Thanks for the information, that lines up with what I’d heard. Regarding Jim Chamberlin, as you’ve deduced, he’ll not be joining the US space programme anytime soon ITTL as he has other fish to fry… Thank-you for the compliment! If you’ve not yet found this, I recommend a look through the list of Spaceflight Timelines on the Wiki, as there are some real gems in there. Most of my information on Kuznetsova came from Wiki and a Google-translated Russian-language web page, neither of which gave clear reasons for her OTL drop-out due to “some failures in the physically and emotionally tough preparation regime” (she later re-joined the space programme, only to have her flight cancelled, so she clearly had “the right stuff” in her). I’ve assumed that butterflies in both the regime and her own mental and physical preparations mean that ITTL she passes the hurdles on the first attempt and stays as first choice. Thanks again for all the background information you’ve posted on the selection of Tereshkova and her fellow candidates. One of the things I’m enjoying most about writing this TL is learning about the details of OTL in the process. Comments like yours are a big part of that. We’ll see Whoops! Good catch. I mentioned the model of engine to add a sense of detail, but looks like I got it wrong here. I’ll update the post in the next week or so. Another good catch! This is in fact a hangover from an earlier draft where the suborbital Mercury flights were going to be on partially fuelled Atlas’, but e of pi pointed out that even partially fuelled Atlas is overpowered for this role, hence the switch back to Redstone. Looks like I updated the post, but forgot to update my background notes, which I then referenced when updating the Wiki and assigning mission numbers. Again, I’ll correct it. As you’ve deduced, Shevek23, part of my reasoning for using an ejection seat on Zarya/R-6 was 1) the ejection seat comes out at lower mass than an escape tower, at least for one pilot, and I was initially running pretty close to the mass limit for R-6, and 2) an ejection seat would be desirable in any case for the landing. As it turned out, once the R-6 and Zarya designs were finalised I had more margin than I’d expected, but I figured the reasoning process I’d gone through might well have been mirrored by TTL’s OKB-1 team, so kept the ejection seat. As for “a new, more capable rocket”, this is exactly what Mishin has in mind with his M-1.