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Apollo Lunar Programme continued

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In an alternate world where the USA avoided the trauma of Vietnam and LBJ won a second term the Apollo moon and earth orbit programmes continued into the 70s as originally planned.
Assuming that a similarly pro Apollo President had succeeded Johnson in 1973 and the US economy continued to flourish, what would the NASA programme have evolved into and what problems might moon and orbital bases have encountered?
 

dumpster4

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Well, for one thing, there would have been an increased chance of radiation problems if the moon landings had continued. There was a close call back in 1972 as it was:

"Occurring between Apollo missions, the storm has long been chronicled within NASA. Apollo 16 had returned home in April, and the final Apollo mission was a Moon landing planned for the following December. Those inside an Apollo command module would be shielded from 90% of incoming radiation, which could still have exposed astronauts to radiation sickness if they were located outside the protective magnetic field of Earth, which was the case for much of a lunar mission. A moonwalker or one on EVA in orbit could have faced severe acute illness and potentially a nearly universally fatal dose. An enhanced risk of contracting cancer would have been unavoidable regardless of the location of astronauts or spacecraft. This is one of only a handful of solar storms occurring in the Space Age that could cause severe illness, and was the most hazardous thus far.[45] Had the most intense solar activity of early August occurred during a mission it would have forced contingency measures up to an emergency return landing for medical treatment."

See:




Another incident occurred in 2005:

"January 2005 was a stormy month in space. With little warning, a giant spot materialized on the sun and started exploding. From Jan. 15 through Jan. 19, sunspot 720 produced four powerful solar flares. When it exploded a fifth time on Jan. 20, onlookers were not surprised.

The sun-lit side of the moon is totally exposed to solar flares. It has no atmosphere or magnetic field to deflect radiation. Protons rushing at the moon simply hit the ground or whoever might be walking around outside. An astronaut on the moon, caught outdoors on Jan. 20, would have had almost no time to dash for shelter, and would have become sick. At first, he'd feel fine, but a few days later, symptoms of radiation sickness would appear: vomiting, fatigue, low blood counts. These symptoms might persist for days."

See:

 

archipeppe

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This particular Solar Flare event was widely illustrated into the James Michener's novel "Space" back in the 80's.
It was linked to a fictional and tragic Apollo 18 mission.

Returning to the topic if NASA would committed to continue Apollo Program (so no Shuttle at all), there were already ready plan for it:


In the framework of AAP only the Orbital Wet Workshop later Orbital Dry Workshop (namely the Skylab) really happened in our history.
 

Archibald

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I'm working my way through my own Apollo TL. An amazing place that lost to Hadley in the run up to Apollo 15 landing site was the Marius Hills. Only in 2009 did Kaguya discovered that there might be giant underground lava tubes there; good places to set a lunar base away from a very unfriendly surface - dust, radiations, temperature shifts...
So whatif Apollo had been aware of the existence of these lava tubes, made some limited exploration, and perhaps set a lunar base underground ?

What I've discovered checking the LPI picture datavase is that, in August 1967 Lunar Orbiter 5, frame 214 H-2, missed "Kaguya stunning discovery of 2009" - a huge skylight, the collapsed roof of a big lava tube beneath - by merely a mile.

So my POD is that Lunar Orbiter 5 is a little luckier and snaps a stunning picture of that pitch black, 200 feet wide gapping skylight. This turns Apollo and AAP on their heads at a crucial juncture.
By summer 1967 while AAP budget was properly massacred by Congress, the Apollo geologists had a huge meeting in Santa Cruz. Lunar Orbiter 5 flew the same month - now imagine how big a splash would a skylight high-res picture make, on the scientists, and on the congressmen...

Next step: in order to get even better pictures of the skylight, NASA tries to bring back the freshly cancelled Project UPWARD; the Lunar Mapping and Survey System (Archipeppe, you are certainly familiar with this one...) It was canned by Seamans late July 1967, just as Lunar Orbiter 5 launched to the Moon.

This adds some spysat and Cold War background to the whole story. Part sci-fi, part techno-thriller.
 

Archibald

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YEEES I had forgotten this gem !

Forget to add: look at "Reiner Gamma anomaly" near the Marius Hills. This looks like a real world AMT-1. I mean, really.
 

Michel Van

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you need the Soviet also in Game, mean they get to Moon and land there
in Reaction the USA will keep Apollo running order new Hardware...
 

Grey Havoc

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The resources being squandered on the 'Great Society' would still be a problem though, as in our timeline.
 

PMN1

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I'm working my way through my own Apollo TL. An amazing place that lost to Hadley in the run up to Apollo 15 landing site was the Marius Hills. Only in 2009 did Kaguya discovered that there might be giant underground lava tubes there; good places to set a lunar base away from a very unfriendly surface - dust, radiations, temperature shifts...
So whatif Apollo had been aware of the existence of these lava tubes, made some limited exploration, and perhaps set a lunar base underground ?

What I've discovered checking the LPI picture datavase is that, in August 1967 Lunar Orbiter 5, frame 214 H-2, missed "Kaguya stunning discovery of 2009" - a huge skylight, the collapsed roof of a big lava tube beneath - by merely a mile.

So my POD is that Lunar Orbiter 5 is a little luckier and snaps a stunning picture of that pitch black, 200 feet wide gapping skylight. This turns Apollo and AAP on their heads at a crucial juncture.
By summer 1967 while AAP budget was properly massacred by Congress, the Apollo geologists had a huge meeting in Santa Cruz. Lunar Orbiter 5 flew the same month - now imagine how big a splash would a skylight high-res picture make, on the scientists, and on the congressmen...

Next step: in order to get even better pictures of the skylight, NASA tries to bring back the freshly cancelled Project UPWARD; the Lunar Mapping and Survey System (Archipeppe, you are certainly familiar with this one...) It was canned by Seamans late July 1967, just as Lunar Orbiter 5 launched to the Moon.

This adds some spysat and Cold War background to the whole story. Part sci-fi, part techno-thriller.

Any movement on this timeline?
 

Archibald

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I have to get it out my "HD ghetto" but it's... complicated.

Any advice would be welcome...
 

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