For All Mankind (AH Tv series at Apple TV)

In addition, I wonder how many ideas from the novel, Voyage, will FAM borrow. What I mean by that is if some of the things we know about space OTL is still not known in TTL due to funding being spent specifically on interplanetary travel. (e.g. No Hubble Telescope, little info on Black Holes, no photographs on interstellar phenomena, etc.)

Actually, ITTL wasn’t there an orbital observatory mentioned in late session 1? The mission to repair that broken S-IVB’s flight computer was originally supposed to service it instead. So ITTL we’ve had a Hubble-equivalent since the early 70s, which is actually an upgrade from OTL.
 
Even though these historical characters are not the main focus of the story, it's a missed opportunity that FAM doesn't mention a lot on the historical consequences of these people being dead earlier or continuing to live. Surely, something significant should be mentioned on some/future news reports. The only exception is John Lennon, whom the audience is always reminded of his continued existence as a social activist and a singer.

In addition, I wonder how many ideas from the novel, Voyage, will FAM borrow. What I mean by that is if some of the things we know about space OTL is still not known in TTL due to funding being spent specifically on interplanetary travel. (e.g. No Hubble Telescope, little info on Black Holes, no photographs on interstellar phenomena, etc.)

If you are mass producing giant rockets and a fleet of cislunar shuttles to supply a moonbase, you will have some surplus payload capacity to launch probes and telescopes with said giant rockets.

If anything the amount of orbital science platforms should be greater in this timeline.
 
Even though these historical characters are not the main focus of the story, it's a missed opportunity that FAM doesn't mention a lot on the historical consequences of these people being dead earlier or continuing to live. Surely, something significant should be mentioned on some/future news reports. The only exception is John Lennon, whom the audience is always reminded of his continued existence as a social activist and a singer.
Perhaps a probe or much closer observation is made of Halleys Comet in 1986 ?


Also isnt there a chance that the Mars mission is enroute when this happens in 1994?

There is another chance for a cometary probe in 1997...
 
Actually, ITTL wasn’t there an orbital observatory mentioned in late session 1? The mission to repair that broken S-IVB’s flight computer was originally supposed to service it instead. So ITTL we’ve had a Hubble-equivalent since the early 70s, which is actually an upgrade from OTL.

I don’t recall what it was called in the show, but IOTL there were a number of space telescopes at that time—the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory satellites. Smallish mirrors compared to Hubble (0.8 m to Hubble’s 2.4 m), but good for their time.
 
In addition, I wonder how many ideas from the novel, Voyage, will FAM borrow. What I mean by that is if some of the things we know about space OTL is still not known in TTL due to funding being spent specifically on interplanetary travel. (e.g. No Hubble Telescope, little info on Black Holes, no photographs on interstellar phenomena, etc.)
In S2E01, there's a reference to the "Mariner 14" probe being "inside the orbit of Mercury" when it's fried by that solar storm. Presumably, the Mariner Mark II program isn't cancelled/downsized ITTL. And with nuclear power becoming a mainstay of NASA, the probes would seem likely to get beefier starting in the 80s.
 
To be honest it's hard to blame the Soviets here. They were unarmed, and while they were close to US mining facility, they didn't try to enter it. The Americans came to them. The place the cosmonauts were in was not marked in any way as US property, and American claims to it were rather dubious - their only right to that precise piece of the Moon were their rifles and willingness to use them. IMO it was a little like US Navy ships firing at Soviet hydrographic ship on international waters. Even if the Soviets were spying on them, that is not a reason to kill. Not without war.
Not quite caught up to the thread end yet, this is from page 45. But I quite agree. Even granted Marines are trained to react fast, I'd think some careful indoctrination of Rules of Engagement apply here.

I didn't notice that the 1967 space treaties were repudiated when binge watching the show up to the middle of Season 2 over a few days. Someone up thread mentioned they were though. Apparently legally speaking space is totally lawless then? But treaties or no treaties, what should be ruling the policy of both base contingents is geopolitics on Earth. Neither side actually wants WWIII, though both, as OTL around this time, have taken to threatening it in a game of Chicken.

Under the OTL still not repudiated treaty regime, all space and objects in space are "common heritage of humanity." But it is OK for a nation to undertake enterprises exploiting space materials. It is supposed to be analogous to law of the sea; a ship on the high seas is under the laws of the nation it is flagged as, so a space craft, a space station, or a Lunar base would itself be under sovereignty of whoever sent it there. And therefore, the actions of persons on each Moon base are the responsibility of their patron nation.

