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Noclevername
2014-Feb-11, 02:03 AM
Trying my hand at alternate history again. This time I'm going where everyone else has been, and I'm wondering if the Big One could have turned into a space race. So during the war, could rocketry have advanced quickly enough to put a person from either side in orbit? What would have had to go differently?

WayneFrancis
2014-Feb-11, 02:17 AM
Without extending the length of the war? I think it could have it the need came up. What drove the space race was political fear. During war that was even greater but there was not enough of a threat. Accidents would also be more acceptable to society so something like the Apollo 1 accident would not have been a delaying factor like it was. You just have to come up with a scenario that would cause the race to escalate during the war and add in a fair bit more accidents on both sides that would have resulted in the rapid development. That is my opinion tho.

Jens
2014-Feb-11, 04:44 AM
Trying my hand at alternate history again. This time I'm going where everyone else has been, and I'm wondering if the Big One could have turned into a space race. So during the war, could rocketry have advanced quickly enough to put a person from either side in orbit? What would have had to go differently?

I think it could have been done, if the resources had been dumped into it. The problem really is that there isn't any benefit that would have come from it.

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-11, 05:22 AM
Starting when? The farther back you put the first change in
the history, the more primitive rocketry was, and the longer
it would take to develop manned spaceflight. The later you
start, the less time you have to finish by 1945, and the less
resources will be available to Germany because of the war.
Von Braun and the others into rocketry were amateurs before
the war. They had very little money or resources. They could
not do anything without a lot of help. But the government
wouldn't have been able to do much without them. It would
have taken years longer to develop something like the V2.
If instead of developing the V2 they tried to put a man into
orbit, they would have required more time and more resources,
but maybe not that much more time and not that many more
resources. Up and down flight in 1944 or 1945, maybe? Orbit
in 1946 or 1947, maybe? It would require bigger engines,
multiple engines on one vehicle, some kind of staging, and a
far better, more capable guidence and steering system. A tall
order for rapid development.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

galacsi
2014-Feb-11, 02:27 PM
Technically yes , after all the first russians and americans serious rockets were derived from the german V2. But remember that Werner Von Braun has been very near being arrested and deported because he was accused of daydreaming about travel in space and to the moon instead of buiding bigger rockets for the fuhrer !

JustAFriend
2014-Feb-11, 02:31 PM
It's not like they weren't trying:

http://greyfalcon.us/Sanger.htm

Swift
2014-Feb-11, 03:29 PM
Without extending the length of the war? I think it could have it the need came up. What drove the space race was political fear. During war that was even greater but there was not enough of a threat. Accidents would also be more acceptable to society so something like the Apollo 1 accident would not have been a delaying factor like it was. You just have to come up with a scenario that would cause the race to escalate during the war and add in a fair bit more accidents on both sides that would have resulted in the rapid development. That is my opinion tho.
As WayneFrancis says, I think it more likely if the war had lasted longer (IIRC, that has been the idea in at least one alternative history SF story, which had the war lasting into the early 50s). And as part of a war effort, more risks and casualties would have been accepted.

But, as Jens asks, one has to wonder what would have been the benefit

PetTastic
2014-Feb-11, 05:59 PM
It's not like they weren't trying:

http://greyfalcon.us/Sanger.htm

There was a lot of pressure during the war for bombers and fighters to fly higher and higher.
I think the natural evolution of this would have been sub orbital space planes if the war had continued.
I am not sure there was any equivalent motivation for manned rockets or orbital space stations.

redshifter
2014-Feb-11, 06:30 PM
I agree that WWII would have had to last longer before putting people in orbit/space race would have been an active part of the war. However, I think a more logical 'alternative history' and an intermediate step before manned spaceflight might be putting A bombs on ballistic missiles. Imagine if Germany developed A bombs the same time they developed V-2's. Or if we developed viable rockets to mount A bombs.

slang
2014-Feb-11, 11:08 PM
There was a lot of pressure during the war for bombers and fighters to fly higher and higher.
I think the natural evolution of this would have been sub orbital space planes if the war had continued.
I am not sure there was any equivalent motivation for manned rockets or orbital space stations.

Higher to escape FLAK... Then again, if rockets were developed for space faster, maybe SAMs would have arrived faster too.

Solfe
2014-Feb-12, 02:18 AM
I would like to think that a lot the concepts of spaceflight was developed in WWII. Clarke was a radar operator and he was thinking about what could be done at the time. A simple camera, weather or communication satellite would have been an awesome advantage in WWII, but no one thought to do it because no one knew how important it would be.

WWII also provide a reason and ability to send so many people to college, which dumped a lot of great minds into the future space race. It is a lot harder to work with people who are not inclined to do the work or don't have the education.

wwheaton
2014-Feb-12, 02:38 AM
I think it could, if it had had the urgency and funding of the atomic bomb program. (Of course Germany did not have the resources that the US had, so one must take note of that.) The Germans were fairly far along on their A9/A10 program, designed to bomb New York with an "Antipodal Bomber" that would take off from Europe and land in Japan. And we got to the Moon in only eight years, from project start in May 1961 to July 1969.

Humans can do great things, in a real pinch.

PetTastic
2014-Feb-12, 03:00 PM
Higher to escape FLAK... Then again, if rockets were developed for space faster, maybe SAMs would have arrived faster too.

I think SAM technology could not have moved forward unless the war continued a way beyond 1948-52 with invention of usable transistors.
Valves and high G rockets do not mix.

Extravoice
2014-Feb-12, 03:23 PM
There was a lot of pressure during the war for bombers and fighters to fly higher and higher.

Although that didn't work out too well when bombing Japan because of the difficulty in targeting.
As I understand it, LeMay gave up on high-altitude precision bombing and went for low altitude incendiary bombing because of this.

PetTastic
2014-Feb-12, 03:57 PM
Although that didn't work out too well when bombing Japan because of the difficulty in targeting.
As I understand it, LeMay gave up on high-altitude precision bombing and went for low altitude incendiary bombing because of this.

This is not really my area, but I was under the impression that the B-29s only switched from 30,000 ft down to 4,500–8,000 ft after most of Japan's air defences had been neutralised.
In Europe most carpet bombing with incendiaries was done from high altitude.

Extravoice
2014-Feb-12, 04:02 PM
I'm not an expert either, so take my comments with the appropriate quantity of salt.
I can certainly understand the desire to fly above air defenses...especially if you were one of the flight crews.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-12, 06:48 PM
So what I'm getting here to reach the OP goal is:

--Start rocketry earlier

--extend the war a few years, but not until transistors

--Possibly make it a cold war (which would make for a very different 1940s and possibly most of the 1930s.)

--No atom bombs

glappkaeft
2014-Feb-12, 07:26 PM
This is not really my area, but I was under the impression that the B-29s only switched from 30,000 ft down to 4,500–8,000 ft after most of Japan's air defences had been neutralised.
In Europe most carpet bombing with incendiaries was done from high altitude.

The main reason for switching to low altitude bombing was that the jet stream over Japan made accurate high altitude bombing impossible. Flying lower allowed B-29s to carry more bombs and didn't put the same strain on its engines (which tended to catch fire a lot) and improved accuracy. Japan never had much in the way of air defences, one symptom of this was that many of the defensive guns where removed from many B-29 to allow them to reach higher speeds and carry even more bombs.

Nick Theodorakis
2014-Feb-13, 02:44 AM
I think SAM technology could not have moved forward unless the war continued a way beyond 1948-52 with invention of usable transistors.
Valves and high G rockets do not mix.

How many g's does an artillery shell pull? Proximity-fused artillery shells used in WWII had radar tubes in them.

Nick

glappkaeft
2014-Feb-13, 09:01 AM
How many g's does an artillery shell pull? Proximity-fused artillery shells used in WWII had radar tubes in them.

It varies depending on the gun and the projectile used but peak acceleration in the low tens of thousands of Gs is typical.

ETA: Note that the proximity fuses used cavity magnatrons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavity_magnetron), not typical vaccum tubes.

wd40
2014-Feb-13, 09:47 AM
A V2 rose vertically reaching an altitude of 55 miles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51OiRb_cjyQ) with a 1 ton warhead. Given the Nazi abilities with human experimentation, they could have squeezed 1 man with a pressure suit in the nose cone and sent him to the edge of space already in 1944 to see how long he survived.

