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Sputniks : An Alternate Space Race

A space-focused timeline by neopeius. It is a complete dice-rerolling history of the Space Race with a PoD of October 4, 1957. Thus, while many analogous things happen, and many of the same players are involved, the story is completely different. The timeline will go through 1973. It is based on a multi-player simulation of the period run from 2002-2011. Equal time is given to the Soviets and Americans.

As of March 2012, it is 1968 in the timeline; the original thread and comments can be read on the forum here.


Post 1: The International Geophysical Year (IGY), 1957-1958; largely OTL, but no Russian dog in space

Post 2: American unmanned launches and booster development, 1959 to mid-1961: largely OTL

Post 3: Russian unmanned launches and booster development 1959 to mid-1961: Largely OTL, but OKB-586 (Yangel) develops the R-12 booster early, paving the way for miniaturized satellites

Post 4: Manned flights, 1959 to April 1961: Soviets have first space/orbital shot (“Nievo”) October 1960

Post 5: Manned flights: April and May 1961: American first foray in space is a single-orbiting X-15b. Second Soviet cosmonaut dies in orbit

Post 6: Mid-1961 to December 1962: Kennedy nixes support for comsats; both superpowers start plans for spaceplanes, milsats, spysats and scisats in profusion; NRO formed, takes over military space surveillance; Korolev falls out with Glushko, hires Kuznetzov earlier than OTL

Post 7: Mid-1961 to December 1962: Manned American “Magellan” (Mercury analog) suborbital flights start. Soviet manned flights continue—first double capsule launch, first woman in space (Sokolova, who dies during reentry, though press reports Tereshkova actually flew, and she takes credit for the flight). First American orbiting Magellan. Cuban Missile Crisis ends peacefully with both sides tacitly respecting Cuban autonomy

Post 8: 1963-64: Russian unmanned probe and booster developments and an abortive coup

Post 9: American unmanned, 1963-64: Military commsats, X-20 completed, Americans have first probe to Venus, explore the moon

Post 10: Manned spaceflight, 1963-64: Magellan wraps up, Soviets launch two-man spacecraft (Novii Nievo), cosmonaut dies in first spacewalk, President Kennedy assassinated, Delphi (American two-man) craft has first flight


Sputniks was nominated for a Turtledove Award in 2011.

timelines/sputniks.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/05 22:23 by petike