If a cosmonaut team drives their version of the moon rover within half a meter of Jamestown, that is their right. But if they mess around with installed American mining equipment--depending on whether the Kremlin backs them or not, they are either committing piracy as private outlaws Moscow is bound to restrain, or assist Americans restraining, or if backing them--the Russians are performing an act of war. Or anyway espionage and/or sabotage. Thus, when Ed Stevens observed the Soviet plant--we never learned just what it was, but it didn't blow up when he ultimately smashed it, so presumably a bug--at their operation site, the Russians were in the wrong. And without any space treaties in place whatsoever--Leonov stated per his script (or someone early in the thread speculated, off script) that the Soviets affirmed Luna was common human heritage, which resonates with "law of the sea" analogy (which the USA has historically favored at least OTL, going back to Eisenhower, and IMHO we ought to sustain too). The Soviets of course ITTL as well as OTL were signatory to the '67 Space treaties (they could have refused given the earlier POD--BTW I don't buy that a '66 POD is sufficient, and indeed Al Shepard not being around in '69 points to an earlier one too) but I think it is show canon the treaties were in place in '69 anyway. Therefore they were bound to affirm common humanity, and might argue in the later '70s that the USA breaking the treaties permits them to retroactively assert a blanket claim of the USSR of the whole damn Moon. Especially since Leonov mentioned the Marxist-Leninist way, and the Kremlin regarded itself as custodian of orthodox valid Leninism on behalf of all mankind--the Moscow line might be that of course the USSR does not claim Luna as Soviet territory, but does assert that capitalist propertarians have no right to any of it, it being the property of the working people of Earth universally.

But they don't seem to have made any such sweeping denials of American government right to US presence there.

So, when Stevens depressurized the Jamestown airlock after "Ivan" (IIRC, his real name was Mikhail?) took off his suit (and we later learned, Stevens had in fact sabotaged "Ivan's" rover to force this outcome) I was horrified that he'd murder the cosmonaut on first view, but then reasoned that maybe, just maybe, pray God probably, his plan was to knock "ivan" out with oxygen deprivation, swiftly restore the oxygen, and tie him up with duct tape as a legitimate prisoner. (This would be less reckless versus the same stunt on Earth, given Jamestown and all EVA suits having a low pressure pure oxygen atmosphere, because there would be less threat of the "bends" due to no nitrogen dissolved in "Ivan's" blood, though I suppose outgassing oxygen might be almost as bad). Indeed thankfully this turned out to be the case--though what Stevens did after that neutralized the moral high ground he could claim for the USA.

Instead of going radio silent, he should have contacted his superiors via secure channel immediately, getting a Russian translator on the line on Earth, and played the whole thing out diplomatically. As sole representative of US authority on Luna, but with the USA the unilaterally violated party at this point, he would have every right to hold cosmonaut Mikhail prisoner. Of course once Moscow learned that he was being held and not just lost, little could stop them from swarming Jamestown--but oh wait, they had no spare rover! But surely they could use a lander for a short suborbital hop over and threaten Jamestown with guns? Or just outnumbering Ed as they approach the structure aggressively with bolt cutters to vent the habitat? If they could kill Ed the USA has no one present and the Russians could claim the whole Moon.

Except that that would risk global thermonuclear war, and in any scenario where Ed is at risk of Soviet violence, it just compounds their space piracy. It establishes the legal precedent that the USA could plan on building a space Armada to land on Luna in great force, armed (with conventional weapons, or WMDs if those treaties were out the window too). Or even retaliate by sending a thermonuclear warhead to blast Zveda base to vapor--something like that, with no need of braking off its descent velocity approaching target, could surely go up on a Titan III! Pres Kennedy would not even have to go to Defcon 2 then, just angrily denounce Soviet space piracy in general terms, and quietly launch the H-bomb to blast the Russians on the Moon. Leave the ball of further escalation in the court of a Kremlin that doesn't really want to be nuked until they glow either. And redouble the budget with a Jamestown II that is designed for defense against hostile intruders from the get go. Call it "Williamsburg" or "Plymouth." Or Fort Monroe! Also plan to shoot down any Soviet assets that approach the Moon--for international high ground, claim the USA is not claiming Luna as US soil but is defending the common heritage of humankind from a nation of demonstrated pirates, holding out a new space treaty regime that demands LEO inspection (and forbids direct Earth surface to Luna space launches, on pain of these being shot at on arrival at Luna) of all ships going to Luna, with the USA asserting a custodian role as military enforcer pending formation of a suitable UN international inspection Space Patrol.

Ed would be risking his life communicating how he took "Ivan" prisoner, but the Soviets would have many restraints on doing something drastic, as long as Mikhail was alive and unharmed (beyond the tricks necessary to capture him--it was within Stevens's rights to capture him, though not to slap him around or keep him incommunicado for days afterward). Nuclear balance of terror tends to keep the rest of the Russians, who were in the wrong, cool despite the ease with which they could overwhelm him.