Apparently the German rocket program was delayed by a year by Hitler's belief in Horbiger's cosmology, and that firing rockets in to space would damage the hollow Earth!

Remarkable footage from 34:00 on showing V2 prep and launch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9wyJNsATXE)

Tuckerfan
2014-Feb-13, 10:51 AM
In 1942/43, Hitler decided the war was over, and canceled all the proposed military designs which couldn't be put into operation before '44. The Germans had oodles of projects they were working on, and had to leave them until it became obvious that the war wasn't quite as over as Hitler thought. The Germans didn't have an organized system for getting military projects approved, so some hairbrained schemes got approved, while some sensible ones sat idly by, until after the war. Had Hitler not shutdown military development, its possible that the Germans could have been much farther along in their technology by 1945, and if they'd had a more organized method of approving projects, they certainly could have progressed farther. (Ian V. Hogg has written several books about German secret weapons programs during the war that are pretty good.)

Oh, and the Germans were thinking about orbiting death rays during the war. (https://www.blastr.com/2010/12/nazi_scientists_were_working_on_an_orbital_death_r ay.php)

NEOWatcher
2014-Feb-13, 01:41 PM
A V2 rose vertically reaching an altitude of 55 miles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51OiRb_cjyQ) with a 1 ton warhead. Given the Nazi abilities with human experimentation, they could have squeezed 1 man with a pressure suit in the nose cone and sent him to the edge of space already in 1944 to see how long he survived.
Possibly. The best comparison at this moment is Mercury 3. The Redstone was basically a 3rd generation V2 rocket and had more than twice the payload capacity.
The wildcard in this is that the Mercury capsule was designed for orbital use. So; I don't know how much extra weight was involved in doing this. At least the retros could have been eliminated, and they probably wouldn't have worried about safety, so the escape tower could have been eliminated. I'm not sure how much extra there would have been in life support, and I'm sure there were experimental packages that could have been eliminated, and probably less weight in controls.

PetTastic
2014-Feb-13, 04:37 PM
So what I'm getting here to reach the OP goal is:

--Start rocketry earlier

--extend the war a few years, but not until transistors

--Possibly make it a cold war (which would make for a very different 1940s and possibly most of the 1930s.)

--No atom bombs

Very limited cryogenics for fuels
Bulky valve electronics,
punch card/tape computers?
No composite materials, or plastics other than Bakelite
space suits made from rubberise canvas?

ngc3314
2014-Feb-13, 05:20 PM
My impression is that the early planners (including Eugen Saenger) didn't really grapple with the thermal implications of re-entry from orbit, which matter not only for space travelers but for really long-range missiles. That wound up taking some years of work to deal with.

That said, one could start with a capsule designed for purely ballistic re-entry (a la the Soyuz backup mode) where center of mass alone gets it lined up closely enough to land (somewhere) survivably. You'd plan a flight differently without fast computing (the White Sands V-2 flights reconstructed trajectories after the fact - pretty log after) - maybe precompute varieties of trajectory and try to guide the launcher into one of them knowing what tracking inputs were needed. Communications would be limited - maybe, following Allen Steele's fairly classic Goddard's People, picket lines of bombers with relay gear crossing the ground track, or naval vessels.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-14, 08:20 PM
Very limited cryogenics for fuels
Bulky valve electronics,
punch card/tape computers?
No composite materials, or plastics other than Bakelite
space suits made from rubberise canvas?


Nylon. Polyethylene. PVC. PET. Polystyrene. Epoxy resin. Parkesine. Synthetic rubbers, some of which would after the war become major rocket fuel components... perhaps earlier, in my timeline.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-14, 11:46 PM
OK, so I have come up with scenarios that alter events enough to retard atomic and electronic developments, and perhaps accelerate rocketry a bit. That provides the "why" for manned spaceflight; electronics are too bulky and limited in this timeline to control satellites, so a major effort is put into building "orbital forts", which of course require operators to scan the horizons with telescopes and push the launch buttons.

PetTastic
2014-Feb-15, 03:14 AM
Nylon. Polyethylene. PVC. PET. Polystyrene. Epoxy resin. Parkesine. Synthetic rubbers, some of which would after the war become major rocket fuel components... perhaps earlier, in my timeline.
The chemicals had been discovered, but the petrochemical tech to mass produce, and the understanding of useful application was still a way off.
For example, uranium was discovered back in 1790 (I think), but no one guessed its use in atomic bombs.
On the other hand, nitrus-oxide / candle-wax hybrid rockets could have been made in 1790. (Best Mythbusters episode ever in my view.)
More relevantly, most plastics were considered irrelevant to the aircraft industry for a while because no one understood how to protect them from UV light at altitude.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-15, 03:25 AM
The chemicals had been discovered, but the petrochemical tech to mass produce, and the understanding of useful application was still a way off.
For example, uranium was discovered back in 1790 (I think), but no one guessed its use in atomic bombs.
On the other hand, nitrus-oxide / candle-wax hybrid rockets could have been made in 1790. (Best Mythbusters episode ever in my view.)
More relevantly, most plastics were considered irrelevant to the aircraft industry for a while because no one understood how to protect them from UV light at altitude.

Nylons and synthetic rubber, at least, were mass-produced during the war effort as natural rubber and parachute silk were cut off from the US.

Paul Beardsley
2014-Feb-15, 04:45 AM
One of the interesting things about alternate world stories is that it raises the questions, what was inevitable, and what required everything to be just so?

It seems to me that the Cold War was required: Two powerful, conflicting ideologies, not in open combat, both trying to achieve the same sort of thing with the intent of showing the world that their way was the better way. If the Cold War hadn't happened, we probably wouldn't have gone to the moon, and possibly not orbit either. If the Cold War had got hot, we probably wouldn't have gone into space. If World War II had panned out differently, there might not have been a Cold War.

Reading through the comments here, I can see how satellites would have provided a military advantage during WWII (e.g. weather forecasting), and the needs of war would have excused a more relaxed approach to health and safety, but I suspect that even the best science fiction writers at the time did not have an imaginative grasp of the realities of space travel. Even if they had, they might have had difficulties with convincing anybody who mattered; spaceships were what Flash Gordon flew in kids' serials, not things that might help win the war.

NCN, I think you've got your work cut out on this one but that's no reason not to try.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-15, 09:05 AM
One of the interesting things about alternate world stories is that it raises the questions, what was inevitable, and what required everything to be just so?

It seems to me that the Cold War was required: Two powerful, conflicting ideologies, not in open combat, both trying to achieve the same sort of thing with the intent of showing the world that their way was the better way. If the Cold War hadn't happened, we probably wouldn't have gone to the moon, and possibly not orbit either. If the Cold War had got hot, we probably wouldn't have gone into space. If World War II had panned out differently, there might not have been a Cold War.

Reading through the comments here, I can see how satellites would have provided a military advantage during WWII (e.g. weather forecasting), and the needs of war would have excused a more relaxed approach to health and safety, but I suspect that even the best science fiction writers at the time did not have an imaginative grasp of the realities of space travel. Even if they had, they might have had difficulties with convincing anybody who mattered; spaceships were what Flash Gordon flew in kids' serials, not things that might help win the war.

NCN, I think you've got your work cut out on this one but that's no reason not to try.

There were space dreamers even then; See the Russian Cosmists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_cosmism) for example. And in my timeline, some of those dreamers and their dreams play a larger role than real history afforded them.

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-15, 09:41 AM
And in my timeline, some of those dreamers and their
dreams play a larger role than real history afforded them.
I think it would be neat if you provide some clues in the
story as to what is different in that timeline that causes
them to play a larger role.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Noclevername
2014-Feb-15, 09:56 AM
I think it would be neat if you provide some clues in the
story as to what is different in that timeline that causes
them to play a larger role.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

I will. I have started with the changes and worked my way back, mapped out who needs to not be born, who needs to die and when, who goes where, and I'm now researching possible political and technological ramifications and side effects. Now I have to find ways to work them into the story in a way that seems natural. IE: No Einstein means development of quantum physics is delayed, which means microwave radar is delayed, which means the Battle of Britain is lost in the air. A lot of causal threads to work with here.

