Peshawar Lancers Redux: North America

President Kennedy had decided that he would press the congress and the Commonwealth of Nations for more money to get the Lunar base completed by the end of his second term. With support from a group of Nationalist -Republican senators and Democrats he got approval for spending 9billion dollars on the project in the next fiscal year.
He spoke with Prime Minister McNamara of Hawaii who agreed to support this critical project. The Base was 15% complete and there was soon to be the capability of people staying on the moon for at least a month. The goal was to move the construction along so that by the end of 2001 it would be at least 25% complete.
With America putting forward a lot more money the world responded and contributed 4.5 Billion dollars to the project in 2001. President Kennedy got the Congressional leadership to support a multiyear funding package of at least 45 billion over the next three years and the rest of the world would be contributing 18 billion dollars over the same period.
Time quickly moved bye and soon it was tine for the political parties to pick a new person to run the country. Congressman James Longstreet IV NR-VA announced that he was a candidate. The son of the Vice President in the Thompson Administration came from a family with vast Political experience. He was 36 and had served in the house for 6 years. While he supported the Lunar project he had some different ideas. Chris Cox had declined to run as he was the Governor of New York and had promised the people that he would finish the job when he ran.
President Kennedy would be leaving office with the Lunar Base uncompleted. His administration had gotten a massive amount of the construction completed but 8 years was not enough time to get it done. The Base was 75%completed but it would take another 2-3 years to finish it off.
James Longstreet IV won the Nationalist-Republican Nomination for the Presidency. He choice Oklahoma Governor Caroline Kerr to be his running mate. Mr Longstreet just turned 37 and Governor Kerr was 39. She was the first female to be nominated for Vice President. This also marked the youngest team to run for the two top post.
the Longstreet-Kerr ticket was elected in a landslide. The Nationalist ended up increasing their majority in the senate to 64 seats to 34 Democrat seats. The Nationalist now held 41 of the 49 Governorships.
President Longstreet in his address to the nation promised to finish what had been started. He proposed going to Mars by 2030 but this would be a Terran Space effort.
In 2006 Christoper McNamara director of the Terran Space Authority announced that the American Space Station was completed and was to be renamed the Kennedy Lunar Center. The facility was capable of housing 250 people.
President Longstreet ordered the deployment of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Battle group to the South China Sea and the US Navy mvoed the Nimitz Carrier Battle Group to support it. Japan also moved a carrier Battle Group to Formosa where it would be available to support the Americans and the Vietnamese
President James Longstreet IV had lost his wife in a tragic crash shortly into his administration. As a result he grew close to the Vice President who was a widow. After the Midterms she announced her resignation from the office of Vice President and Governor Cox was nominated as her replacement. The former Vice Predident was married to the President at a ceremony in Oklahoma, and some 9 months latter twins were born to the couple
First Lady Caroline Longstreet was present in Virginia to see the commissioning of the new Nuclear Attack Submarine named after the state. She then traveled to Mississippi to see to the Commissioning og the Guided Missile cruiser Oklahoma City.
Given the delay in technology, at this point there might still be no probes in the outer system, beyond Mars. But Venus and Mercury might be reachable by probes with TTL current tech.

Edit: missing word added and typo fixed
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It was the opinion of NASA and the Terran Space authority that a manned landing on Mars was unlikely to take place before 2016 at the earliest perhaps even 2018. The two Agencies had sent probes as far as Neptune. In 2011 a probe was sent to Vensus but it only functioned for 20 minutes. . A probe was sent to the dark side of Mercury and it did provide some information.
The Mission to Mars was to be launched from the moon. The Kennedy Lunar facility had grown so that it could handle a population of 2,500. It had a Westing house Nuclear reactor as well as solar power
Lunar Construction was increasing to provide more facilitates. The Ronald Reagan Lunar Center had double the capacity and the Fred Thompson Center was planned this would provide the Lunar Base with living and work space which would allow 20,000 people to stay on the moon.
A large increment like that in the bases capacities should be a mid-term objective (more than a decade, at the very least), something requiring constant investment in time, money, materials and people.
Although the tech is still at otl early 1970's levels, the great powers should start researching pratical ways to, in the future, use lunar (and later martian) materials to use in bases, and thus avoid a large increase in the expenditures related to it (for now, it won't be visible, IMHO, but it'll be helpful in this TTL future).
Money was a problem with regard to the space program. The use of lunar materials to help expand the base and the development of medicines helped to pay for many of the projects. Technology was still struggling to make advances still it was incredibility the advances that had been made. The proposed man landing on Mars once again was pushed further into the future as the two Space Agencies sought a space ship which could make the journey in a timely and safe manner.
President James Longstreet had a conversation with his wife about whether to run for another term i2011 and despite the fact that he was quite popular he leaned against running as two terms were enough. His wife supported his position but his father urged him to run for his Senate seat as he did not feel that he would live out another term. James spoke with the vice President and agreed to endorse Chris Cox for President while he ran for the Senate. Thus in 2012 Chris Cox Became the Nominee of the Nationalist-Republican Party and won the Presidency. James Longstreet IV won the senate seat from Virginia.
The new Senator from Virginia continued to show his support for the space program. His wife spent her time taking care of the children and also delivering speaches in support of Nationalist-Republican Candidates for elective office.
President Cox now had the power and responsibility to run the United States. Of course the fact that his former boss was now a US Senator was both a help and a hindrance.