But no, Ed had to go all Rambo...

Bringing us to the point in the TL you comment on.

Things have limped along with no sort of agreed on formal space treaty, leaving it to be law of the sea versus naked force. Ronald Reagan opts for naked force in a much more dubious case than Ed Stevens faced!

Stevens faced a cosmonaut who was in clear violation, whether regarded as a renegade criminal or agent of a piratical power. Now of course Molly Cobb personally found the lithium rich site. In the absence of any treaty regime though, the only thing that could make an American claim on that site stick would be if Yankees had installed permanent equipment there. They didn't have any on hand presumably to do it immediately and it went on the 'Round-To-It list, high in priority due to the value of lunar lithium (more on this perhaps when we get around to talking about NERVA and all that) to be sure. But Ivan (not our friend cosmonaut intruder guy, the Russkies collectively) had every right, as far as rights exist in this lawless state, to rush mining and fixed site prospecting equipment there first, as long as the Yankees didn't beat them to it. Of course their being able to do it involved espionage, but then again it is the Yankee's job to secure their site. As others noted, in the years between Ed coming back to Earth and Molly finding the lithium deposit, someone in the paranoid Reagan Administration ought to have considered the problem of security and taken measures, such as setting up monitors to see if there are any unexplained transmissions coming out of Jamestown.

I forget right now if Ed ever disclosed that he'd held Mikhail prisoner, but the more I think about it the more sure I am he did disclose this and everything he did with him once he was back on Earth. Even without that knowledge, the idea the Reds might sneak something or other into Jamestown somehow (via hiding it in future modules or supplies, or having planted a bug back when Jamestown was launched) should haunt security people.

Claim jumping the site was a dirty trick, but definitely not as nasty as their previous intrusions right into American workings had already been.

Sending the Marines to seize the site with deadly force on the other hand, was an escalation beyond anything nefarious the Soviets had already done. This would have been true even if the Marines did not shoot the cosmonauts. It was piracy of a much worse type than Ivan's prior bugging, which is apparently all the Russians had ever done to the Americans previously and also within American power to detect and neutralize without threatening to kill anyone.

Posting sentry devices in perimeters around American operational sites, including Jamestown itself, is a no-brainer obvious step US security should have taken, in the wake of Ed Stevens's debriefing on Earth if not before. These, to be effective, might have to be backed up by threat of deadly force--but in defense of the American sites, warding off intruders rather than preemptively invading their sites, it would be legitimately lawful in intent and effect. Sentry devices to simply sound a warning cannot prevent intrusion and sabotage themselves but they can make it impossible for the Russians to do such things without being caught on tape doing it.

Reagan's proper response then would be to eat the loss of the lithium field, reasoning that where the Moon has one such site, it is likely to have more of them elsewhere (maybe none as good or as near Jamestown, but just possibly better and nearer too) but to first Send the Marines--not to pirate back the lost site but to install these security measures belatedly and make damn sure the Soviets don't come within line of sight of any other American installation, especially Jamestown itself of course. Entire payloads should have been to expand Jamestown for a substantial dedicated security force--say 12 more raising capacity to 42, allowing three shifts of 4 NASA Security people (who just happen to all be Marines, though detached to the civilian agency at the moment) on duty at all times. With remote controlled guns visible on Jamestown, that could be controlled from multiple command points with the right authorization. Also training up the regular "civil" crew of 30 to be de facto militia, drilling them in station breach defense doctrines. And developing patrol drones, little robot rovers with a big gun, to sound the alarm, leaving these on tracts the USA publicly claims for pending development plans--if the Reds were to smash one of these, it would be much more plainly piracy than what they did moving in on Cobb's reported but not actually staked out claim.

Instead, he sent the Marines, and Tracy, to go steal a Soviet claim. To aggressively invade, and threaten personal attack on, anyone in occupation.

--------
I was going to start this post with a very simple suggestion--instead of firing on the cosmonauts when they reached for a chest, why didn't the sharpshooter shoot the chest instead? Bullet holes, not to mention the chest being knocked about by their impact, would underscore the message "Don't go for it! We really mean it! Hands up and stay still!" quite plainly and effectively I think.

Arguably the mystery chest might contain some kind of radio link and either the monitoring Zvedza base would "hear" the bullet impacts or it would break the link, tipping the Red base off to something being up.

But frankly, Zvedza should have been monitoring their cosmonauts continually anyway; nothing short of shooting them in the back on sight would prevent the moonwalkers from shouting out a warning anyway. And even that which in effect happened anyway would surely be a tip off.

