Ocean of Storms: A Timeline of A Scientific America

“This is called the Energia, or ‘Energy’ system. Energia is a completely new launch platform. It’s powered by the four boosters seen here. Each of which has the Russian RD-170 engine. The main core has four of the RD-120’s. There are outlines for both if you look at the second tab in your binders.
The RD-120, is that a difference from OTL, a US inteligence community failure, or an accidental typo given that the Energia core engines were the RD-0120 in OTL?
 
little nitpick here, the russians don't use a countdown
That's interesting. Thanks for sharing. I didn't know that. Cultural bias I suppose, but I'd always assumed everyone did that.

Gotta admit like the others I thought this would make one hell of a movie.
I kind of melded elements of Hunt For Red October and Storming Intrepid (which I maintain would be the best movie ever if someone would just make it). If you know any aspiring filmmakers looking for ideas, send them my way.

The RD-120, is that a difference from OTL, a US inteligence community failure, or an accidental typo given that the Energia core engines were the RD-0120 in OTL?
My God
my god.png
This is far better than For all mankind. And the intensely beautiful Judith Resnik makes it even better.

I read a biography of Astronaut Resnik when I was young. It left an impression all these years later. I think she would have gone on to do great things after Challenger.
 
Really good chapter with a whole bunch of cool ideas. Interesting that you chose to keep Buran visually identical to OTL, though I'm guessing it would look somewhat different from the images you used. I'm really interested in knowing how it would look like internally, such as would this version of Buran have half or more of its payload bay be replaced by an internal hydrogen tank?

Also wouldn't it have made more sense for a new Soviet shuttle to be an upscaled lifting body like the MiG-105 since they had already done the R&D for such design rather than starting fresh on a completely new airframe design? They did look into such a design when they were designing OTL Buran with NPO Molniya's 305-1 orbiter, though admittedly there isn't much information about it other than a few interpretive images.
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That or maybe have gone with something even wackier like a nuclear version of Glushko’s MTKVP...
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Either way, very cool new design that leaves me wondering if the US will stick with its smaller clippers into the future or will respond with a new larger Shuttle to match the soviets, maybe something to do with the SCRAMJET project hinted at in the previous chapters (Scramjets + Shuttle + Nuclear engine = FAM Pathfinder? gotta protect James- I mean Moonbase somehow).

Anyways, very exciting stuff, and can't wait for the next chapter.
 
Really good chapter with a whole bunch of cool ideas. Interesting that you chose to keep Buran visually identical to OTL, though I'm guessing it would look somewhat different from the images you used. I'm really interested in knowing how it would look like internally, such as would this version of Buran have half or more of its payload bay be replaced by an internal hydrogen tank?
laws of aerodynamics did not change, so the exterior would be roughly the same
 
Excellent chapter as always, @BowOfOrion! It got me thinking about the state of the Soviet Union ITTL - by this point IOTL, the Soviet economy's starting to wobble. You've noted in canon that one of the three big economic stressors (Afghanistan) still occurs ITTL, and the second (the Armenian Earthquake) takes place a mere handful of hours after the last update. You've not mentioned anything about whether or not the third elephant in the room (the one outside of Pripyat) still takes place (perhaps it got butterflied away by increased nuclear safety standards in the wake of Дальше?), but regardless of whether or not that takes place, might the costly failures of the Soviet space program (coupled with Afghanistan, with another potential looming disaster in Armenia) lead to a quicker (or at least similar-speed-as-OTL) Soviet collapse?

Looking forward to more!
 
laws of aerodynamics did not change, so the exterior would be roughly the same
Fair enough, though that doesn't mean that another design could have been used or adapted considering the different circumstances of TTL, especially since lifting body spacecraft like the Clipper and the MiG-105 already are flying and would be well understood compared to that of body and wing spacecraft. But really I'm more curious about the circumstances that led to Buran looking the way it does, whether it be an actual technical reason or more because the author just wanted to maintain the iconic double delta shuttle/Buran design in some form even in TTL.
 
