Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Michel Van, Jun 3, 2019.
That sure doesn't look like a LESA module base, though...
The point is that mass and diameter are there. And it is consistent with the statement in the show that it was built out of a Saturn V stage.
OTL, the studies terminated in 1968 so all we have are that last iteration of the LESA. If you look at the development of SkyLab you will see a process of sketches and refinement.
My guess in that by late 1969, Skylab was being refined in its dry form. The new directive to establish came down from Nixon. The reason why it looks different it is a marriage of LESA and Skylab planning. To get it down on the moon by 1974 they were probably reused a lot of the work already done.
By mid 1969 there was some advanced planning already done. Then it was re purposed for Jamestown Base.
If you look at the picture below. The orbital workshop already has a vertical configuration. So they replanned and configured it as a Moon Base instead.
Sure, though I think that's all it's consistent with.
The design featured here seems only to fulfill the most basic qualification of the LESA Base module as conceived by 1968: a vehicle "which would take full advantage of the Saturn V trans-lunar payload capability." It just looks to me like a completely clean sheet design. (I would also have to assume that it would need to include a pressurized rover/mobile lunar lab, like the LESA proposal does, if it was really trying to take adantage of the full payload capability - maybe the rover is off camera.)
Nothing wrong with that, of course, and it's not like a ton of design work had been done on LESA by that point anyway...
The only thing that perplexes me is the timeline that gets to the Moon in October 1973. Given a green light for development in the second half of 1969, even on a crash program, it's a little hard to see how they could manage that in under four years. Six years, I could see.
But maybe that's just nitpicking on my part.
He's dead, Gene.
Well the contract for Skylab was awarded in August of 1969. And it launched May 1973.
Jamestown landed in October of 1973. And the news of the Soviet plans for a moon happened just before Apollo 12 which launched in November of 1969.
Plus it is a considerably smaller spacecraft than Skylab. Looks like they lopped off the bottom half of SIVB H2 tank and left off the O2 tank. Some of the complexity got added back on but still if they could do Skylab from Aug of 69 to May of 73 it plausible why they could do Jamestown in similar time period.
True, but that's just a dry workshop, with the Apollo Telescope Mount (already far along in development) tacked on. That really wasn't *that* hard to throw together. It didn't have to land on anything, it wasn't designed for frequent EVA's. It just had to float in low earth orbit.
Here, you are developing a lunar base hab from scratch. Yes, it seems the engines are derived from the Apollo LM descent stage, but otherwise... Plus, it has to be landed through automated control, too.
The NASA study, as I recall, posited a 7 year development period, and a cost of $1.45 billion (which I strongly suspect would have been exceeded).
Well, maybe it is a nitpick for what is just a TV series. I think in real life, that simply could not have been achievable on that schedule.
To be fair there are a few moments like that in the show but I suppose for storytelling we have to live with them, still the show is much better than I feared it would be.
I do think they're making a decent effort to show some historical authenticity, at least in hardware and background details.
The ERA getting up and Ted Kennedy as President are interesting butterflies, i hope we see some cool repercussions of both and further divergence from OTL.
Episode 6 commentary:
Well that's shocking. Oof, that's a rough landing.
Now back to our regularly-scheduled tech-nerding. What kind of lander would Titan III be able to put on the Moon?
That's...a fairly good point from the controller. Counterpoint, though--plenty of people get killed in more mundane industrial accidents and never even get so much as being "the other 11 guys."
Zvezda--look forward to seeing that base. Kennedy is using the pardon as a carrot to keep Nixon quiet.
I really hope Tracy's videophone link to Gordo is encrypted, because he's making himself look like a colossal douchebag. Some KGB agent is probably getting a kick out of intercepting that.
Praising Walt Disney might not be Werner's smartest approach for deflecting allegations of Hitlerism.
Hey, Tracy hung up the panther painting. That's nice.
Von Braun's religiosity--now that's a hot potato. Can't say I like this family drama stuff between Wernher and a Manhattan Project physicist. Seems kind of forced, a way for Wernher to reconcile with Margot by authorial fiat. IMO, this resuscitation of the Von Braun subplot is a bit hamfisted--I wonder how to do it better.
The look into Ellen's psychology is interesting. Living a double life can do that.
Guilting! Now that's more like Wernher von Braun! Oh, and a sneering reference to Irene--now that's a burn. He's going full Immigrant Dad on her ass! But I gotta sympathize with Margot--gotta love a meritocrat. Now Wernher's going on fault-tree analysis and giving congressional pork-spreading both barrels--that's the von Braun we know and admire. And now he's proposing that Margot go whistle-blowing--that is Machiavellian. And she follows up with blackmail!
The family tension between the Baldwin and Stevens families, with Tracy having to ride herd on two sets of kids, and the fathers unable to do much to intervene, is actually interesting.
Not sure NASA would ever allow solo long-distance moonwalks, but that probably got approved ad-hoc after an emergency maintenance session. I look forward to seeing American and Soviet cosmonauts meet next episode, since they seemed to imply that at the end.