Another approach would be to shoot the regolith in front of the chest. I don't know if the rifle would have enough bullets in it to spell out "Nyet!'" in Cyrillic. Just a few random craters and the feel of the dust shrapnel hitting their legs ought to command the cosmonauts's full attention I would think. "These Yankee guns work. Don't even think about reaching for anything that looks like a Soviet one. Come along quietly to be secured in the LSAM, you are prisoners." The flying dust and instant craters ought to convey all that intelligibly enough in any language.

They just did not have to shoot either one. Nor should they have been sent to commit such piracy in the first place of course. A more appropriate mission, once the basic security of Jamestown itself and the active work sites had been accomplished via monitors, rifle drones and patrols, would be to draw a damn line equidistant between the Soviet base and Jamestown, on the rim and in the crater, and put up signs saying Americans would stay on their side of the line and Soviet operations cross it at peril of deadly force response (justified, recall, by the previous espionage/possible sabotage intrusions of cosmonauts on American operational sites detected by Ed Stevens). Then on Earth, diplomats inquire whether the Soviets are interested in discussing formal treaty protocols balancing the common humanity claims versus operational rights to use Lunar resources and a process of justifying registration of claims to specific tracts and restrictions on arms or improvised violence in Lunar space to keep things within non-apocalyptic bounds.
 
Not quite caught up to the thread end yet, this is from page 45. But I quite agree. Even granted Marines are trained to react fast, I'd think some careful indoctrination of Rules of Engagement apply here.

I didn't notice that the 1967 space treaties were repudiated when binge watching the show up to the middle of Season 2 over a few days. Someone up thread mentioned they were though. Apparently legally speaking space is totally lawless then? But treaties or no treaties, what should be ruling the policy of both base contingents is geopolitics on Earth. Neither side actually wants WWIII, though both, as OTL around this time, have taken to threatening it in a game of Chicken.

Under the OTL still not repudiated treaty regime, all space and objects in space are "common heritage of humanity." But it is OK for a nation to undertake enterprises exploiting space materials. It is supposed to be analogous to law of the sea; a ship on the high seas is under the laws of the nation it is flagged as, so a space craft, a space station, or a Lunar base would itself be under sovereignty of whoever sent it there. And therefore, the actions of persons on each Moon base are the responsibility of their patron nation.

If a cosmonaut team drives their version of the moon rover within half a meter of Jamestown, that is their right. But if they mess around with installed American mining equipment--depending on whether the Kremlin backs them or not, they are either committing piracy as private outlaws Moscow is bound to restrain, or assist Americans restraining, or if backing them--the Russians are performing an act of war. Or anyway espionage and/or sabotage. Thus, when Ed Stevens observed the Soviet plant--we never learned just what it was, but it didn't blow up when he ultimately smashed it, so presumably a bug--at their operation site, the Russians were in the wrong. And without any space treaties in place whatsoever--Leonov stated per his script (or someone early in the thread speculated, off script) that the Soviets affirmed Luna was common human heritage, which resonates with "law of the sea" analogy (which the USA has historically favored at least OTL, going back to Eisenhower, and IMHO we ought to sustain too). The Soviets of course ITTL as well as OTL were signatory to the '67 Space treaties (they could have refused given the earlier POD--BTW I don't buy that a '66 POD is sufficient, and indeed Al Shepard not being around in '69 points to an earlier one too) but I think it is show canon the treaties were in place in '69 anyway. Therefore they were bound to affirm common humanity, and might argue in the later '70s that the USA breaking the treaties permits them to retroactively assert a blanket claim of the USSR of the whole damn Moon. Especially since Leonov mentioned the Marxist-Leninist way, and the Kremlin regarded itself as custodian of orthodox valid Leninism on behalf of all mankind--the Moscow line might be that of course the USSR does not claim Luna as Soviet territory, but does assert that capitalist propertarians have no right to any of it, it being the property of the working people of Earth universally.

But they don't seem to have made any such sweeping denials of American government right to US presence there.

So, when Stevens depressurized the Jamestown airlock after "Ivan" (IIRC, his real name was Mikhail?) took off his suit (and we later learned, Stevens had in fact sabotaged "Ivan's" rover to force this outcome) I was horrified that he'd murder the cosmonaut on first view, but then reasoned that maybe, just maybe, pray God probably, his plan was to knock "ivan" out with oxygen deprivation, swiftly restore the oxygen, and tie him up with duct tape as a legitimate prisoner. (This would be less reckless versus the same stunt on Earth, given Jamestown and all EVA suits having a low pressure pure oxygen atmosphere, because there would be less threat of the "bends" due to no nitrogen dissolved in "Ivan's" blood, though I suppose outgassing oxygen might be almost as bad). Indeed thankfully this turned out to be the case--though what Stevens did after that neutralized the moral high ground he could claim for the USA.