JohnD
2014-Feb-15, 10:19 AM
NCM,
A WW2 man in space would have been irrelevant, unless they had some means of delivering a weapon.
The NASA Apollo programme took ten years to get a man on the Moon, much longer than the whole of WW2 (even starting in 1939) at a cost of $20 billion 1971 dollars. Germany spent about $300 billion in WW2, which may be multiplied by 10 for modern costs. This project produced a space craft massing 6K kgs (Command module) with a Lunar Module of 15K kgs, most of which was fuel. If that fuel was, instead, explosives, that was a big bomb, but compare Tallboy (6K kgs) and Grand Slam (11K kgs, of which only 4K kgs explosive) both delivered by aircraft. Both were designed as 'earthquake bombs' with massive casings to allow them to penetrate the ground for maximum effect. A lightly cased 'lunar module' bomb with a massive warhead would only be a blast bomb with limited effect, as were the real life bombs. Seems a lot for a few big bombs, scarcely worthwhile.

Of more interest would be to consider the alternative history of a victorious Third Reich, as in Harris' Fatherland etc. Germany had far more expertise in astronautics and rocketry in WW2 than the Allies ever achieved, and they needed limited help of captured engineers and records to jump start their post-war space programmes. Would a victorious Nazi regime have gone on to secure more 'lebensraum' in space? Would that have happened twenty years earlier than NASA's? And given that 'lebensraum' was an excuse that the Nazi's used, would they have been more persistant in pursuing a permanent Moon settlement than NASA and America were?

JOhn

Noclevername
2014-Feb-15, 10:46 AM
A WW2 man in space would have been irrelevant, unless they had some means of delivering a weapon.

I disagree: That's not his primary purpose.


The NASA Apollo programme took ten years to get a man on the Moon

Irrelevant to this discussion, I'm talking about a man in Earth orbit.


Of more interest would be to consider the alternative history of a victorious Third Reich, as in Harris' Fatherland etc.

There's no reason that's mutually exclusive with a man in orbit during WWII. And you can't tell if my story is "of more interest" when it's not even written yet.

Paul Beardsley
2014-Feb-15, 01:31 PM
And you can't tell if my story is "of more interest" when it's not even written yet.

Indeed. And I don't think the world needs another "what if the Reich won?" story - they are very common.

How would your cosmist become influential? Maybe he could meet and fall in love with a contessa or something.

It's up to you whether you concentrate on justifying your scenario or concentrate on making it fun... or both.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-15, 04:07 PM
How would your cosmist become influential? Maybe he could meet and fall in love with a contessa or something.

Oh, I have the "why" and "who" all figured out, now it's down to getting the details of the "how" right. Mostly researching the personalities involved. And the technology. And the politics. And the interactions between them all...

wd40
2014-Feb-15, 05:13 PM
Jews had a reputation for being good at intricate small-scale manual work & in 1944 Speer approached Hitler for any surviving Jewish surgeons, dental surgeons, jewellers, diamond polishers, money-plate fabricators and seamstresses to work on the V2 guidance components. Not only did Hitler refuse, he ordered the rate of killing of the Jews to be increased. And one can only imagine what the Germans could have achieved if Jewish scientists like Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, Otto Frisch, Otto Hahn, Fritz Strassmann, Paul Wigner, Leo Szilard and Lise Meitner had not fled but been impressed in to working on their rocket and atomic programs.

Hypmotoad
2014-Feb-15, 10:21 PM
I think SAM technology could not have moved forward unless the war continued a way beyond 1948-52 with invention of usable transistors.
Valves and high G rockets do not mix.

I am completely on board with this as the "Roswell" incident occurred in'47, by '49 we totally had transistors, ;p

EDIT: and velcro

Hans
2014-Feb-16, 02:20 AM
I'd suggest that a way to plausibly extend WWII to allow a cold war and early space flight would be to allow WWII to start as fought up until the June 1941 and Germany doesn't invade Russia but continues to battle England. Japan continues it war against China and by political means and by supporting rebellions in European colonies in Asia obtains sufficient fuel to continue and does not attack the US. Their is a stalemate in Europe and Asia. Germany cannot defeat England, nor England Germany, The Soviets remain armed and ready and Japan and China remain locked in war and the US remains isolated while supporting to a certain degree England and China.

This continues into the fifties as a type of phony/cold war with four powers all attempting to gain political power by demonstrations of technology, ie the space race

US/British Empire, Free France, etc
Soviets
Germany/Italy/Europeans, Vichy, Franco, etc
Japan and the CEACP

Hypmotoad
2014-Feb-16, 02:49 AM
Launching a human into space would certainly have been "doable" circa 1945.

However, to what goal? Why launch a human if can make a bomb payload?

Achieving orbit doesn't mean control and not being a geography fan, kinda doubt Germany is even in same latitude.

V2's aiming ability was limited to fuel iirc so a continental bombing run would likely go un- noticed.

So I posit that Hitler was so super smart, that after he lost whole armies in Russia, he would be inclined to throw resources into a non-starter.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-16, 03:28 AM
Launching a human into space would certainly have been "doable" circa 1945.

However, to what goal?

I've already said, but again, the main goal is observation. The rest is part of the plot.


Why launch a human if can make a bomb payload?

The V2 showed that an unpiloted bomb payload without accurate guidance isn't enough.


Achieving orbit doesn't mean control and not being a geography fan, kinda doubt Germany is even in same latitude.

...As what, exactly?


V2's aiming ability was limited to fuel iirc so a continental bombing run would likely go un- noticed.

Good thing that's not what I plan to write about, then.


So I posit that Hitler was so super smart, that after he lost whole armies in Russia, he would be inclined to throw resources into a non-starter.

1. It's a starter.
2. I've already got the motivations for it covered, thanks.

Hypmotoad
2014-Feb-16, 04:16 AM
1. It's a starter.
2. I've already got the motivations for it covered, thanks.

Cool, wont argue since is fiction and you have a handle on it.

I would like to suggest that Enigma was never discovered and Montgomery's army was beaten back, that way Peunemunde was safe but am actually looking forward to anything you write about this...

Good luck,

Hypmo

Hypmotoad
2014-Feb-16, 04:23 AM
and Rocket Man Von Braun was a deep mole foe OSI ;p

Noclevername
2014-Feb-16, 04:36 AM
and Rocket Man Von Braun was a deep mole foe OSI ;p

Actually VB plays a role in the story, it's just not what you think. ;)

Hypmotoad
2014-Feb-16, 04:47 AM
LOL so you will completely ignore the Nazi/Alien time travel scenario?

We are an army and we BELIEVE! ;p

slang
2014-Feb-16, 10:14 AM
Let's stay on topic and not turn this into a chat or joke thread. We've OTB or F&G for that. I don't really need to warn anyone to stay away from the Roswell stuff outside the CT forum, right? Thanks!

Noclevername
2014-Feb-16, 10:29 AM
I do have plans for more than just the most well known names; I hope to highlight some of the forgotten players in a way that I think hasn't been done before.

wd40
2014-Feb-16, 05:55 PM
Von Braun wrote in 1952 that he believed that the Germans theoretically had the ability to put
10 tons (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/a9a11a12.htm) in to orbit in 1945

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/t/7ydfv.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

publiusr
2014-Feb-16, 09:11 PM
10 tons? That isn't too shabby..

In some respects, all you have to do is look at the space efforts of the DPRK. They aren't much more than WWII level. Maybe that's why they wanted Rodman, in that he was the only one tall enough to attach the umbilical from the gantry to their new rocket...

NEOWatcher
2014-Feb-17, 01:46 PM
Von Braun wrote in 1952 that he believed that the Germans theoretically had the ability to put
10 tons (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/a9a11a12.htm) in to orbit in 1945
That's a big rocket. 50% more massive than a Saturn V. As Dr Marcus would say "who would build it?".
Of course, that was just a paper rocket, they still needed to develop it. That probably would have pushed it into the 1950's.

The other alternative is for them to do something like a Saturn I. That was indirectly a bunch of advanced V2s (Redstones) strapped together.

Either way, it seems unlikely to have been done an any war scenario.

