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Old 05-26-2009, 06:29 AM
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BigBlue2 BigBlue2 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia. Ursprünglich Kurfürstentum Braunschweig-Lüneburg
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Default Re: Alternate Timeline of the 20th Century Part IV (1951-1975)

Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
Another nit to pick: as to the US probe landing on the Moon, I think that the first US probe to make it there would likely be a flyby, as the Ranger spacecraft had been in our timeline. The later Rangers got closeups by crashing into the Moon and radioing back pictures as it approached.
They would have done that, it just wasn't mentioned.

Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
Australia as an advanced country is interesting, but landing people on the Moon may have been a bit too expensive. I think that a more likely direction would have been what the US, the Soviet Union, and the ESA have done in our timeline and yours -- send automated spacecraft farther and farther, competing with other nations that were doing so.

I think that Australia may have been doing what Japan has been doing in our timeline -- investing heavily in automation and industrial robotics -- because of a shortage of cheap labor. So automated spacecraft would be a good proof-of-concept, especially automated interplanetary ones.
All good points. As MonCapitan mentioned, Australia's population is significantly higher than in OTL (in the late sixties it would have been around 24 million) and the government has poured an enormous amount of money into scientific research since the 1930's. Australia takes the place of the Soviet Union as America's rival in the space race (as do the French and Germans), so they would think that the expense of getting somone to the moon is money well spent. Once the moon missions are complete, both countries join the Franco-German agency in sending unmanned probes to various planets. The three major agencies also collaborate in building a space station by the end of the 1970's.

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