Fair enough, though that doesn't mean that another design could have been used or adapted considering the different circumstances of TTL, especially since lifting body spacecraft like the Clipper and the MiG-105 already are flying and would be well understood compared to that of body and wing spacecraft. But really I'm more curious about the circumstances that led to Buran looking the way it does, whether it be an actual technical reason or more because the author just wanted to maintain the iconic double delta shuttle/Buran design in some form even in TTL.
It's a bit of both. I was thinking that the Russians might have seen proposals for a larger Clipper (essentially OTL Shuttle) and decided to try that instead of carbon-copying Clipper. If you don't know that Shuttle isn't all it's cracked up to be, it seems like an amazing technological advance.

One of the main theses of Ocean of Storms is that OTL Shuttle was a great concept, but it got bogged down by too many cooks in the kitchen, demanding too many different types of missions and capabilities (many of which never came to fruition). In OoS, Clippers and Cargo Clippers (Space Trucks!) have different roles, are less technically challenging to fly and maintain, and can operate independently of each other when necessary.

Having said that, it seemed a shame to not utilize at least some of the amazing Buran artwork that's available, to say nothing of the long-standing AH concept of echoing.

Excellent chapter as always, @BowOfOrion! It got me thinking about the state of the Soviet Union ITTL - by this point IOTL, the Soviet economy's starting to wobble. You've noted in canon that one of the three big economic stressors (Afghanistan) still occurs ITTL, and the second (the Armenian Earthquake) takes place a mere handful of hours after the last update. You've not mentioned anything about whether or not the third elephant in the room (the one outside of Pripyat) still takes place (perhaps it got butterflied away by increased nuclear safety standards in the wake of Дальше?), but regardless of whether or not that takes place, might the costly failures of the Soviet space program (coupled with Afghanistan, with another potential looming disaster in Armenia) lead to a quicker (or at least similar-speed-as-OTL) Soviet collapse?

Looking forward to more!
I had been debating answering the Pripyat question in some form during this chapter. I've honestly not delved too deep into Soviet terrestrial policies just because that can become a labyrinth of exposition if given the opportunity. I did have a fun little easter egg in mind that may shed some light on this issue, but if it appears, it will likely be three chapters from now.

I've spent the last two days outlining the next two chapters (not that it always stays that way once I start writing it). With the quasi-epic length of Icewar, I'm going to try and give a shorter chapter that takes less time to put out (no guarantees). With any luck, the juices will start flowing on "XLIII: Quo Vadimus?"
 
laws of aerodynamics did not change, so the exterior would be roughly the same
The laws of aerodynamics don't change, but the requirements probably do. Buran was a political requirement to match an American craft, and with different American craft, you wouldn't see the same requirement. In particular it's very clear the Clippers do not have STS-level crossrange, and thus while something with more crossrange than MTKVP might be selected, nothing on the order of STS (which most all the Soviet engineers thought was pretty nutty, leaving only "the Americans will be using it as a secret weapon" as the reason for it, and thus the need to copy it) would be proceeded with IMO.

@BowOfOrion I very much enjoyed the update, as always! Very thrillerific!
 
Clippers are basically BOR-4/HL-20 shaped, which while it doesn't quite have the same cross range, it's still substantive, and probably over 500 miles from LEO.
In theory, you could get a higher cross-range capability with a lifting body more along the lines of the Lockheed Starclipper and its derivatives, since they could match the USAF requirements.
 
About the only reason I see for more than 500 miles cross-range would be to facilitate an emergency mid-ocean return.
 
About the only reason I see for more than 500 miles cross-range would be to facilitate an emergency mid-ocean return.
Unless of course, you wanted to do a once-around mission to polar orbits, which then you would require the 1000+ mile range, though that is a very specific and technical mission set that would rarely happen if ever.
 
"Each footstep came with a faint but satisfying crunch, like biting into a perfect piece of fried chicken." - exquisite!

Thanks for another cracking update.

As with all TLs which explore US-Soviet cooperation in space, I'll be interested in the fine details of technology exchange and the furious response from the intelligence communities.
 
After finding and reading this entire TL for the past week I gotta say it's amazing! Hell I wished I lived in this TL and were not even in the 90s yet XD can't wait to see how far technology goes the closer to the present it gets.
 
After finding and reading this entire TL for the past week I gotta say it's amazing! Hell I wished I lived in this TL and were not even in the 90s yet XD can't wait to see how far technology goes the closer to the present it gets.
Welcome to the show that never ends!
 
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