Instead of going radio silent, he should have contacted his superiors via secure channel immediately, getting a Russian translator on the line on Earth, and played the whole thing out diplomatically. As sole representative of US authority on Luna, but with the USA the unilaterally violated party at this point, he would have every right to hold cosmonaut Mikhail prisoner. Of course once Moscow learned that he was being held and not just lost, little could stop them from swarming Jamestown--but oh wait, they had no spare rover! But surely they could use a lander for a short suborbital hop over and threaten Jamestown with guns? Or just outnumbering Ed as they approach the structure aggressively with bolt cutters to vent the habitat? If they could kill Ed the USA has no one present and the Russians could claim the whole Moon.

Except that that would risk global thermonuclear war, and in any scenario where Ed is at risk of Soviet violence, it just compounds their space piracy. It establishes the legal precedent that the USA could plan on building a space Armada to land on Luna in great force, armed (with conventional weapons, or WMDs if those treaties were out the window too). Or even retaliate by sending a thermonuclear warhead to blast Zveda base to vapor--something like that, with no need of braking off its descent velocity approaching target, could surely go up on a Titan III! Pres Kennedy would not even have to go to Defcon 2 then, just angrily denounce Soviet space piracy in general terms, and quietly launch the H-bomb to blast the Russians on the Moon. Leave the ball of further escalation in the court of a Kremlin that doesn't really want to be nuked until they glow either. And redouble the budget with a Jamestown II that is designed for defense against hostile intruders from the get go. Call it "Williamsburg" or "Plymouth." Or Fort Monroe! Also plan to shoot down any Soviet assets that approach the Moon--for international high ground, claim the USA is not claiming Luna as US soil but is defending the common heritage of humankind from a nation of demonstrated pirates, holding out a new space treaty regime that demands LEO inspection (and forbids direct Earth surface to Luna space launches, on pain of these being shot at on arrival at Luna) of all ships going to Luna, with the USA asserting a custodian role as military enforcer pending formation of a suitable UN international inspection Space Patrol.

Ed would be risking his life communicating how he took "Ivan" prisoner, but the Soviets would have many restraints on doing something drastic, as long as Mikhail was alive and unharmed (beyond the tricks necessary to capture him--it was within Stevens's rights to capture him, though not to slap him around or keep him incommunicado for days afterward). Nuclear balance of terror tends to keep the rest of the Russians, who were in the wrong, cool despite the ease with which they could overwhelm him.

But no, Ed had to go all Rambo...

Bringing us to the point in the TL you comment on.

Things have limped along with no sort of agreed on formal space treaty, leaving it to be law of the sea versus naked force. Ronald Reagan opts for naked force in a much more dubious case than Ed Stevens faced!

Stevens faced a cosmonaut who was in clear violation, whether regarded as a renegade criminal or agent of a piratical power. Now of course Molly Cobb personally found the lithium rich site. In the absence of any treaty regime though, the only thing that could make an American claim on that site stick would be if Yankees had installed permanent equipment there. They didn't have any on hand presumably to do it immediately and it went on the 'Round-To-It list, high in priority due to the value of lunar lithium (more on this perhaps when we get around to talking about NERVA and all that) to be sure. But Ivan (not our friend cosmonaut intruder guy, the Russkies collectively) had every right, as far as rights exist in this lawless state, to rush mining and fixed site prospecting equipment there first, as long as the Yankees didn't beat them to it. Of course their being able to do it involved espionage, but then again it is the Yankee's job to secure their site. As others noted, in the years between Ed coming back to Earth and Molly finding the lithium deposit, someone in the paranoid Reagan Administration ought to have considered the problem of security and taken measures, such as setting up monitors to see if there are any unexplained transmissions coming out of Jamestown.

I forget right now if Ed ever disclosed that he'd held Mikhail prisoner, but the more I think about it the more sure I am he did disclose this and everything he did with him once he was back on Earth. Even without that knowledge, the idea the Reds might sneak something or other into Jamestown somehow (via hiding it in future modules or supplies, or having planted a bug back when Jamestown was launched) should haunt security people.

Claim jumping the site was a dirty trick, but definitely not as nasty as their previous intrusions right into American workings had already been.

Sending the Marines to seize the site with deadly force on the other hand, was an escalation beyond anything nefarious the Soviets had already done. This would have been true even if the Marines did not shoot the cosmonauts. It was piracy of a much worse type than Ivan's prior bugging, which is apparently all the Russians had ever done to the Americans previously and also within American power to detect and neutralize without threatening to kill anyone.

Posting sentry devices in perimeters around American operational sites, including Jamestown itself, is a no-brainer obvious step US security should have taken, in the wake of Ed Stevens's debriefing on Earth if not before. These, to be effective, might have to be backed up by threat of deadly force--but in defense of the American sites, warding off intruders rather than preemptively invading their sites, it would be legitimately lawful in intent and effect. Sentry devices to simply sound a warning cannot prevent intrusion and sabotage themselves but they can make it impossible for the Russians to do such things without being caught on tape doing it.

