Alternate History

Timeline (Wormwood)

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This is a detailed chronology for the Wormwood timeline. For a more simplified record of events, please see the general timeline.


Large Cold War Map (1970)

The world on the eve of impact

20 July

UTC 20:18 - The date was July 20th, the day that the world had had waited for since the birth of the new century; the day that mankind landed on the moon. For the previous decade, a program of extensive research, experimentation and analysis had been undergone in many national space agencies across the world, the American program NASA being at the forefront of this new period of human exploration since the mid 1960's. Now almost a decade after John F. Kennedy's bold declaration that stated that mankind out stand on the surface of the moon by the end of the decade, all the effort that had gone into expanding the horizons of the human race had paid off with five immortal words; "one small step for man".

UTC 20:35 - Only minutes after the news reached the world of the first man mooned landing, French astronomers working for the Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES) discovered a low magnitude, fast moving asteroid. Quickly moving to search a series of documents regarding the area of space they discovered the new celestial body in, they hastily assumed that it was a then undiscovered 'planetoid', initially calculating the rock's size to be anywhere between 10km to 30km in diameter (a remarkable size for a rock discovered as close as it was to Earth), recording it with the temporary designation of 1969 OM22.

UTC 22:15 - Within hours of the new asteroids discovery, several inconsistencies were realized in the French astronomers initial calculations. The discovery of these types of inconsistencies were usually the norm as calculations based on planetoids diameters and distances from the Earth were often changed after their detection. However, 1969 OM22 was a remarkably different case if the fact that further calculations made after its discovery had found that the asteroid, despite having a smaller diameter than first expected (new calculations shifting the approximate size to 5km to 10km), as traveling towards Earth at a remarkable pace, the first planetoid that had ever been found to be closing in on the planet. With this in mind, several more tests were conducted on the celestial body throughout the following hours, information of this startling new behemoth being spread slowly around the world's space agencies.

21 July

UTC 01:50 - By this time on 21 July, the majority of the worldwide space agencies had been made aware of 1969 OM22. From members of NASA to CNES to the highest ranking members of the British satellite program, all had began to observe this newest of space rocks as it drew ever closer to the planet. Information passed between them as hastily as it could, with detailed updates regarding calculations on its size, apparent magnitude, and distance reaching each and every one of the major astronomical agencies by the time it became bright enough to see through a simple telescope.

UTC 4:30 - Astronomers working within the major space agencies observing 1969 OM22's trajectory begin issuing statements to their national governments alerting them to the potential of an impact within the 48 hours, as calculations regarding the asteroid indicated that a collision was "moderate-to-likely". As the mechanisms regarding collisions and the subsequent fallout were largely unknown at the time, even by scientists working within the observing agencies, most governments responses to the statements would be disorderly.

UTC 6:45 - Corrected distance and trajectory calculations conducted by observers working within NASA lead to predictions that the asteroid, now closer to the Earth than the Moon, would land within 18 hours over Africa or the Indian Ocean. Observers within Europe, the Soviet Union, and South America would later predict an impact anywhere between the Atlantic Ocean and the Middle East.





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