Author Topic: Space Race 1969 - The Backstory  (Read 3615 times)

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Offline TMaekler (OP)

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Space Race 1969 - The Backstory
« on: March 16, 2016, 05:05:48 PM »
It was a misty weather in Washington D.C. when I entered the Library of Congress on that day. It was fitting because as I later found out some of our national history had intentionally been kept in secret from the general public. My son always asks me what I do when I work here at the library. But what could I say about a boring day-to-day research job for US Senators and Congressman digging up contracts and agreements no one has ever heard about or really does care - well, unless he himself wants to be an important Senator or Congressman, right? But I love this detective work of putting the pieces together so I took one of our 10.000 piece puzzles and told my son what I do... .

The interesting part is at times when the final picture reveals a surprise... .

I guess we all know the famous words spoken by John F. Kennedy in 1961 where he said to Congress that "this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." In the early 1960s the United States had found themselves in a space race with the Soviet Union - but unfortunately on the loosing side. 4 years earlier Sputnik had successfully been launched into space and just one month before Kennedy's speech Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. I wonder why no one had ever asked: why did the two superpowers go into a contest of science? Why did both side want the world to perceive them as superior because of better technology achievements? What was the long term gain in this?

When you work for Senators and Congressman you somehow start thinking like them. Always trying to find out why something exists. Why a contract was made. Why this and why that? Who gained by this? So when I stumbled upon a transcript of a later speech Kennedy held in 1962 at Rice University I started wondering those questions: Was there a political gain to the US to go to the moon? I mean, spending twenty five million bucks to get some moon rock to the earth and being able to put a medal on your own chest - we did it first - is hardly worth tax payers money, right?

In that speech I stumbled upon he had said: "We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theatre of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the Moon! ... We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win ..." - John F. Kennedy, 1962, Sep 12th.

I have to say that I am a fan of Kennedy. So I do have a little knowledge of how his psychology worked. Other than always being (or playing) the optimist, he very often hid things in plain sight. "Why, some say, the Moon?" This is the main point of what he wants to reveal, and also what he wants to hide. At least to the casual listener. He liked to play that way - and if you caught his real intentions you would be on his winning side (at least if you desired a political career).

The real reasons are found before his question: why the moon.

New knowledge to be gained? New rights to be won for all people? In space is no strife, no conflict as of yet? Chance for peaceful cooperation may never come again? - My thoughts began to roll as I read those. What were his real intentions with putting America into this race without obvious political gain? So I started to dig up corresponding news articles, scientific reports, released secret congress reports from the Freedom of Information Act - anything I could connect to this early era of the space race.

It all began with a geological survey report of 1939 which mentioned the finding of a new kind of mineral deposits. They were found in meteoric ore and interacted very strangely with normal matter. This went through the scientific community of that time like wildfire because of the extreme attributes those elements showed. But those reports as suddenly as they had come up died out even more quickly. Too quickly, as I found out because the government had put their fingers on it.
Because of the European War those attributes had come up in a national security briefing and were deemed war decisive. So a plan was put into action to put them back in the bag they had come out of. Since no practical experiments could be conducted due to limited resources of those materials the general public lost sight of this very quickly and the scientific community went silent again shortly after, because the government had brought the leading geologists to silence. I was able to find signed government papers of almost all leading geologists of that era to stop publishing anything on those elements. Well, I wasn't able to find those for all of them, so I was not astonished that from those people I could not find signed papers from, all of them had died of natural causes in early 1940. Don't need to say what really happened to them, I guess.

Due to the brilliant idea of marking those new findings as war propaganda to frighten the Germans and Japanese they never took those reports seriously - as well as the rest of the world. Playing it as ridiculous war propaganda the cat went back into the bag. Only the UK and Russian Government did not let go and had begun their own secret research as to the validity of those as they were inofficially called now: Trans Newtonian Elements. But since they could only be found in Asteroids research possibilities were limited.

To make a long story short: because of their alliance against the #### and Japanese regimes the UK, the US and Russia decided in their secret meetings that
a) secret research has to be conducted to find out more about these elements
b) no one in the world should know about them because of their unpredictable and possibly war decisive nature

The war made it easy to keep this secret, but after the war tensions arose between the US and Russia. Secret research was intensified on both sides, and ways to get more of those materials were searched everywhere - but no other than the way into space looked promising. If only meteors do have them, well why not going to the meteors?

Rocket technology seemed to be the answer but it was a long way from launching rockets to conducting space mining or something similar. Until the Russians were successful in orbiting the first satellite. Space Race had begun - but not for the advancement of mankind - as Kennedy had said (and maybe hoped) - no, it was the very essential topic of survival as a nation if the soviets could get an unbeatable advantage through finding more of these elements, and possibly find a way of using them. But we as a world never were told that there was a secret reason for the space race in the first place.

