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  1. WI: Falcon Heavy to Mars

    I'm not sure I see the need to redesign Falcon Heavy. With more frequent flights, you wouldn't need to repurpose cores as F9 boosters, just keep them in the FH fleet. The payload fairing issue could be problematic, but would the problem be significant enough to warrent developing an all-new...
  2. WI: Falcon Heavy to Mars

    In September 2016, Elon Musk unveiled his concept for an "Interplanetary Transport System", a fully reusable system for ferying people and equipment between Earth and Mars. This would go on to evolve into the "BFR" and later Starship/Super Heavy. At that time, Falcon 9 had performed its first...
  3. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    Sorry for the lack of updates. As no-one could possibly have predicted, writing of Part 2 is taking a bit longer than hoped. I'm currently about halfway through writing, and have done some work on the models to be used in illustrations, but other committments, personal and professional, mean...
  4. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    Perhaps of interest to followers of this timeline, Hazegrayart has released another YouTube video of the N1-L3. A few details aren't quite right, but the launch sequence in particular is spectacular!
  5. AHC : Soviet Moon Landing With Or Without Korolev Between 1968 and June 1969

    You said landing. Do you need the guy to come back? Because a one-way trip might - just - be doable.
  6. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    Agreed. The CIA had a reasonably good idea of what the N-1 looked like in 1969 (as seen here), so there's no reason they should use an incorrect image by the time of Reagan's presidency. It's a cool video though! I'm tempted to make a TTL version, but probably won't have the time to put it...
  7. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    Nah, that was "Outlander", a.k.a. "The Horny Healer" :) Personally, I'm enjoying FAM on its own terms as a drama, with some cool visuals and overall hopeful message. It isn't plausible AH, but I don't really feel the need for it to be, as long as the characters and the plot engage me (I also...
  8. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    Maybe, but that's been done :) To expand a little though, my feeling is that, if the objective is just to get the N-1 flying, they were actually agonisingly close IOTL, with an uprated launcher ready to go just a month or two after Glushko canned the programme, and several more in various...
  9. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    This wraps up Part 1 of A Sound of Thunder. I hope you enjoyed it! Part 2 is in preparation, and while I don’t expect it to take the several years that Part 1 did, I’m afraid it will be a number of months. Early 2023 is likely, as in addition to the writing I have a number of new, detailed...
  10. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster
    Threadmarks: Post 13: Another Small Step

    Post 13: Another Small Step "What struck me most was the silence. It was a great silence, unlike any I have encountered on Earth, so vast and deep that I began to hear my own body: my heart beating, my blood vessels pulsing, even the rustle of my muscles moving over each other seemed audible...
  11. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    So, I'm back from holiday, but am travelling again on Friday, so I've decided to break my usual schedule a bit more and post this Interlude on Monday rather than Tuesday, with the final Post of Part 1 coming out on Thursday.
  12. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster
    Threadmarks: Interlude : Zvezda 2

    Interlude : Zvezda 2 - 29th April 1981, near-Moon space. No other humans have seen this for over eight years. That was the thought that came to Yevgenii Vassil’evich Khrunov’s mind as he looked out of the LEK commander’s window to the lunar landscape rolling slowly past a thousand kilometres...
  13. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    And of course the ever-insightful Mr. Banks of Portsmouth has been warning of Soviet lunar ambitions since Zond 13 :biggrin:
  14. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    "Houston, we've had a typo!" Fixed, thanks!
  15. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    Small admin note: I've managed to make a bit of a scheduling faux-pas, as I'm about to go on holiday for a week, so the next Post - the last post of Part 1! - will likely be delayed a week. Sorry about that.
  16. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster
    Threadmarks: Post 12: Testing Times

    Post 12: Testing Times “Houston is go for sep, have a great flight.” “OK, Enterprise is, ah, set. [Unintelligible]. And stand by for the bang, Gordo.” [Unintelligible] “Launch ready” “Phase one, sep. Phase two, clear.” - Transcript from Space Shuttle Enterprise Approach and Landing...
  17. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster
    Threadmarks: Interlude : Seven Minutes

    Interlude : Seven Minutes Ivan Smirnov watched his instruments show the descent stage entering the planet’s upper atmosphere. Grasping the heavy headphones to his ears, he stared at the oscilloscope screen in front of him, waiting. The hisses and pops of random radio noise were all he could...
  18. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    I have the impression that IOTL Shield 2 was more a proof-of-concept than an operational weapon, and that is definitely the case ITTL. Also, don’t forget the Soviets already have their Polet co-orbital ASAT in operations (as mentioned in Post 4). I accelerated the TKS timeline a little...
  19. A Sound of Thunder: The Rise of the Soviet Superbooster

    Well, "just" is doing a lot of work there! Astronautix seems to be down again, so I can't check my original source, but IIRC this was a reactor that never finished development and was put on a slow development track in the late '60s, so by the time Glushko is looking into reactivating the...
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