WI George W Bush had become an astronaut?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by aaronupright, Sep 12, 2019 at 5:45 AM.

  1. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Inspired by the realisation he was the only US President to have had a shot, meaning he had the requisite qualifications at the time when the space programme was a thing.

    Since he had fighter time and would have been about 31 when Group 8 (aka TFNG) were selected, lets say he applies and is selected.

    How does that affect his fathers progression? His own political career? If he has a fairly typical career for a pilot in that group, he flies one or two missions in the 1980's. The Challenger disaster probably kibushes his chance of a Command before his Dad becomes President, which will liklely lead to a permenant grounding.

    In OTL he spent several none too successful years in business in the 1980's. Before joining the Texas Rangers ownership group.

    Still do it?
     
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  2. Harry_Z_Trumen Active Member

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    As long as he can still eventually end up as George. W. Bush, the Baseball Commissioner...
     
  3. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

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    "George W Bush, experienced Space Shuttle Pilot, Commander, and son of Vice President George H.W. Bush, just tragically died during the Challenger Accident."

    ... Somewhere in 1986

    This will definitely change the direction of Entire Bush Family Career...

    ...

    Cue President Jeb Bush re-funding the Space Shuttle program to "Keep The Dream of His Brother Alive".
     
  4. Colonel Zoidberg Well-Known Member

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    That and maybe he and Buzz Aldrin can tag team kicking the shit out of that fuckhead who ran up to Aldrin OTL and called the moon landing a hoax.

    Maybe Dubya ends up on Apollo 13, the successful failure, and ends up navigating the 1994 strike as a successful failure as well (the World Series still takes place but they miss a month of games.)
     
  5. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Bit too young for Apollo. But I can see him in Group 8 or Group 9.
    If he gets killed in Challenger, how much would that change the programme....the Vice Presidents would be too high profile.
    Maybe Bush rides a symphaty wave in ‘88?
    Or maybe burying both his eldest daughter and son breaks him.
     
  6. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    The Texans Rangers renamed themselves Astronauts?
     
  7. Sunsummer7 Well-Known Member

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    There would certainly start to be talk of a "Bush curse," similar to the Kennedys. If he runs, he still wins in 1988 and possibly might get re-elected in 1992, and that puts him at the center of an assassination attempt by Saddam.

    Then Jeb! Bush is a Bobby Kennedy figure?
     
  8. Colonel Zoidberg Well-Known Member

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    He could buy the Astros instead; it would be fitting.
     
  9. Workable Goblin Chronicler of the Pony Wars

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    It's probably a modest positive. A number of astronauts have made the leap to politics, though mostly not too successfully aside from John Glenn. Probably more positive is the fact that being an astronaut is almost certainly going to require him to stop drinking earlier than he did IOTL.

    Still, there's a lot of stuff that an astronaut can do that don't involve flying into space. Chief Astronaut, center director, other administrative roles (even Administrator)...although not having a command in his past probably rules him out for a lot of that.

    It's plausible. Frank Borman ran Eastern Air Lines in the 1970s and 1980s, many of the other astronauts got into business as well although I don't think any of them were particularly successful. Bush probably isn't going to be any more successful than the average, considering his OTL experience.
     
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  10. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Ok, let’s say he flies one mission in the mid 80’s and is inline for a second one when Challenger happens. When the programme restarts in the middle of ‘88, the Presidential campaign is in full swing and he is on leave, working in an unofficial capacity with his fathers campaign.

    When his father is elected, he resigns from NASA having been told privately that he would be grounded, unofficially at least, for the entirety of a Bush Presidency. He instead invests in the ownership group of the Texas Rangers....

    So the TL have merged. In OTL, Karl Rove transformed the image of an Ivy League educated man, who was known as a big bookworm, into a good old boy who voters could relate to. Surely, that persona would be impossible for a former astronaut to assume....
     
  11. Workable Goblin Chronicler of the Pony Wars

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    Uh, have you seen astronauts? Good old boys for days...well, admittedly mostly in the pre-Shuttle days, but if you read Mike Mullane's autobiography it was definitely still a thing in the Shuttle days, too. Besides, there's always the old "All-American hero" rebuild. That also works.
     
  12. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Wonder if Space cowboys would count as propaganda here....
     
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  13. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Well, his critics would have a hard time smearing a bonafide astronaut as an illiterate moron... so the go to insult for Dubya is likely something else.
     
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  14. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    a Counter/side butterfly...Bush is the one for challenger,but because how important is the fucking mission now(now only a teacher but the VP Son), they did make better manteniance even if that means a delay..or he die, either one can work
     
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  15. Barry Bull Donor

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    I can see Jeb investing more into the space programme, but not necessarily the shuttle programme.
     
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  16. Barry Bull Donor

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    Did McCain have a chance to be an astronaut if he avoid being captured?
     
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  17. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

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    Redesigned the Space Shuttle, maybe, but not returning to single use rockets... Except as Boosters but...

    Because the concept of Reusable Spacecraft would be always the aim of Space Exploration.
     
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  18. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Yes. But again was probably too late for Apollo.
     
  19. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

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    Better maintenance and triple-checking, due to W Bush present as son of The Vice President might also avert the disaster.

    So...

    How about the next step of Space Shuttle: Return To The Moon, with Commander George W Bush set his foot there somewhere in late 1990s while leading first long-term Moon Colony mission?

    Of course, with space program being more advanced and his connection to Politics, I could see 2000s W. Bush ended up being the Chief Administrator of NASA.
     
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  20. viperjock Well-Known Member

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    If John McCain had not been shot been shot down in 1967 he could have flown one of the early shuttle missions.
    There is a chance he could have made it onto a Apollo mission. Ronald Evans of Apollo 17, the last lunar mission flew a combat tour with VF-51 aboard USS Ticonderoga. Evans was accepted for NASA in April 1966.
     
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