PC/WI: 1996 Russian Mars Landing

I'm not an expert on the Soviet space program so I'll keep it short and simple.

Let's say that the Soviets invest more into the space program and their Mars missions, and in 1984 General Secretary Chernenko declares that in the next decade the USSR would put a man on Mars. If we assume that Gorbachev gives the program the attention and reforms it needs, could the Mars mission survive the Union's collapse and land successfully with late 90's technology? And if the Astronauts do successfully land on Mars, plant the Russian flag, and return to Earth in one piece, would this have any effect on Boris Yeltsin's legacy besides drunken clown that made Putin the most dangerous man in Europe?

This may or may not have anything to do with a certain show currently airing. ;)
 
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The main problem with this WI is if the Soviet Union that can spend $100 billions for the fucking Space (read this word with Tim Curry voice) it doesn't have economic problems lead to its collapse. So, we can see Russian flag on Mars ITTL only with other republics' flags for the Soviet federalism promotion
 
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The only way a Soviet piloted Mars program survives the collapse of the USSR is if they persuade the US to pick up the tab.

Which may not be totally implausible, since a Soviet Mars program may well get some stuff that interests the US and gets them firmly integrated into SEI in 1989. 1994 is still not realistic, but a "before the new millennium" goal may be.
 
Perhaps there's no race to the Moon and the Soviets continue their fantasies with a Mars/Venus mission in the 70s-80s with the TMK, Mavr and whatever Kosmoplan was there. A Mars-Venus fly-by is doable I guess, though they will first need to fix all the issues that will inevitably appear in TTL's Salyut before sending the space station on a years long journey. After that not sure what will come next.
 
The only way a Soviet piloted Mars program survives the collapse of the USSR is if they persuade the US to pick up the tab.

Which may not be totally implausible, since a Soviet Mars program may well get some stuff that interests the US and gets them firmly integrated into SEI in 1989. 1994 is still not realistic, but a "before the new millennium" goal may be.
What about two years later in 1996? Also would Reagan be trying to get to Mars too after Chernenko's announcement or would he be busy slashing spending with NASA being a casualty and let Gorby have this one?
 
What about two years later in 1996? Also would Reagan be trying to get to Mars too after Chernenko's announcement or would he be busy slashing spending with NASA being a casualty and let Gorby have this one?
Reagan buffed NASA's budget compared to where it was before. It reached its absolute nadir in 1979-1980, and increased by roughly 25% by 1988. Part of this can be explained by NASA not having a flying spacecraft before 1981, but in general, the agency benefited from Reagan.

Getting to Mars...not sure Reagan would commit to that, with SDI and getting Shuttle running on the plate. But perhaps he'd commit to accelerating some dual-use technologies, most notably nuclear propulsion or the Shuttle-C heavy lifter, and getting Space Station Freedom launched to test life-support tech, so the US could pivot to Mars a little later on. Of course, Challenger will put a wrench in that.
 
With mid-90’s technology, you might be able to get a crew to Mars. You almost definitely aren’t getting them back.
 
With mid-90’s technology, you might be able to get a crew to Mars. You almost definitely aren’t getting them back.

Not sure that parses as if you can get them there, you can likely get them back as well. The biggest problem is that they don't have a reliable heavy LV to loft the proposed parts.

Randy
 
Not sure that parses as if you can get them there, you can likely get them back as well. The biggest problem is that they don't have a reliable heavy LV to loft the proposed parts.

Randy
Wife and I attended an astronomy lecture on the effects of space travel on the human body and it is not good. One subject brought up was travel to Mars and it was considered:
1. Radiation would probably be fatal unless shielding techniques could be developed

2. It would be a one way trip

2a There are already many qualified signed up to go.
 
Any Mars plan that survives to the fall of the Soviet Union probably has some chance of getting retooled in the 90s as a joint US-Russian program, but probably with....four to six years delay beyond the original pre-fall intended launch date (see Mir-II and ISS). By 1996 I wouldn't bet on, but before 2000....maaaaaaybe.
 
Any Mars plan that survives to the fall of the Soviet Union probably has some chance of getting retooled in the 90s as a joint US-Russian program, but probably with....four to six years delay beyond the original pre-fall intended launch date (see Mir-II and ISS). By 1996 I wouldn't bet on, but before 2000....maaaaaaybe.
How likely is cooperation vs the US trying to get there themselves?
 
How likely is cooperation vs the US trying to get there themselves?
In the 1990s, cooperation is much more likely that doing it solo. Compare the Japanese and European investment sought in Space Station Freedom, and then the addition of Russia's Mir-II to form the ISS. This is especially true if the Soviets have done significant work on the project previously that the Russians can bring to a cooperation.
 

Craig

Banned
How advanced was the Russian/Soviet equivalent to NERVA? Anything close to a test vehicle?
 
How advanced was the Russian/Soviet equivalent to NERVA? Anything close to a test vehicle?
Per wiki, just by the reference to "it was ground-tested," it seems to have gone exactly as far as OTL NERVA and no further. At least, the thing doesn't come up frequently in books about the Soviet program, not in the N1 period or the Energia period, which leads me to think it wasn't of great interest. And even the Soviets had some political resistance to nuclear power as a result of Chernobyl--their Mars mission plans in the late 1980s tended toward solar-electric.

 
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