I said this on another forum but did it bother anybody else when Ellen told her fake boyfriend "we should get out stories straight - where was our first date?"
That just...urgh. They're both not only two gay people acting as each other's beards living in the seventies with everything to lose if they're exposed, but they're also a NASA astronaut and scientist both taught to have redundancies upon redundancies AND clearly good friends AND both very paranoid.
You're telling me that in three years, these two people never sat down and got these details straight already - especially the first date? It really felt like it was a line for the audience and inorganic.
It's a small matter but still.
Spoiler: Ep 6 Close
What was the red light that Gordo saw at the end? I thought Gordo going for a walk was going to lead to him being revealed as the Russian plant and visiting Svezda.
Was the red light telling him NOT to come in yet? Could apartment hunting be a metaphor for looking at switching sides?
Also, non American here, but does an amendment to the constitution only need 3/4 of states to support it? As llinois was the 38th to ratify the ERA?
I don't think so. The series is too American centered to have an American astronaut defect to the USSR. It may work the other way around, but it feel too cheese. I think the Soviet-American encounter won't be authorized by either space agency, though - gotta protect the secrets of their so-called military bases after all.
I think the red lights are Zvezda’s Landing lights, signals to assist incoming spacecraft in landing. Gordo was surprised to see it because he thought he was the first to see that particular part of the Moon, but now realizes the Russians were there too.
I’m a bit confused by the mission numbers and crew assignments, where there seem to be some continuity discrepancies, and a lack of logic, compared with what occurred in OTL.
Apollo 11 was the first US lunar landing, followed by Apollo 12, which coincided with the female cosmonaut landing on the Moon. Both these flew in 1969.
The plot then jumps to Apollo 15, with Cobb onboard, in 1971. So we assume that 13 and 14 were successful lunar landings in 1970/1.
In episode 5, Poole is assigned to Apollo 18, with Gordo Stevens, and Tracy Stevens to Apollo 25, which must have been several years ahead, at that time (1971). There is no mention of Waverly, except that she was back-up to Cobb, on Apollo 15.
We then fast forward two years, to Shackleton base, which is occupied by Baldwin, G Stevens and Poole, on Apollo 21. Would Stevens and Poole really have flown to the Moon twice, on 18 and 21? Seems improbable, when, for example, Collins doesn’t fly between 11 and 23. And, where is Apollo 22? The crew of 21 were waiting to be relieved by Apollo 23. What happened to 22?
Finally, after the Apollo 23 incident, the crew of Apollo 24 is assigned. Rather improbably, Waverly, who seems to be a rookie, is named as commander, and Slayton adds himself to the crew, causing some surprise. In OTL, Slayton had a pretty robust and recognisable system of preparing crews in support, back-up and finally, prime crew roles. It wasn’t a random, shoot from the hip, process. Thoughts?
Political pressures could be forcing Slayton to advance some rookies. Collins’ CMP was an Asian man (Harrison Wu? Or was it Yu?) we’ve never seen before. That could be disrupting the normal process of crew rotation.
The other thing is that not every mission is bound for the Moon. Apollo 25 was mentioned to be a satellite servicing mission, so presumably there are still Saturn IB Apollo missions firing off to LEO. Maybe not a full Skylab, but month-long Earth orbit missions with a LM Lab? That could account for a few of the other missions like 22. Would also account for a bit of extra flight experience for, for example, Waverly.
Or the numbers might apply to unmanned launches. 4, 5, and 6 got numbers, after all—so why not the launch of the Jamestown core module? Unmanned LM Truck supply flights could also get numbered.
It's also entirely possible that the Post 15 mission profiles were adjusted once the site for Jamestown was found.
The timeline as I understand it ...
Spoiler: Apollo Timeline
1969 - Apollo 11 (Armstrong, Collins, Aldrin), first American on the moon, Apollo 12 said to be coming up, but schedule said to need accelerating
1970 - Apollo 13 & 14, possible scouting missions for sites for Jamestown
1971 - Apollo 15 (Baldwin, Cobb, Sedgewick), first American woman on the moon, Jamestown site scouted
16 / 17
Apollo 18 (Gordo, Poole) cited as a Moon landing.
19 / 20
1973 - Jamestown Base established, Apollo 21 crew first to use it
1974 - Apollo 22 (Baldwin, Poole, Gordo) crew replace Apollo 21 crew Apollo 23 (Collins) Disaster, Apollo 24 mission profile changed to echo A23, Apollo 25 (inc. Tracey) previously cited as satellite repair
Apollo 22 could have been a mission to somewhere else on the moon. Maybe checking for ice at the North pole?
I'd kill for a source book that details all the stuff not shown in the episodes.
Yes. Also if you don't know, it is a real act, that has yet to be ratified IRL.
Apollo 22 is the crew currently on Jamestown as I understood it.
Separate names with a comma.