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-17, 03:36 PM
Von Braun wrote in 1952 that he believed that the Germans
theoretically had the ability to put 10 tons in to orbit in 1945
That's a big rocket. 50% more massive than a Saturn V.
The third stage of the Saturn V alone (the S-IVB) weighed
260,000 pounds fully fueled. It was able to go into orbit
carrying a significant portion of that fuel. As Skylab, it
was placed into orbit by just the Saturn V first and second
stages, with most of the equipment already onboard.
If a ton is 2,200 pounds, then 260,000 pounds is 118 tons.
130 tons if a ton is 2000 pounds.

I read that the Saturn V could theoretically send a 10-ton
payload to Alpha Centauri, though it would take thousands
of years to get there.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

NEOWatcher
2014-Feb-17, 03:54 PM
The third stage of the Saturn V...
Which accentuates my comment. The A9-12 was a big rocket for it's payload.

pzkpfw
2014-Feb-17, 06:36 PM
Noclevername, a brief 2 cents: have you looked at delaying the start of the war, instead of extending it? I've read that original plans between the Axis powers were to wait for more resources to be built up; the Italians had calculated they wouldn't be ready until 1942 or 44 or something. There would be a tension/balance between using that time to just build more "normal" stuff (sheer numbers of tanks and aircraft) and developing the futuristic stuff. Maybe a lot of espionage going on as other nations try to find out what's going on in German research and development. Of course by the time it gets hot, the other powers would also have progressed - but without the actual war started, would they have progressed as much? (I was going to suggest a sub plot of Germany using assassination to retard development in other nations - but given the very poor performance of German agents in Britain that's implausible, too).

Glom
2014-Feb-17, 07:18 PM
Let's just all be glad the bad guys lost in the end.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-18, 12:02 AM
I would like to suggest that Enigma was never discovered and Montgomery's army was beaten back, that way Peunemunde was safe but am actually looking forward to anything you write about this...


The specifics of the strategic differences would be major plot spoilers, but I will say that I had already researched Enigma/Ultra and decided it had to go early on. Though probably not for the reasons that seem obvious. It's more for an indirect effect this would have...

Noclevername
2014-Feb-18, 12:03 AM
Let's just all be glad the bad guys lost in the end.

What if a different set of "bad guys" lost? :think:

Noclevername
2014-Feb-18, 08:55 AM
For the moment, let's table the discussion of ten-ton lifters. Two basic questions:

Regardless of motive or perceived likelihood, could a person make it to full Low Earth Orbit, and return alive to Earth, before 1945 without major changes in available technology?

If they could, can you please describe the most plausible scenario for doing so? (Remember that Soviet rocketry and that of other nations was also developing rapidly during this time. Don't feel married to Peenemunde or Von Braun.)

I'm interested here in technical details rather than story and plot analysis.

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-18, 11:54 AM
For the moment, let's table the discussion of ten-ton lifters.
Two basic questions:

Regardless of motive or perceived likelihood, could a person
make it to full Low Earth Orbit, and return alive to Earth,
before 1945 without major changes in available technology?
I don't think it could have been done before 1945 without
changing things at least as far back as 1939, in a way that
makes putting a person into orbit a specific goal with a fair
amount of priority. It wouldn't need to be extremely high
priority, but it would mean taking resources from some
other project, so politically it would have to seem quite
important to the people who allocated the money.

I'd say six years from deciding to try to do it to first launch
attempt. Everything would have to be developed in parallel.
Apollo had an important headstart in that the F1 engines
began development well before manned flight to the Moon
was publicly proposed. Von Braun believed that such big
engines would be needed eventually ... for something he
wanted to do.

I expect that it would take at least five years to develop
the engines, and at least another year to put all the parts
of the system together in a way that would have a good
chance of working.

The rocket will require staging, so the booster is going to
have to fall somewhere. I wonder where you've chosen as
your launch site....

Attitude control will require extensive development and
testing. It would be easy to design the spacecraft so that
the weltraumfahrer couldn't control its spin in vacuum.
Too much or too little impulse, in the wrong direction,
followed by ineffective attempts to correct the error...
Testing and practice, means time. And time is money.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-18, 12:11 PM
The diameter of the solid rocket boosters for the Space Shuttle
was determined by the largest size that would fit on railroad cars
and pass through railroad tunnels. I think the same was true of
the Titan launch vehicle. Both were ten feet in diameter.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Noclevername
2014-Feb-18, 08:32 PM
It wouldn't need to be extremely high
priority, but it would mean taking resources from some
other project, so politically it would have to seem quite
important to the people who allocated the money.


It could plausibly be described as having the same priority as the Manhattan Project did in our history.

Solfe
2014-Feb-18, 09:57 PM
Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 1944. Move that back 5 years and maybe the war would have been delayed. An eruption of Ferdinandea ending with a new island could have Italy and Great Britain at each other's throats. That could pull everyone else out of position for starting a war.

Slowing the war in the Pacific is a little tougher.

glappkaeft
2014-Feb-18, 11:55 PM
Avoiding the nazis bankrupting Germany by 1940 is much, much harder...

Noclevername
2014-Feb-19, 12:53 AM
Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 1944. Move that back 5 years and maybe the war would have been delayed. An eruption of Ferdinandea ending with a new island could have Italy and Great Britain at each other's throats. That could pull everyone else out of position for starting a war.

Slowing the war in the Pacific is a little tougher.

Physically, nothing is different. Only the actions of people are altered.

And there's more than one way to change a war. Slowing it isn't the plan. Indeed, some aspects might be slightly accelerated.



Avoiding the nazis bankrupting Germany by 1940 is much, much harder...

Nope, they still do. This will give the Nazis strong motive to seek alternate resources... and find them.

wd40
2014-Feb-19, 01:02 AM
"Horbiger visualized the ozone layer as earth's membrane. He and his followers issued dire warnings against shooting projectiles in to the stratosphere. Such missiles would rupture earth's protective sheath causing toxic compounds of hydrogen, nitrogen and ether to leak in to our atmosphere. Thus Hitler did not push his V2 rocket program until 1945, when he no longer cared whether or not the world ended and felt lured by the prospect of universal annihilation, which included his enemies, people, victims and himself."

It's a good job Hitler was spooked by Horbiger's cosmology, as the first V1 was fired in June, and V2 in September 1944. Having them being launched even a few weeks earlier, especially pre-D Day, let alone a whole year sooner, might have changed the course of the war.

wd40
2014-Feb-19, 01:08 AM
Slowing the war in the Pacific is a little tougher.

If a 1939 Vesuvius could have delayed the war in the West, a 2004-type Indian Ocean or 2011-type Japan tsunami in 1941 may have delayed it in the East.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-19, 01:22 AM
It's a good job Hitler was spooked by Horbiger's cosmology, as the first V1 was fired in June, and V2 in September 1944. Having them being launched just a few weeks earlier, especially pre-D Day, might have changed the course of the war.

Given their historical inaccuracy, maybe not.

But we'll see what happens if other decisions were made.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-19, 10:19 PM
OK, so here is a rough outline of differences:

Albert Einstein never born, so no photoelectric effect or photons discovered until much later; quantum physics and electronics developments greatly delayed, including radio and radar.

WWI causes more extensive death toll, including use of germ warfare, leading to plagues.

At the death of Lenin, Trotsky has Stalin assassinated and becomes leader of the USSR. As a dedicated revolutionary, he never signs Nazi-Soviet non-interference pact.

USSR Invades Poland before Nazis. Germany now has an excuse to "liberate" Poland from communists and invade Soviet territory. WWII begins on the Eastern front. The Western European powers hold back from interfering, hoping the two forces will wipe each other out.

Hitler dies shortly after war begins. Accident? Coincidence? ...Murder?

After a brief but bloody fight, Herman Goring emerges as Fuhrer of Greater Germany and alters the strategies used in the war, emphasizing preparedness and air power. "Seize the high ground" is his mantra.

Without Stalin's purges, Russia's rocketry program has gone largely uninterrupted. As the war goes against Russia, an American double agent arranges for members of the Soviet rocket program, and other influential scientists, to be smuggled out in American submarines. They bring, along with notes on rockets, several books by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky on Cosmism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_cosmism) and space travel, which will later be translated and published in the US.

Goring encourages the development of long-range rockets to attack Russian strongholds. Von Braun et al are given more resources than in our history.