Reagan's proper response then would be to eat the loss of the lithium field, reasoning that where the Moon has one such site, it is likely to have more of them elsewhere (maybe none as good or as near Jamestown, but just possibly better and nearer too) but to first Send the Marines--not to pirate back the lost site but to install these security measures belatedly and make damn sure the Soviets don't come within line of sight of any other American installation, especially Jamestown itself of course. Entire payloads should have been to expand Jamestown for a substantial dedicated security force--say 12 more raising capacity to 42, allowing three shifts of 4 NASA Security people (who just happen to all be Marines, though detached to the civilian agency at the moment) on duty at all times. With remote controlled guns visible on Jamestown, that could be controlled from multiple command points with the right authorization. Also training up the regular "civil" crew of 30 to be de facto militia, drilling them in station breach defense doctrines. And developing patrol drones, little robot rovers with a big gun, to sound the alarm, leaving these on tracts the USA publicly claims for pending development plans--if the Reds were to smash one of these, it would be much more plainly piracy than what they did moving in on Cobb's reported but not actually staked out claim.

Instead, he sent the Marines, and Tracy, to go steal a Soviet claim. To aggressively invade, and threaten personal attack on, anyone in occupation.

--------
I was going to start this post with a very simple suggestion--instead of firing on the cosmonauts when they reached for a chest, why didn't the sharpshooter shoot the chest instead? Bullet holes, not to mention the chest being knocked about by their impact, would underscore the message "Don't go for it! We really mean it! Hands up and stay still!" quite plainly and effectively I think.

Arguably the mystery chest might contain some kind of radio link and either the monitoring Zvedza base would "hear" the bullet impacts or it would break the link, tipping the Red base off to something being up.

But frankly, Zvedza should have been monitoring their cosmonauts continually anyway; nothing short of shooting them in the back on sight would prevent the moonwalkers from shouting out a warning anyway. And even that which in effect happened anyway would surely be a tip off.

Another approach would be to shoot the regolith in front of the chest. I don't know if the rifle would have enough bullets in it to spell out "Nyet!'" in Cyrillic. Just a few random craters and the feel of the dust shrapnel hitting their legs ought to command the cosmonauts's full attention I would think. "These Yankee guns work. Don't even think about reaching for anything that looks like a Soviet one. Come along quietly to be secured in the LSAM, you are prisoners." The flying dust and instant craters ought to convey all that intelligibly enough in any language.

They just did not have to shoot either one. Nor should they have been sent to commit such piracy in the first place of course. A more appropriate mission, once the basic security of Jamestown itself and the active work sites had been accomplished via monitors, rifle drones and patrols, would be to draw a damn line equidistant between the Soviet base and Jamestown, on the rim and in the crater, and put up signs saying Americans would stay on their side of the line and Soviet operations cross it at peril of deadly force response (justified, recall, by the previous espionage/possible sabotage intrusions of cosmonauts on American operational sites detected by Ed Stevens). Then on Earth, diplomats inquire whether the Soviets are interested in discussing formal treaty protocols balancing the common humanity claims versus operational rights to use Lunar resources and a process of justifying registration of claims to specific tracts and restrictions on arms or improvised violence in Lunar space to keep things within non-apocalyptic bounds.
I agree this bit had more than a bit of idiot ball, and the confrontation as shown really shouldn't have gone to lethal force so quickly.

Though I do distinctly remember that there were liens about the Americans and Soviets formally notifying each other about their claims, so it seems there was some sort of agreement in place . It seems like the Russians used their bug to jump the claim before the official notification went through.
Additionally IIRC there was some US mining equipment at the sight, but the Russians moved it all off and dumped it nearby for the Americans to pick up. It perhaps doesn't justify what the Americans did in response, but it does show that they were continuing the policy of tampering with US lunar activities, and demanded some sort of active response other than just swallowing it and moving on.
 
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Or USSR somehow survives, but I doubt it. The Soviet economy will not be able to keep up for long.
Failures of Soviet command economy definitely caused the collapse of Communist legitimacy all right--but in the context of Gorbachev's "Peristroika" ("restucturing") that failed to make enough useful difference, and "Glasnost" ("transparency") that allowed journalists to expose the bad news without any plausible good news to counter it. Fundamentally, Soviet citizens (not WP nation citizens in general too be sure, nor all Soviet citizens, but enough of the latter to maintain the hegemonic upper hand) gave loyalty to a regime that did objectively make material progress, relative to their own life experience. However in the later Brezhnev years this advance in standard of living, glacial but observable, ground to a halt and started to reverse.

