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Ad Astra

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Ad Astra is a timeline that explores what would happen if the Soviet Union stayed in the Space Race. Multiple Points of Divergence are located throughout the timeline, but most of them are clustered in the 1960's. The most critical ones to the timeline are:

  • Nikita Khrushchev stayed in office.
  • The Soviet Manned Lunar Program started 4 years earlier.
  • The Soviets managed to merge the competing rocket design teams under the Soviet Aerospace Bureau.
  • The N-1 rocket's bottom stages were revised to use the RD-270, a massive engine similar to the F-1.

These changes allowed the Soviets to launch the N-1 only hours after the Saturn V. The craft, dubbed Lunokhod 8, was crewed by Alexey Leonov, Yevgeny Khrunov, and Valeri Kubasov. The Lenin LK Lander landed on the moon on July 21, 0:21 UTC, again only hours after the Apollo 11. The Soviets, in a rare public display, brung along TV cameras and transmited the landings live. Alexey Leonov becames the second person on the moon on July 21, 1969, 8:53 UTC. His first words, "We have touched the stars.", went down as one of the most famous quotes in history. After the two historic missions ended, the astronauts were greeted as heroes. Parades around both blocs welcomed the astronauts home, but the leaders of the West and East were already planning the next mission behind closed doors.

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