The Germans finally turn their eyes Westward. Blitzkreig incorporates not only fast ground strikes, but extensive bombing. The Western Front is now at war.

Without radar, the air war goes badly for the British.

The Japanese Empire bombs a US naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The US is now at war with the Axis Powers.

Neville Chamberlain commits suicide. Winston Churchill replaces him as Prime Minister. The Royal Family leave the British Isles by submarine for Canada.

Moscow is bombed to rubble. Trotsky flees to China, and joins Mao Tse-Tung as a guerilla fighter.

Now holding most of the former Soviet territories, Germany has its resources and Lebensraum. Japan holds most of Britain's former Pacific colonies. The fighting begins to wind down, as the Axis does not feel prepared to take on the growing forces of the United States. Conflict continues but at a lesser level.

Germany and the USA attempt to put the first man in orbit as a prelude to a planned series of orbital observation posts. In late 1944, [SPOILER] succeeds.

The USA and the Axis sign a cease-fire in 1945.

AND THEN.... ?

Noclevername
2014-Feb-19, 10:37 PM
Oh, and forgot to add: Without Einstein, development of atomic fission does not reach a practical level during the war. The emphasis on high-powered long range rockets instead is seen as the key to victory. In the US, this replaces the Manhattan Project with Project Cosmos.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-20, 02:07 AM
The delay in photoelectronics also means no cathode ray tubes or TV cameras, so to get real-time observation from a high vantage requires a human observer reporting by radio.

wd40
2014-Feb-20, 01:16 PM
If the Germans had improved their accuracy and fired every V1 & V2 they had against Antwerp instead of London, the port would have been denied to the Allies, and the Battle of the Bulge might well have succeeded in capturing it, splitting the Anglo-American armies and forcing a new "Dunkirk".

Noclevername
2014-Feb-20, 01:52 PM
If the Germans had improved their accuracy and fired every V1 & V2 they had against Antwerp instead of London, the port would have been denied to the Allies, and the Battle of the Bulge might well have succeeded in capturing it, splitting the Anglo-American armies and forcing a new "Dunkirk".

V2s didn't need to be used much on London in my timeline as the bombers already had done their job all too well before the rockets were ready.

And improving accuracy of missiles would mean no need for piloted spaceflight. Which is my goal for this story.

Swift
2014-Feb-20, 02:20 PM
I think this thread has evolved beyond simple Q&A, so I've moved it from there to Space Exploration. If someone thinks there is a better home for it (like SMAL), please Report this post

Noclevername
2014-Feb-20, 09:18 PM
So here's some of what I've left out;

The first attempted orbital test launches, which scares the other side into a real Space Race.

Manned and unmanned launches lost on both sides before they finally succeed.

After the US cease-fire, continued low-level fighting in Europe and Asia as the empires "digest" what they've devoured.

The Philippines and Samoa returned to the US by treaty. Australia remains free but has a separate treaty with the Japanese Empire, which limits Australian naval activity and denies them a space program.

The British government-in-exile is now seated in Canada. The British Isles are Nazi occupied. Quebec hosts the French government-in-exile.

Spain joins the Axis, absorbs Portugal, and seeks to foment uprisings in several South American countries.

Since radios are still bulky, the very first orbital rockets use flares for signaling Earth. Voice radio is considered too unreliable, spacers use dot code transmissions. Radar is still crude but has begun to develop.

The translated Russian books extolling space travel and expansion into the Universe have become widespread in the US, aided by several popular movies on the subject.

The peace treaty allows space travel and orbital observation posts for "peaceful and scientific" purposes only. This is honored exactly as much as you might think it would be.

A researcher studying Uranium isotopes says "Hmm, that's odd..."

JohnD
2014-Feb-20, 09:39 PM
NCM objected to my previous suggestion that the future of a victorious Third reich was of more interest than a wartime Nazi man-in-space, because his story wasn't written yet. But he obviously has at least a well-planned scenario, and only wants us to gloss it.

So let's follow up wd40's point about the murder of Jewish craftsmen, engineers and scientists (including both men and women in that group).
If Nazism hadn't risen, then many such fertile brains would have been able to contribute, or would not have fled to the UK or America and stayed in Europe.
And without a war on Nazism, there would not have been the Manhatten project, or the collection of post war scientists to work on delivery systems.
America would still have been the (or among the) richest nations on Earth, but with less reason to spend its treasure on ICBMs and without Von Braun and his colleagues.

So would the first men in orbit have been aboard space craft marked ESA, instead of NASA?
John

Noclevername
2014-Feb-20, 09:46 PM
NCM objected to my previous suggestion that the future of a victorious Third reich was of more interest than a wartime Nazi man-in-space, becasuehos story wasn't written yet. But he obviously has at least a well-planned scenario, and only wants us to gloss it.


This is just the stuff I've come up with since I started the thread. It's hardly well-planned, I don't even have the dates of events worked out.

And yes, I did take your suggestion into consideration, but this thread was about what happens during the war. I wasn't objecting to the concept, just that it was off-topic. As I said before, "There's no reason that's [Nazi victory] mutually exclusive with a man in orbit during WWII"

ADDED: I may do a sequel set in the same timeline, but that's something for another day.

Paul Beardsley
2014-Feb-20, 09:46 PM
I wonder if Arthur C. Clarke exists in the other universe?

Noclevername
2014-Feb-20, 09:50 PM
I wonder if Arthur C. Clarke exists in the other universe?

Yes, but with a very different life and career.

Paul Beardsley
2014-Feb-20, 09:53 PM
Yes, but with a very different life and career.

Necessarily? He could still have been involved in radar (according to your earlier comments) and written fiction.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-20, 10:02 PM
Necessarily? He could still have been involved in radar (according to your earlier comments) and written fiction.

He might. As a radar expert, he would have been a very valuable asset and might have been smuggled out of the UK before it fell. I might try to slip in a line about his fate at some point.

Tuckerfan
2014-Feb-21, 04:15 AM
For the moment, let's table the discussion of ten-ton lifters. Two basic questions:

Regardless of motive or perceived likelihood, could a person make it to full Low Earth Orbit, and return alive to Earth, before 1945 without major changes in available technology?

If they could, can you please describe the most plausible scenario for doing so? (Remember that Soviet rocketry and that of other nations was also developing rapidly during this time. Don't feel married to Peenemunde or Von Braun.)

I'm interested here in technical details rather than story and plot analysis.In the 1930s the British Interplanetary Society (of which Arthur C. Clarke was a member) came up with a design for a manned rocket to the Moon. I don't remember all the details, but I believe it was a solid fuel design, complete with a lander. Presumably their designs are on the intarwebs somewhere and could be looked at to see if the information would work for your purposes.

NEOWatcher
2014-Feb-21, 12:44 PM
Presumably their designs are on the intarwebs somewhere and could be looked at to see if the information would work for your purposes.
Here you go (http://spaceshipdreams.com/?tag=bis).

JohnD
2014-Feb-22, 01:19 PM
The BIS proposal used solid fuel, as they "did not believe it was possible to build powerful liquid fuel engines to lift their spaceship."
Of course, professors saying something is impossible are always wrong (Asimov. I et al)
NASA resorted to hydrogen/oxygen as fuel, the most powerful possible, to get the Apollo programme into orbit.
Surely that required an enormous number of technical developments beyond those available during or in the twenty years after WW2.
Given the will (or in Nazi terms, The Will) would this development been possible in a much, much shorter time?

Then, re-entry. The BIS proposed a parachute, that would have been impossible (I'm not a professor) at the speed of re-entry.
JPL developed a very special high-speed parachute for Mars' Curiosity, but only after it had slowed behind a heat shield.
Were refractory materials sufficiently developed in WW2? Could they have been scaled up enough?

