Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

"Alexei, all I'm saying is you can use a smaller hammer occasionally"
"And what occasions are those German"?
"Well, days of the week with a G in them for example".
And that was how the fight started...
Looked up Alexi on wikipedia. Assigning him to a mission is going to guarantee that something goes wrong.
The funny part was no matter what went wrong, he always got out alive. Trapped outside the capsule? Let air out of your suit to get back in. Trapped in the middle of Siberia after coming down hundreds of km off course? No problem. Stalked by wolves with only a pistol...
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10 cents for every time somebody thinks somebody else is not listening and makes remarks he does not want the listener to listen to

and I would call Bill Gates my poor neighbor.
Ben and the crew should get together and buy Alexi a set of hammers. But only tiny ones like a doctor's reflex hammer or something like engraver's or watchmaker's hammers.

Call it a set of precision instruments for percussive maintenance.
Seeing as how the ESA seems to have astronauts from all over, TTL space race seems to be the Rest of the World vs. the Americans (who are playing catch-up).
I have also had to perform percussive maintenance on a computer to get the damn thing to work. This was a common occurrence, there was even an "X" taped on the side to show you where to... adjust... the system. Cooling fan kept seizing causing the computer to 'freeze' as it overheated. It was the late 1980s/early 1990s & the boss was to cheap to replace it, so I can understand Alexi's methodology, especially with 1960s tech.
“I also saw who her First Officer and Systems Operator are going to be” Ben said, “Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov. Don’t get me wrong, I admire the skills of our Russian partners in the ESA. But Leonov though? His idea of fixing things is hitting it with a hammer, if that doesn’t work, find a bigger hammer.”

“How do you know this?” Brown asked.

“I saw it play itself put in Peenemünde” Ben replied, “To fix computer, I hit with six-hundred-gram hammer, now I try five-kilogram sledgehammer. It will work.”
Once the magic smoke has escaped, it is too late for percussive maintenance. Percussive frustration relief, maybe.
Nah, early electronics were much more robust; smoke was simply one of their error codes. Percussive maintenance might actually reseat the thing causing the problem and stop the smoke. Not uncommon to see char marks when opening up those old boxes.

Al Bean said never go to the moon without a hammer.
There are going to be enormous butterflies in the American space program, first off IOTL President Eisenhower was the one who decided that the astronauts were to be military test pilots and they were sold to the American people as being the best pilots in the world.
ITTL with the way the Germans went with how they selected their astronauts the need for only test pilots may be determined to be a bit of an overkill and this may open up to other types of pilots.
First Sigi and now Kita Ayano going in to space and Sigi commanding the next mission will put pressure on the American government to open the space program to women and along with the fact that Sigi is a helicopter pilot instead of being a "Jet Jockey" will put to rest of " Test Pilots Only" mentality.
It will be pointed out that women weigh less, came handle higher G-forces then men, and most importantly tax the life support systems at a much lower rate then men.
One thing to keep in mind in this TL is, can the USA afford a space program like OTL?

Imo we have heard very little in the recent time about the situation "over there".

Some points to make are the massive lack of foreign losses to the USA as was the case in OTL. Add that the USA is much less industriall and technological prevelent then OTL and we get into the monetary thing. The brain should be there, but could be hindered by various factors forcing the smartest and brightest into paths that are not pure science and such.
And lastly the whole race situation is a big black hole Imo. Made even worse becasue the Euros work together with their enemies of old. See the Russian and Japanese personel. On the other hand, we have heard nothing after the flare ups here and there on how the USA has dealt with the internal situation.

And that is one point I would love to get more info on in TL. How is the situation in the USA right now with race relations as a view point.

On the other hand, I am realy enjoying a TL that is not "favoring" the USA over all others and shows how the world could develope without an overwhelming USA influence...
Part 107, Chapter 1742
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Forty-two

13th August 1966

Pohnpei Island, Caroline Islands

When Suga’s father had arrived on the island, she had fallen right into her accustomed role within the Japanese Court. It was something that both Freddy and Kiki had poked fun at her about. There was no malice in that, just the observation of how these things were ingrained into all of them. Kiki had dozens of stories about the absurd number of unwritten rules and expectations that she had been forced to follow as the daughter of Kira Kirillovna. Freddy had said he went through something similar, except for him it was as the Crown Prince, so there had been no lifting of them like there had been for Kiki after her mother had passed away.

