a crewed Zond Flight. Though to be honest, I'd give the crew in any early Zond maybe a 50% chance of making it back alive. (I did a short timeline once where Leonov and Bykovsky fly a Zond 7 around the Moon in early December '68 by moving up development six months, but they die on fouled up skip reentry. The Soviets "get to the Moon first," but in a bittersweet way.)

    Thing is, the Zond/Proton architecture was separate from Korolev's N1/LOK architecture, so you not only need him alive but taking personal control of all of these programs....

    I just don't have enough information to say I can share that with confidence. I don't know exactly how hands-on he was with Soyuz as such at that point. We little information. The capsule had *enormous* problems, and had no business launching in 1967. Probably, I would hope, he could at least persuade the Kremlin to give his teams another year or two to work out the bugs, and not risk any cfrewed flights for the time being.

    So I think the easiest fix is for Khrushchev to give an aggressive green light to a crash lunar program in immediate response to Kennedy's speech, put Korolev in complete control, and give him a blank check for funding. The N1 is still going to be a bear to get right, but I think it would give them a fighting chance of a (high risk) landing by summer 1969.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
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  7. NoOneFamous Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    Central PA

    yeah I have to agree with you. I already pay $250 a month for cable. I want to watch Picard, The Orville, the new BSG, and they are all on these damn streaming services!!!!!
  8. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2016

    Where I live in Australia, I have Amazon, Stan (An Australian streaming service) and Netflix. I am not adding another streaming service to the list. I can watch The Orville on SBS for free.

    I want to watch The Mandalorian, since I'm a huge Star Wars fan, but nope, it's on a bloody streaming service. Every company and their mother has a bloody streaming service now.
  9. terranova210486 Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2014
    Yeah, that sucks. It's easier when you have regular TV cable channels, because you can get different channel package deal for a certain price. Which means you have access to different shows. But now if you want to watch a particular show on a particular channel you have to subscribe separately.
  10. Tekomandor Social Justice Duskblade

    Dec 6, 2010
    I think the idea that the Soviets are accepting a high degree of risk is one supported by the show - in episode four, we see that there has been at least one crash on the moon that they haven’t told anyone about.
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  11. Resurgam Teacher and Writer of Things

    Mar 27, 2014
    I'm not bothered by spoilers, but I'd like to know:

    Does the series explain how the holy hell the Soviets overtook and beat the US in the space race and the culture war?
  12. SouthernWind Wannabe Cosmonaut

    Jan 21, 2019
    Deep space
    Does anyone has seen the fourth episode already?
  13. robertsconley Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    Well we are throwing generalities at each other. Let's look at the details. The one of the better sites for specifics is I am relying on this because it is consistent with other sources I read but it is presented in a condensed format that useful for this forum.

    The N1

    So if Korolev hadn't died what would have happened to the N1? At first glance not much change on the schedule.

    So we have this in OTL

    By then we have this

    And finally we have this comment
    The First N1 Failure
    Then we have why the first N1 failed


    Korolev may or may not of have figured out that the KORD would have benefited from better ventilation. But highly likely would have had a positive impact on quality control like control of foreign debris. So in my opinion the first N1 test would have been a success.

    The 2nd N1 Failure

    It was a catastrophe. 5L already began to fail at 0.25 second after lift-off when the oxidizer pump of engine number 8 ingested a slag fragment and exploded. A fire ensued as the vehicle climbed past the top of the tower.

    Again the primary cause was foreign debris.

    In both cases we had a rushed schedule involving coordinates thousands of individuals something that Korolev had excelled at before his death. So my verdict that it is plausible but not certain that Korolev could have pulled off the first N1 launch along with the 2nd by making sure quality and standards were kept.

    So I feel comfortable, as far as the N1 goes, including a entry on a random die roll chart that the 2nd N1 launch results in a successful moon landing.

    Well we will see how the other systems shake. As for information we have lot more available since fall of communism however it not well known.
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  14. Athelstane Anglo-Saxon Troublemaker

    Jun 8, 2011
    Bear in mind that the N1 was cancelled in 1974. At that point, they were close to working out the final bugs with the first stage.

    But here, you're banking on Korolev accelerating the timeline by over five years? That's a huge ask.

    He can shave some time off, no question. But it seems clear that the schedule they had on their books in 1966 was simply not realistic.
  15. robertsconley Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    OK so lets look at the other components

    The LK Lander

    Unfortunately this section is sparse on the details of the construction of the LK Lander but we have this.

    And we know that Korolev death caused a four month gap before Mishin was appointed as his successor.

    So with the problems of OTL, with the moon landing race lost, they had the T2K version ready by Nov of 1969. With Korolev alive it not unreasonable to assume that the L3 program was accelerated by a year with the T2K being tested in the fall of 68 continuing through to just before June 1969.

    Keep in mind that Cosmos 379 was launched with a Soyuz-L rocket. So the LK Lander could be tested outside of the N1 launches.

    That it for now, I will work on the Soyuz/LOK this evening or tomorrow.
  16. robertsconley Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    Sorry but you are not addressing the technical details of what caused the N1 problem in 1968 and 1969. That how viable alternatives are form. What were the causes of OTL events and how the PoD effect them.

    The N1 flew by 1968. The cause of it demise was foreign object debris. Why there was foreign object debris because Mishin and his team didn't or couldn't keep to the same quality standards as in the past.
  17. Athelstane Anglo-Saxon Troublemaker

    Jun 8, 2011
    The N1's first flight attempt was February 1969, not 1968.

    And it had pogo oscillaton problems, too.
  18. Polish Eagle AntiFa Supersoldier

    Apr 11, 2009
    Where the skies are so blue
    Post-episode commentary on Episode 4:

    I like the conflict between Deke Slayton and politician John Glenn. Underscores the espirit de corps at NASA against the legislature. Also neat when Deke later undermines the President's directive--a fait accompli.

    Lunar Orbiter 6 confirmed, discussing a wrecked Soviet landing mission. Apparently a cargo mission, to deploy base components to the Lunar poles. One dead cosmonaut--so this was both a manned landing attempt and a base building attempt. Either the N1-LK system got a huge dose of growth hormone or this was a two-launch architecture of some kind--we officially depart from the known historical canon of Soviet space vehicles. Maybe the LV is an N1F, but the "LK Truck" would have to be new.

    There is no mention of Apollo 13, so we might presume that the accident is butterflied ITTL. Also no mention yet of 14--if Shepherd is dead (as dialogue in the first episode implied), who's flying it?

    Gordo, be more self-aware. The shoe's on the other foot.

    Shoot, I didn't know Ron Jeremy would be in this.

    Near end of episode: Fuck off Gordo.

    Still digging the Invisible Nixon approach to portraying the President.

    Tech notes:

    As mentioned, the implication is that either the Soviets have a new, much bigger post-LK lander in service, or that they've attempted a two-landing architecture with an "LK Truck." The fact that the mission crash-landed with implications of one dead cosmonaut strongly implies the former. This is uncharted territory--but then, so is the Moonlab seen in the trailers. Then again, since the OTL LK is basically a crasher stage, modifying it for more cargo capacity might not be too hard--so the biggest change might just be a bigger crasher stage, and a bigger N1 to carry it.
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  19. LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Jan 23, 2017
    middle of New York
    Exactly what dialogue implies a dead Shepard?
  20. SouthernWind Wannabe Cosmonaut

    Jan 21, 2019
    Deep space