John

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-22, 02:52 PM
I'm bothered by the idea that Einstein was never born. Granted
that it would require only an extremely tiny change in the timeline
for an individual not to be born (say, a different sperm got there
first), but there would have been ramifications of his nonexistence
that would spread out and have wider and wider effects, so that
anything might be different a few decades later. If Einstein not
being born was just one of many changes to the timeline at about
that same time, then any of those changes could have such later
effects. I think it would result in too big a difference in the world.
On the other hand, if Einstein not being born is the original change
from the real timeline, and the only change at that time, then you
are picking out a very special change to the timeline. It isn't just
some random event that caused the histories to diverge, but the
complete removal of an extremely important person. You are thus
implying that you think your story depends on such a very special
change. That seems like a bad thing, to me. Instead you could
just have Einstein never produce anything extraordinary in physics
that was picked up by others. Maybe he wasn't able to spend
time developing his ideas, so he never got to write them up.
Whatever caused him to not have enough time could be as small
a thing as is one sperm beating another to the finish line, but it
wouldn't seem as special a change to the reader.

Similarly, if you don't want radar to be developed in time to be
used in the war, then Clarke would have been doing something
else, not working on radar.

What did Eddington and his crew do instead of travelling to
Principe and South America to view the solar eclipse of 1919?
What happened differently because they didn't travel?

And 782 million similar questions.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Noclevername
2014-Feb-22, 04:38 PM
I'm bothered by the idea that Einstein was never born. Granted
that it would require only an extremely tiny change in the timeline
for an individual not to be born (say, a different sperm got there
first), but there would have been ramifications of his nonexistence
that would spread out and have wider and wider effects, so that
anything might be different a few decades later.

There are wider effects, and I'm telling the relevant ones in the story.


If Einstein not
being born was just one of many changes to the timeline at about
that same time, then any of those changes could have such later
effects. I think it would result in too big a difference in the world.

Too big for what?


What did Eddington and his crew do instead of travelling to
Principe and South America to view the solar eclipse of 1919?


Eddington was imprisoned in 1918 for draft dodging. He did not become a champion of Relativity, and upon his release found himself in disgrace, dismissed from his position. He went on to an undistinguished career as a mathematics teacher and writer of popular science fiction. When Britain fell to the Nazis, he, like many intellectuals, attempted to flee to Canada. Given his poor health at the time, it is unlikely he will succeed.


What happened differently because they didn't travel?

It wouldn't be until after WWII when humans got into space that they would discover some things about light that were IRL found out in 1919.



And 782 million similar questions.

I'm not going to give a biography for every individual on Earth. There are areas where the effects of differences are noted as it touches on the plot, and a few thrown in to get the flavor of this different past, but I'm not going to spell out every single difference in every life on the page. There has to be room for the story to take place. It's a matter of conservation of focus.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-22, 05:21 PM
Then, re-entry. The BIS proposed a parachute, that would have been impossible (I'm not a professor) at the speed of re-entry.
JPL developed a very special high-speed parachute for Mars' Curiosity, but only after it had slowed behind a heat shield.
Were refractory materials sufficiently developed in WW2? Could they have been scaled up enough?


After the first failed re-entries by unmanned test vehicles, the powers involved begin testing a variety of materials. They end up coming up with a radiative cooling "hot metal" copper alloy shield, although the heat shield initially could not be dropped with its heat load, heating the lander main body and forcing the pilot to bail out and parachute down once the capsule has slowed sufficiently.

Also, during launch the pilot passes out due to G load. G-suits are in development but not fully perfected before the war ends.

ravens_cry
2014-Feb-22, 08:11 PM
Would they? This is a non-engineer talking but lower ISP fuels and all around heavier rockets that would have been available might mean larger, more massive and therefore slower accelerating launch vehicles.

Paul Beardsley
2014-Feb-22, 09:19 PM
I'm bothered by the idea that Einstein was never born. [Snip]

I see NCN has addressed your points, Jeff, but... are you unfamiliar with the genre of alternate histories?

The idea is, you choose a point of divergence and explore the ramifications. Or, as NCN has done, choose a ramification (early spaceflight) and work backwards to decide on a change that might result in this ramification.

We know Einstein was born in our version of history. It is reasonable to imagine a version of history in which he wasn't born. Yes, there would be widespread ramifications, but that's where fiction writers come in.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-22, 11:06 PM
Would they? This is a non-engineer talking but lower ISP fuels and all around heavier rockets that would have been available might mean larger, more massive and therefore slower accelerating launch vehicles.

Yes, but the pilots are sitting upright relative to the launch.

EDIT: No centrifuge tests beforehand, you see, so the effects of high G are poorly planned for at first.

ravens_cry
2014-Feb-22, 11:34 PM
Yes, but the pilots are sitting upright relative to the launch.

EDIT: No centrifuge tests beforehand, you see, so the effects of high G are poorly planned for at first.
Ah, I didn't see that part. Still, would this be how it'd be done? Even the BIS capsule for their black powder moon rocket seems to have them on their back.

Tuckerfan
2014-Feb-22, 11:43 PM
Here's a thought: The Me 163 either broke or came very close to breaking the sound barrier during the war. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_163) This wasn't the design intent, it was designed to be a fast interceptor, and one of the problems they had was increasing the range to make it a long range interceptor. The Ba 349 Natter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachem_Ba_349) was a similar concept, that wasn't quite as successful, now suppose that a merging of the two designs occurred (the Me 163 is stuck on top of the Natter's booster, for example) and that during the test flight, something goes wrong, and the craft doesn't level out at a few thousand feet, but continues upwards on a ballistic, putting the pilot into a suborbital trajectory. (BTW, if you want to see the first photos taken from atop a V-2, here they are. (http://www.airspacemag.com/space/the-first-photo-from-space-13721411/))

The Germans, being no dummies, realize that this offers up a host of possibilities. They can built Trans-Atmospheric Vehicles, which would allow them to send a bomber (granted with a small payload) much farther away than was then possible. Once it dropped its payload over the target, it could glide to a waiting German aircraft carrier, to eventually be brought back to its base. (Alternatively, it could be designed to float and be towed back to base. This would be a more complex design, but it would allow for a larger vehicle.) All of that, I do believe would have been capable with the technology of the day. The successes of these missions would encourage the Germans improve on the technology so that they could deliver larger payloads quicker over greater distances. Sooner, or later, they'd want to go full orbital.

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-23, 12:11 AM
Noclevername, Paul,

Yes, I'm familiar with alternate history stories, and enjoy them.

The problem I see with Einstein not being born, which I thought
I described clearly, has two sides. If Einstein not being born is
the original change of the timeline, and is the only change that
is not the result of some other change, then NCN is selecting a
very special change -- a change that directly involves only a
superstar of the time -- rather than a far more ordinary change,
such as a schoolmate of Einstein's not being born. Having
Einstein not be born, but nothing else changed before that
moment, is too fake for me. Too set-up.

The other side of the problem is that, whether the original
change involves only Einstein or is more widespread, so many
repercussions will occur over time that by a couple of decades
after Einstein's non-birth, everything will be different. There
might be no Great War, or if there is, it could go completely
differently, in either case resulting in different economic
conditions in the 1920's, no NAZI party, Hitler not motivated
to write a book, and no World War 2. Or something equally
unlike the planned new timeline.

I think the Original Change needs to be closer to the start
of the war. By maybe two decades.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Noclevername
2014-Feb-23, 12:21 AM
Noclevername, Paul,

Yes, I'm familiar with alternate history stories, and enjoy them.

The problem I see with Einstein not being born, which I thought
I described clearly, has two sides. If Einstein not being born is
the original change of the timeline, and is the only change that
is not the result of some other change, then NCN is selecting a
very special change -- a change that directly involves only a
superstar of the time -- rather than a far more ordinary change,
such as a schoolmate of Einstein's not being born. Having
Einstein not be born, but nothing else changed before that
moment, is too fake for me. Too set-up.

I can always move the European plague backwards from WWI to the late 1800s. Then Einstein becomes just one of many victims. However since he's the one whose loss most affects the development of the timeline, he has to be a victim. Otherwise we get relativity and photoelectrics, advances in radio and physics, the atom bomb, and the timeline is too much like real history.


The other side of the problem is that, whether the original
change involves only Einstein or is more widespread, so many
repercussions will occur over time that by a couple of decades
after Einstein's non-birth, everything will be different. There
might be no Great War, or if there is, it could go completely
differently, in either case resulting in different economic
conditions in the 1920's, no NAZI party, Hitler not motivated
to write a book, and no World War 2. Or something equally
unlike the planned new timeline.

But I already know the planned timeline. It's the one that happens in the story. Any other alternatives are irrelevant because they aren't the ones I'm writing about.



