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The Saint
2006-Mar-14, 09:44 PM
Stalin died in 1953 at 73.

WI he had lived another 20 years, fully in charge, how would the Soviet space program have developed differently from OTL?

Could we have seen vastly more space funding, more research, more reckless experiments and more accidents and deaths, but resulting in a 1955 Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin orbiting in 1959 instead of 1961, and the Hammer & Sickle on the moon in 1969, or even (disastrously?) earlier, and a permanently manned mini-space station by 1975?

ngc3314
2006-Mar-14, 11:09 PM
Stalin died in 1953 at 73.

WI he had lived another 20 years, fully in charge, how would the Soviet space program have developed differently from OTL?

Could we have seen vastly more space funding, more research, more reckless experiments and more accidents and deaths, but resulting in a 1955 Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin orbiting in 1959 instead of 1961, and the Hammer & Sickle on the moon in 1969, or even (disastrously?) earlier, and a permanently manned mini-space station by 1975?

Gotta look this up - I have a volume of Russian space history at home in which the author speculates on how far the USSR's aerospace forces could have advanced under Stalin. Then again, he also speculates that the best thing for the USSR's own interests might have been for Lavrenti Beria to seize power (see, I'm shivering again at the thought). I'll have to look up the details of his section on that. Meanwhile, a quick summary of the book is included here (http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/russpace.html).

Ilya
2006-Mar-14, 11:28 PM
Gotta look this up - I have a volume of Russian space history at home in which the author speculates on how far the USSR's aerospace forces could have advanced under Stalin. Then again, he also speculates that the best thing for the USSR's own interests might have been for Lavrenti Beria to seize power

Anyone who thinks THAT ought to have his head examined. Even another 20 years of Stalin would have been better.


Meanwhile, a quick summary of the book is included here (http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/russpace.html).
Minor comment: Kosmicheskoe Protivostoyanie means "Standoff in Space", not "Space Competition".

The Saint
2006-Mar-15, 02:39 AM
Had Sergei Pavlovich Korolyov not died in 1966, the force behind the Soviet space program, plus von Braun defecting to the Russians, would have been a double whammy.

The US would have never become as proficient in missile tech as the Russians, regardless of how many V2's they had for tests and reverse engineering. Liquid-fuel propulsion was a lot less advanced in the US and Goddard had died in 1945.

Launch window
2006-Mar-15, 03:50 AM
Had Sergei Pavlovich Korolyov not died in 1966, the force behind the Soviet space program, plus von Braun defecting to the Russians, would have been a double whammy.

The US would have never become as proficient in missile tech as the Russians, regardless of how many V2's they had for tests and reverse engineering. Liquid-fuel propulsion was a lot less advanced in the US and Goddard had died in 1945.


A Stalinist leader would have had less to offer in terms of backing scientific study, this type of leader would have an even worse effect on the Russian/USSR economy, poverty would be worse and he'd be more concrened with military issues.

Under a Stanlinist rule there might be more spy satellites, more 'Buran' type missions to LEO, more military payloads and a lot of launches with Polus or Salyut-3 type battle stations with cannons - the USA and Russia would be pushed against each other with tensions even higher than the cold war we know.
http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/images/61.jpg
http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/archive/design/foci/energiya.jpg

Under the rule of a leader schooled in science and economics the Russians or USSR would become an even stronger scientific and technical powerhouse, Russian missions would rival the States even more. Remember the Russians were already beating America by launching the first satellite, first man in space, 1st woman in space, first robot-craft hitting the Moon, first spacewalk. If the Russians got the N-1 heavy launcher working in 1968 they may have got ahead of Kennedy's vision and beaten Aldrin and Armstrong to the Moon ! However by spending more on science & exploration the USSR might have been less of a military threat, the Iron-curtain would be smaller and the USA would dominate the coldwar and the proxy battles in such areas like Korea, Grenada, Libya, Guatemala, Malaya and the smaller wars in Cuba, Vietnam, Korean War, El salvador...however winning the wars and winning the peace are two different things, so brining 'democracy' to places like Libya or Cuba might have cost the USA even more thus causing much strain on the US economy

ngc3314
2006-Mar-15, 12:48 PM
Minor comment: Kosmicheskoe Protivostoyanie means "Standoff in Space", not "Space Competition".

Thanks! Note to self: check dictionary even when you think you've figured out the meaning...

Damburger
2006-Mar-15, 07:35 PM
Stalin had some strange ideas about science, and obviously in the USSR his word was gospel unless you wanted to spend the rest of your natural life digging ditches in Siberia.

From what I understand, Korolev had a better relationship with Kruschev than with Stalin. Had Kruschev not taken over the USSR he might not have been able to get political and financial support behind his projects. He may have also ended up back in the Gulag.

publiusr
2006-Mar-15, 09:08 PM
That is true. R-7 was possible thanks to Stalin. Korolov used his wish for an immediate ICBM launch allowed him to ignore the 'realists' who wanted to wait for smaller nukes and smaller LVs.

And the rest is history.