As they had been talking, Suga had realized that Kiki’s entire life, her career, military service, and even her choice of swimwear on this trip were in rebellion against her mother’s dictates. Much of that would have been completely scandalous just a generation earlier. Louis Ferdinand chose to ignore the more risqué aspects of what Kiki was doing, focusing instead on her following through on her ambition to become an Emergency Surgeon. Only Charlotte had commented, saying that if Kiki had the body to wear something like that and wasn’t embarrassed then more power to her. The beach that the Imperial family was using was closed off from prying eyes, so it really didn’t matter. Ben Hirsch naming a Lunar “sea” on the far side of the moon for Kiki had come as a surprise, though not a welcome one. It had renewed speculation by the press about the extent of their involvement at a time when Kiki’s hope was that she could do her Medical Internship quietly over the coming months.

The conference had adjourned with the agreement that they would hold more conferences in the future. Considering some of the thorny issues that had been discussed, that was quite a good outcome. Afterwards, Suga couldn’t help but noticing that none of the delegations seemed to be in a rush to get anywhere. The reason why quickly became apparent, all anyone would have to do was look at the nearest television set to see why. Amicitia III was due to splash down in the Central Pacific and when the crew was picked up, they would be brought here after routine medical checks as had been planned months earlier. It seemed like everyone in the Eastern Pacific Region had an interest in the mission of Taxidiotis III. The Australians were perfectly happy to claim Captain Brown as a native son even if he was from Scotland. Doctor Kita was from Japan. The mission itself had been launched from Vietnam and the launch facility in Cam Ranh employed people from pretty much everywhere. At that very moment, dozens of ships and aircraft were converging on the patch of ocean where the splashdown was estimated to take place.

The thing that surprised Suga the most was her own parents when it came to Mirai. They had always been distant to Suga, now they were doting grandparents and she was having a hard time squaring those two things. It was also at odds with certain assumptions that Suga herself had made about how they would receive her daughter.

Pacific Ocean, East of the Mariana Islands

After a week spent with floating in space in microgravity, gravity had reasserted itself in a hurry as Amicitia III had plunged into the atmosphere. Ben had heard that reentry was the most harrowing part of the entire journey. Waltz Center in Peenemünde had wished them luck as they had passed over Europe on their way towards the Central Pacific. It had been then that Ben had the intrusive thought that it was the Thomas Kolman Waltz Research and Training Center, named for the first Raumfahrer who had died in orbit. The exact cause of his death was still unknown, it had been the botched reentry that had seen to that. Baikonur and Cam Ranh had checked in briefly right before they entered reentry blackout. Three minutes cut off from communication by an envelope of ionized air around the capsule.

“We’re in for quite a ride” Captain Brown said with a slight smile as the noise from outside the capsule grew louder and Ben wondered if Winkle really felt the confidence that he projected, or it was all a show that he put on for the benefit of others. Thinking back to the War Academy at University, Ben remembered what Major Armbruster said that the real meaning leadership was to be was found in the moment when others were frozen in fear, you were the one who moved forward and the others would follow for lack of better ideas. That was exactly what Brown was doing at that moment, though they were all strapped into what was about to become a meteor.

Ben watched the altimeter spiraled down and could see the glow in the corner of his eye through the window. He would have preferred to be piloting his own airplane, being the passenger really was the pits. Then the noise died down followed by the shriek of wind, then came a loud thud as the drogue chutes deployed and the shriek gradually lowered in pitch. Then the main parachutes deployed, and Ben could see the white and orange synth-silk canopies through the window.

“Welcome home, Amicitia” A voice said over the radio, “This is SMS Boelcke, do you copy.”

“This is Amicitia” Ben said into the microphone, “Happy to be home, over.”

A minute later the window was covered in water as the capsule hit the water and the flotation devices deployed.
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