The Soviets do not have to catch up to and surpass Western standards of living, or per capita wealth, for the Communists to retain legitimacy. All they have to do is maintain and perhaps modestly increase the rate of visible standards of living they did sustain between the early '50s and later '70s. This is probably enough to keep the Reds in effectively unquestioned charge of the regime.

A major body blow to Communist legitimacy OTL came from outside Russia of course--the loss of control of the Warsaw Pact nations. This process had premonition in the Kremlin's early 1980s decision to have the Polish Army be the agency that cracked down on Solidarinosc, rather than yet another multi-WP nation joint invasion shepherded by Red Army leadership. They were all too aware of various trends weakening their confidence in the effectiveness of Soviet supremacy in the face of the hostility of so many of those dragooned into the ranks of such plausible neighbor-invaders as East Germany and Czechoslovakia--indeed I am not sure Cold War era borders would allow Romanian troops to be involved without crossing CZ borders, and sure Hungarians could not. The alternatives, if we can postulate moderately better though not spectacular Soviet economic performance, would be either to let at least some WP nations go, or to tie down material and military power as well as squander what little moral capital they had globally keeping the boot on Eastern European nations. Whereas decent improvements in Soviet economic performance would almost certainly have to involve "Comecon" improvements as well.

Now in this ATL, we have some throwaway claims of spin-off technology from NASA making differences in such incidents as the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor failure. It seems reasonable that a major Soviet space effort, sufficient to develop their moonbase, would also involve advancing Soviet technology a bit. Perhaps more importantly, many Soviet designs, for anything from spaceships to washing machines, are fine on paper but fail in operation due to poor quality control. Without the sort of workplace discipline the Western capitalist job market imposes on workers, it is difficult to get quality control...but perhaps a high priority program like the space effort manages to develop alternative tricks to reward diligence and punish carelessness, and cut down on pilfering. Just cutting down the sheer mass of waste the Soviet system produced, by a half or even just a modest third or quarter, would translate into major annual gains--much of this waste was in fact pilfering, and fed into the massive "black market;" cracking down on the "on the left" as Russians put it black markets would amount to offsetting gains in the official sector, but even if the economic outcome is a wash, increasing the prestige of mainstream legitimately distributed goods versus black market trade volume would subjectively shore up Communist legitimacy.

So if we can somehow stumble on muddling through with incremental tactical reforms here and there, and no broadcast "glasnost" (though perhaps more effective accountability in privileged Party circles) the sort of legitimacy the regime had in the 1970s can probably be sustained. This in turn empowers Moscow to keep the screws on Eastern Europe. Or alternatively, the USSR might be able to survive the collapse of their control over Eastern Europe, or even being forced to let at least say the Baltic Republics go too. A stronger USSR might be able to insist that all nations slipping out of direct Soviet control must be disarmed and prevented from joining anti-Soviet alliances, though otherwise free of Kremlin control.

Such a USSR might lose control of Poland, Czechoslovakia (though a neo-Dubcek sort of Prague Spring on the condition of remaining a Soviet ally and economic partner might keep that nation at least nominally allied--and maybe the POD means Dubcek was never crushed in the first place!) Hungary and almost surely East Germany, though I could see the DDR being kept in on terms similar to those that might work for CZ). Romania and Bulgaria might remain, and possibly Yugoslavia could be brought in. But they'd keep a strong relationship with Cuba and Vietnam (or just North Vietnam if the south survives, though evidence seems most consistent with figuring the North managed to take the South by and by, probably on Kennedy's watch). They seem likely to pick up other allies in Latin America and Africa too.

This is not terribly high probability, but it is not ASB either and does not require spectacular improvement of overall Soviet economic indicators, just a modest degree of it.

Such a regime would surely devote more of its capability to space operations than the Russian Republic of OTL has been able to.
 
So lets hope if Ellen or Margo are ever asked about the potential dangers of going to Mars they have a more artful answer....
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There's one question that I forgot to ask from the last episode...

HOW did the cosmonauts fix the broken window in order for the entire room to get evenly pressurized and have enough oxygen?!

Side question: I presume that the other two astronauts who died who weren't Tracy and Gordo were given a dignified burial, correct?
 
There's one question that I forgot to ask from the last episode...

HOW did the cosmonauts fix the broken window in order for the entire room to get evenly pressurized and have enough oxygen?!

Side question: I presume that the other two astronauts who died who weren't Tracy and Gordo were given a dignified burial, correct?
I wondered about that as well.Also as for the burial and I would say they almost definitely did. It might have even been on the same day since all of their bodies were probably brought back down to Earth at the same time. Or its at least possible that they were buried near Deke Slayton on the Moon ? I could imagine for NASA arranging for his wife or at least her ashes to be as well...
 
