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OTL: 1968, the Soviet attempt to launch a man to the Moon fails after a test rocket explodes midflight.
POD: In 1961 the Soviet space program, ecstactic at launching the first man into space, decides to aim even higher. They decide to put a man on the moon. At first funding was inadequate for the task, but after John F. Kennedy's announcement that America would put a man on the Moon, funding was more than doubled, meaning that the Soviet rocket was a serious competitor in the space race.