I think the Original Change needs to be closer to the start
of the war. By maybe two decades.


Not going to work. Einstein already did his notable work before that, so see my first reply above.

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-23, 12:45 AM
Before he was twenty???

I'm saying that if you start changing things at the time
of Einstein's birth, by 1904 Europe would be very different,
for lots of little reasons, in ways that would make your
timeline very unlikely. You want changes that make your
timeline the natural result, not an unlikely result. That
could be if Einstein isn't affected until he's in his twenties.
Then something happens that prevents him from thinking
about the photoelectric effect.

Maybe someone who would have been one of his physics
instructors has to change jobs in 1902 because another
professor is ill. As a result, he isn't there to prod Einstein
to think about the photoelectic effect in 1903, so the 1905
paper never gets written.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Noclevername
2014-Feb-23, 12:46 AM
-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

What more can I say? If you don't like the ideas I've shown, don't read the story.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-23, 01:15 AM
Before he was twenty???

I'm saying that if you start changing things at the time
of Einstein's birth, by 1904 Europe would be very different,
for lots of little reasons, in ways that would make your
timeline very unlikely. You want changes that make your
timeline the natural result, not an unlikely result. That
could be if Einstein isn't affected until he's in his twenties.
Then something happens that prevents him from thinking
about the photoelectric effect.

Maybe someone who would have been one of his physics
instructors has to change jobs in 1902 because another
professor is ill. As a result, he isn't there to prod Einstein
to think about the photoelectic effect in 1903, so the 1905
paper never gets written.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Now, to me that whole complex path of events seems much more convoluted and unlikely than him simply not being born.

ravens_cry
2014-Feb-23, 01:25 AM
True. All you need for him not be be born is for one sperm over another to be the one that gets the egg.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-23, 01:29 AM
Also, Einstein has a much bigger effect over his whole life than just that one paper. He affects the development of quantum physics, the public perceptions of scientists and science, his letter to FDR, etc.

It's because of all those "little changes" that the timeline I'm creating winds up the way it does.

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-23, 01:47 AM
As I said, the problem with that idea is that it's too fake.
Why is the one difference between our timeline and your
timeline the fact that the most famous scientist of the
Twentieth Century -- the person who was named "Person
of the Century" by Time magazine -- wasn't born? Why
was it that person who wasn't born, rather than some
far less famous person? If it is equally likely that any
one spermatazoa on Earth might have been the unlucky
one, why was it that one rather than another?

To get out of that problem you could push the change
even farther back in time, so that Einstein's non-birth is
just a consequence of an earlier change, but as I said,
that would result in so many little cascading changes
that Europe would be headed in a different direction
from your plan by the 1920's.

All of that could be avoided by having a more mundane
change a couple of decades later, closer to the time that
Einstein came up with the ideas you don't want out of
the bag, and closer to the time of the events you want
to write about.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jeff Root
2014-Feb-23, 02:00 AM
Noclevername,

Why would an engineering professor in Germany that
nobody in the US ever heard of write a letter to Franklin
Roosevelt?

If Einstein was too busy with other things to think about
the photoelectric effect, he was also too busy to think
about relativity. He wouldn't be famous. He wouldn't be
asked to sign Szilard's letter to FDR that hot summer day
in 1939.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Noclevername
2014-Feb-23, 03:50 AM
I'm dropping the subject of Einstein and all other sidetracks. If you have any suggestions about the subject of this thread, manned rocketry using WWII technology, then please feel free to contribute. Otherwise start a separate thread

Noclevername
2014-Feb-23, 04:16 AM
Here's a thought: The Me 163 either broke or came very close to breaking the sound barrier during the war. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_163) This wasn't the design intent, it was designed to be a fast interceptor, and one of the problems they had was increasing the range to make it a long range interceptor. The Ba 349 Natter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachem_Ba_349) was a similar concept, that wasn't quite as successful, now suppose that a merging of the two designs occurred (the Me 163 is stuck on top of the Natter's booster, for example) and that during the test flight, something goes wrong, and the craft doesn't level out at a few thousand feet, but continues upwards on a ballistic, putting the pilot into a suborbital trajectory. (BTW, if you want to see the first photos taken from atop a V-2, here they are. (http://www.airspacemag.com/space/the-first-photo-from-space-13721411/))

The Germans, being no dummies, realize that this offers up a host of possibilities. They can built Trans-Atmospheric Vehicles, which would allow them to send a bomber (granted with a small payload) much farther away than was then possible. Once it dropped its payload over the target, it could glide to a waiting German aircraft carrier, to eventually be brought back to its base. (Alternatively, it could be designed to float and be towed back to base. This would be a more complex design, but it would allow for a larger vehicle.) All of that, I do believe would have been capable with the technology of the day. The successes of these missions would encourage the Germans improve on the technology so that they could deliver larger payloads quicker over greater distances. Sooner, or later, they'd want to go full orbital.

An intriguing idea, but "accidental" suborbit using those vehicles would put the beginnings of spaceflight too close to the end of the war. There's be no time for those launches to influence the US into developing orbital spacecraft of their own. I was aiming for having the race towards orbit take place all during the war, or most of it.

Still, I think that a German suborbital rocketplane can play a role in the story, perhaps as an attempt to shoot down an American test flight.

Tuckerfan
2014-Feb-23, 04:25 AM
Ah, but the Germans might have developed them sooner had Hitler not gotten overconfident and canceled large amounts of R&D after the fall of France (only to restart it once the Allies landed on D-Day).

Noclevername
2014-Feb-23, 04:30 AM
Ah, but the Germans might have developed them sooner had Hitler not gotten overconfident and canceled large amounts of R&D after the fall of France (only to restart it once the Allies landed on D-Day).

Well, by then, Hitler's dead in this timeline. Goering, the new leader, might well approve the ongoing rocketplane programs after the He 176.

Paul Beardsley
2014-Feb-23, 11:17 AM
I'm dropping the subject of Einstein and all other sidetracks.

A wise move. Jeff's objections make no sense. I'll be happy to argue further if another thread is created.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-23, 11:45 AM
Since by war's end, radar still has low resolution and large antennas (mainly ground based or on capitol ships), suborbital space fighter "hoppers" will need to be guided to their orbital targets by ground control, and aim their weapons line-of-sight.

Could a missile proximity fuse be developed even if radar development is at least 10 years behind what it was in 1945?

Tuckerfan
2014-Feb-23, 12:55 PM
Since by war's end, radar still has low resolution and large antennas (mainly ground based or on capitol ships), suborbital space fighter "hoppers" will need to be guided to their orbital targets by ground control, and aim their weapons line-of-sight.

Could a missile proximity fuse be developed even if radar development is at least 10 years behind what it was in 1945?
Magnetic mines used during WWII had a type of proximity fuse. They'd go off when a large metallic object came near them.

cjameshuff
2014-Feb-23, 03:22 PM
The delay in photoelectronics also means no cathode ray tubes or TV cameras, so to get real-time observation from a high vantage requires a human observer reporting by radio.

I don't see how the lack of Einstein leads to this. He explained the quantization of the photoelectric effect, which was a revolution for quantum mechanics, but not critical for basic vacuum tube and photoelectronics technology. Cathode ray tubes and devices based on the photoelectric effect already existed when he did so. Constantin Perskyi coined the word "television" in 1900, Max Dieckmann had a working electronic display system based on a cathode ray tube by 1907.

ravens_cry
2014-Feb-23, 03:47 PM
At least a few Soviet early probes and satellites used vacuum tubes. They do have some advantages, despite their relative delicacy. Radiation resistance, for example. Hmm, just an idea, but what if both sides had the bomb and Russia was, somehow, kept out of the war. The whole thing ends in a truce after both sides use the bomb to devastating effect. So you got a Cold War but with Germany dominating Western Europe, with England in Finland's position. A developed A-12 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggregate_%28rocket_family%29) could have put things into orbit, even humans.

cjameshuff
2014-Feb-23, 06:45 PM
Losing Hertz would probably make a much bigger negative impact on radar and television than losing Einstein would, but would hurt radio just as badly. Honestly, I don't see how you'd get sophisticated radio for communicating with spacecraft, but not radar or television.