There's one question that I forgot to ask from the last episode...

HOW did the cosmonauts fix the broken window in order for the entire room to get evenly pressurized and have enough oxygen?!

Side question: I presume that the other two astronauts who died who weren't Tracy and Gordo were given a dignified burial, correct?

They stuck an aluminum panel over the window, and presumably stuck a sealing material around the edges before repressurizing. If they didn’t plan to stay long, they don’t have to care about small leakage through an imperfect seal—not their air.
 
I wondered about that as well.Also as for the burial and I would say they almost definitely did. It might have even been on the same day since all of their bodies were probably brought back down to Earth at the same time. Or its at least possible that they were buried near Deke Slayton on the Moon ? I could imagine for NASA arranging for his wife or at least her ashes to be as well...
There were four caskets in the tv clip. The show shifts to a more intimate internment after presumably a public, televised ceremony.
 
I was thinking if things stayed the same with the Supreme Court -Reagan doesnt get to appoint nearly as many Justices ittl as the next president will. During Carters term-which was Reagans first ittl there were no vacancies and during his first-second ittl- I think there was only 1 -Sandra Day OConnor (a moderate) but during his second OTL which will be the next president ittl there were at least 2 OTL Scalia and Kennedy. However ittl if the next president is a Democrat-ie Gary Hart or Jimmy Carter-well they will be appointing very different justices to put it mildly. That President if he was a two termer could have as many as 4 appointments when you count George HW Bushs term-Souter and Thomas. That would almost totally remake the Supreme Court from OTL and probably give it a very liberal bent throughout the 80s into the 2000's at least....
 
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I was thinking if things stayed the same with the Supreme Court -Reagan doesnt get to appoint nearly as many Justices ittl as the next president will. During Carters term-which was Reagans first ittl there were no vacancies and during his first-second ittl- I think there was only 1 -Sandra Day OConnor (a moderate) but during his second OTL which will be the next president ittl there were at least 2 OTL Scalia and Kennedy. However ittl if the next president is a Democrat-ie Gary Hart or Jimmy Carter-well they will be appointing very different justices to put it mildly. That President if he was a two termer could have as many as 4 appointments when you count George HW Bushs term-Souter and Thomas. That would almost totally remake the Supreme Court from OTL and probably give it a very liberal bent throughout the 80s into the 2000's at least....
Teddy would’ve gotten to replace Douglas as well (who might’ve even retired a bit earlier ITTL). Stevens was seen as pretty liberal IOTL, but I think we can assume Teddy’s choice would be even more to Stevens’ left.
 
Teddy would’ve gotten to replace Douglas as well (who might’ve even retired a bit earlier ITTL). Stevens was seen as pretty liberal IOTL, but I think we can assume Teddy’s choice would be even more to Stevens’ left
It would be interesting to see the make up of the court in 1993. If things dont change from OTL the next president will get 2 if they are in unti 2001. That could be a Republican ITTL. Then the next president-2001-2009 -possibly a Democrat based on the "cycle" that could be ittl would get 3. 2 or 3 for the potential Republican from 2009-2017 and 2 or 3 or more for a potential Democrat from 2017-2021. (or 2025) .So still quite a bit of back and forth but the change in parties and based keeping OTL retirements and deaths the same clealry would benefit the Democrats-at least thats how I will see it in my head until we have explict evidence to the contrary. I do think that the Supreme Court just by its nature of the life time appointments would be something that wouldnt change that much just based on how long their tenures are-what will change it radically are differences in which party is in office which are subject to much more change it would seem.
BTW to whoever writes an extensive timeline of FAM when everything is said and done keep this in mind :p
 
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It would be interesting to see the make up of the court in 1993. If things dont change from OTL the next president will get 2 if they are in unti 2001. That could be a Republican ITTL. Then the next president-2001-2009 -possibly a Democrat based on the "cycle" that could be ittl would get 3. 2 or 3 for the potential Republican from 2009-2017 and 2 or 3 or more for a potential Democrat from 2017-2021. (or 2025) .So still quite a bit of back and forth but the change in parties and based keeping OTL retirements and deaths the same clealry would benefit the Democrats-at least thats how I will see it in my head until we have explict evidence to the contrary. I do thnik that the Supreme Court just by its nature of the life time appointments would be something that wouldnt change that much just based on how long their tenures are-what will change it radically are differences in which party is in office which are subject to much more change it would seem.
BTW to whoever writes an extensive timeline of FAM when everything is said and done keep this in mind :p
Yeah, we’d have to make allowances for principled retirements, people who opted to retire under a specific president (or not retire under another). But that’s not too too difficult. Heh, I wish Wikipedia had a more coherent way of keeping track of the court from year to year.
 
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