Perhaps government paranoia about the possibility of their enemies using unbreakable codes would lead to strict control of computers and knowledge of computer engineering, delaying advancement in automation. This would make a human presence more desirable.

A thought on nuclear weapons: uranium weapons require immensely costly and difficult isotope separation processes. Plutonium weapons require synthesis of isotopes that don't exist in any quantity in nature. It actually seems plausible to me for early setbacks to delay things by years or even decades, if not convince people that the whole idea was impractical.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-24, 02:13 AM
I don't see how the lack of Einstein leads to this. He explained the quantization of the photoelectric effect, which was a revolution for quantum mechanics, but not critical for basic vacuum tube and photoelectronics technology. Cathode ray tubes and devices based on the photoelectric effect already existed when he did so. Constantin Perskyi coined the word "television" in 1900, Max Dieckmann had a working electronic display system based on a cathode ray tube by 1907.


Hm, it seems I'll have to add to the list of changes to do that. Can you suggest a way to slow down that development?


Losing Hertz would probably make a much bigger negative impact on radar and television than losing Einstein would, but would hurt radio just as badly. Honestly, I don't see how you'd get sophisticated radio for communicating with spacecraft, but not radar or television.


Well, radio wasn't used in space at first. Both sides were, as of the first launches, limited to visible signal flares and luck. But within about 6 months radio had reached the point where a receiver set could be sent up with the space pilot. By the end of the war, a pilot could have a transmitter and a power source strong enough for to reach a high altitude aircraft as the spacecraft passed it.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-24, 02:30 AM
The primitive state of radio also affects many other aspects of the war. I haven't worked out the details yet.

And it was my understanding that electromechanical disc television was the predecessor of CRT television. That's too crude to allow for automated space observation, can that be extended somehow?

Tuckerfan
2014-Feb-24, 02:41 AM
The primitive state of radio also affects many other aspects of the war. I haven't worked out the details yet.

And it was my understanding that electromechanical disc television was the predecessor of CRT television. That's too crude to allow for automated space observation, can that be extended somehow?How do you mean? CBS considered the idea when it came to switching to color in the '60s, but gave up when they realized that even a tiny TV screen would require a disc 6 feet (~2 meters) in diameter.

Extravoice
2014-Feb-24, 02:52 AM
Apparently electromechanical television dates back to the late 1800s (Wiklpedia Article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_television))

But I agree that even systems of the 1930s seem too crude for automated space observation.

Tuckerfan
2014-Feb-24, 03:52 AM
Apparently electromechanical television dates back to the late 1800s (Wiklpedia Article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_television))

But I agree that even systems of the 1930s seem too crude for automated space observation.
Fascinating thing about technology, the roots of a given invention often go back much farther than one would suspect. Fax machines date from the 1800s, shockingly enough. That's one of the things I love about James Burke's Connections (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?143505-Oooooh!-Some-of-the-Coolest-Science-Programming-is-Now-on-YouTube!) is that it showed how old some technologies were, and the knock on effects they had on society.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-24, 04:31 AM
At least a few Soviet early probes and satellites used vacuum tubes. They do have some advantages, despite their relative delicacy. Radiation resistance, for example. Hmm, just an idea, but what if both sides had the bomb and Russia was, somehow, kept out of the war. The whole thing ends in a truce after both sides use the bomb to devastating effect. So you got a Cold War but with Germany dominating Western Europe, with England in Finland's position.

Hmm, maybe I'll use that scenario for the next World War (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?149497-Lebensraum-Unendlich-In-Search-Of-A-Sequel)...

cjameshuff
2014-Feb-24, 12:32 PM
Well, radio wasn't used in space at first. Both sides were, as of the first launches, limited to visible signal flares and luck. But within about 6 months radio had reached the point where a receiver set could be sent up with the space pilot. By the end of the war, a pilot could have a transmitter and a power source strong enough for to reach a high altitude aircraft as the spacecraft passed it.

And presumably regular launches of film canisters back to Earth.

However, this would require setbacks to radio as well. Real-world Germany had radios in tanks and radio-guided weapons, and they put tracking radios in the first V-1s, putting a radio with the power to reach the ground on a spacecraft with the capability to support a human for a substantial time would not have been a huge problem for them. A bigger problem: these setbacks also impact the ability to reach orbit. You need either accurate inertial guidance or radio locating technologies, and those have largely the same requirements in terms of electronics sophistication. How do you measure the speed and altitude of the spacecraft without radar or the ability to accurately integrate inertial sensors? Even a small error would send you back into the atmosphere or out into the radiation belts (and to altitudes many times higher than what you intended to photograph your target at, and an orbital period that might not put you over it).

Noclevername
2014-Feb-24, 12:47 PM
And presumably regular launches of film canisters back to Earth.

The initial flights last only a couple of orbits, so the pilot carries the film with them when they bail out.


However, this would require setbacks to radio as well.

Yes. I'm trying to work out the best ways to plausibly cause those setbacks.


A bigger problem: these setbacks also impact the ability to reach orbit. You need either accurate inertial guidance or radio locating technologies, and those have largely the same requirements in terms of electronics sophistication. How do you measure the speed and altitude of the spacecraft without radar or the ability to accurately integrate inertial sensors?

The pilot is responsible for manually guiding the craft, which makes it a risky ride. But there's a war on, other people do just as dangerous things every day. AFAIK improved inertial guidance would make targeting ballistic missiles easier, which I'm looking to avoid. If you have any suggestions on the subject I'd be happy to listen.

wd40
2014-Feb-25, 01:46 AM
The first photograph from space (http://www.airspacemag.com/space/the-first-photo-from-space-13721411/) take in 1946 from a US-launched V2

http://img128.imagevenue.com/loc429/th_292879739_firstphoto615_122_429lo.jpg (http://img128.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=292879739_firstphoto615_122_429lo.jp g)

If the British hadn't been informed about the work at Peenemunde in early 1943 and plastered it in August, another year of untrammelled research there and a piloted sub-orbital A9/A10 to hit the USA might have been achieved during the war

http://img129.imagevenue.com/loc1171/th_293318528_a9723_122_1171lo.jpg (http://img129.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=293318528_a9723_122_1171lo.jpg)

Dave12308
2015-Feb-26, 10:01 PM
What more can I say? If you don't like the ideas I've shown, don't read the story.

That was going to be my suggestion. After all, it's YOUR story, born out of YOUR creativity.

I see what you are going for, and to ME it makes sense. No one said an alternate history novel has to be "realistic", since "realism" is based on THIS history; and anything that deviates is going to seem less than realistic to us.

I THOUGHT that was the main difference between SCIENCE and SCIENCE fiction.

Your story idea fascinates me. I often think of things like this.

Dave12308
2015-Feb-26, 10:07 PM
The primitive state of radio also affects many other aspects of the war. I haven't worked out the details yet.

And it was my understanding that electromechanical disc television was the predecessor of CRT television. That's too crude to allow for automated space observation, can that be extended somehow?

wouldn't a modern DLP system be somewhat like an electromechanical disc TV? At least the older DLPs with the spinning color wheel?

cjameshuff
2015-Feb-26, 11:11 PM
wouldn't a modern DLP system be somewhat like an electromechanical disc TV? At least the older DLPs with the spinning color wheel?

They function very differently...the Nipkow disk displays used holes punched in a spinning disk to sweep a spot of light across the screen. The color wheel is a way to rapidly switch filters and allow a single set of lamp, DLP device, and optics to provide the red, green, and blue components of the image.

Dave12308
2015-Feb-26, 11:20 PM
They function very differently...the Nipkow disk displays used holes punched in a spinning disk to sweep a spot of light across the screen. The color wheel is a way to rapidly switch filters and allow a single set of lamp, DLP device, and optics to provide the red, green, and blue components of the image.

Yeah, I did a bit of reading and came to that conclusion. It's interesting how many different approaches different people come up with to accomplish the same task. I think I have a good idea why SETI has failed LOL any completely different aliens would have probably figured out an approach to radio that we haven't, or that we never put into use.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

John Mendenhall
2015-Feb-27, 12:35 AM
With regard to vacuum tube technology, there was a suggestion in the late 50s that vacuum tube technology would work fine as long as you used it in space, where a great vacuum was available. You could do without the glass envelopes.