The official story was well played and the secret reasons to go as quickly into space as possible went underground. Until in the midst of the 1960s a breakthrough in understanding these new elements was made - followed by a surprising move from Kennedy - changed the whole space race to the moon into a space exploration for all nations of the world.

As I said, Kennedy always had hoped to bring a new era of peace and cooperation to the world. So when the scientific community found a way to extract those new trans newtonian elements from normal minerals (I am not a geologist but as far as I understand this, those elements are radiated by objects like the sun or similar types of stars. But unlike normal matter they are in a state of transquantum flux. One could say they are slightly out of phase to our normal matter, and therefore undetectable by normal sensors. But normal matter can "catch" and accumulate them, although still unseen in their transquantum flux state. Basically any planetary body can over time accumulate quite a lot of them, like magnets. With a specific electrical impulse those elements can be brought into normal spacetime and exist as normal matter. Then it becomes very easy to extract them.) - Kennedy wanted the whole world to benefit from this. Because not only were those new elements ideal for space exploration, they also became pretty harmless when taken out of their transquantum flux state. So he announced a change from the race to the moon to explore the universe by utilizing those new elements. Construction plans were given to the UN and distributed to all nations who were willing to go peacefully into space. Yes, Kennedy really had hoped to bring humanity together - in peace.

Today this revelation Kennedy made in 1968 is known history - and we all know that this had changed this world. Unfortunately and unintended by Kennedy it also ended the peaceful dream of exploration Kennedy had, because the nations took their differences into the exploration of space. Our history can tell you that. But one of his goals he was able to reach: advance humanity. When he spoke to the world in that December of 68 to tell the world of the existence of fantastic new elements, it pushed humanity into a new realm of wealth and prosperity. And when he died in July of 92 he did it with a smiling sadness, after seeing what after his revelation had become of this world.

He never had told the world that there had been a secret reason for our way into space: Fear of loosing the position as prime nation of earth. Sometimes I think it is not good to know all things. So having these documents in my hands now, I am unsure as to weather I shall publish them. But withholding my findings feels also not right. So I hope the world likes it.

- Roger N. Wessels, New Havenport Colony, June 16th, 2118, Earth Time

PS: On a personal note. I wonder what this world would have looked like if Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had gotten their moon walk. I think it was unfortunate that the lunar landing program was cancelled to begin our race into space. Sure there was no reason any longer to do such little things - but I think we should have finished that little one. To get there with conventional means - it must have felt awesome... don't you think?

Offline TMaekler (OP)

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Space Race 1969 - Starting Setup
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 02:50:57 AM »
The Events of this story arc will start obviously in January of 1969 and will include three active Nations beginning space exploration: USA, UK and the USSR. A forth player will be set up as United Nations and functions as "population deliverer" if needed. The UK as the smallest of these three Nations is going to join in their Commonwealth Partners. So some of them will join the UK over the next decades eventually.
There is also a growing black market for trans newtonian elements which can be used by the nations to exchange minerals if shortage happens. It is also possibly to buy infrastructure on the black market, but the price is twice that of the normal construction cost.
Later in the Game more of Earth's Nations will join in to the space race (Japan, China, India, Australia, etc.).

The Nations will start with the following Techs:
Trans Newtonian Elements, Geological Survey Sensors, Construction Brigade, Garrison, Replacement Battalion, Mobile Infantry Battalion, Assault Infantry Battalion, Brigade HQ, Divisional HQ. Russia additionally has Pressurized Water Reactor already researched.

Technical Gameplay Limitations:
Each colony is limited in its infrastructure construction by an artificial number I call TMP. A colony can have infrastructure only to a limit of 8001600 TMP (Standard Colony), 100200 TMP (Mining Outpost), and 16003200 TMP (Homeworld). Each Mine, Automine and Construction Factory values 1 TMP, a Fuel Refinery values 10 TMP and a Research Facility 100 TMP. Everything else is not restricted.
The main goal of this is to "force" the nations to spread out quickly and don't build a massive central core planet which controls everything.

Any Production is limited to a maximum of 20% of total construction capacity. But two parallel productions of the same type are allowed. So it will take time and wise planning to construct new infrastructure as need arises - this is to simulate a more "natural" way how production works. This is similar with research. Any project is limited to a maximum of 3 Research Facilities. And if more than 1 RF is used, the more of the used are "bound" to the general research area in which they were used. If I for example use 3 RF for a research in Power and Propulsion two if these three can for a follow up project only be used in Power and Propulsion. Or if they shall not be used in there they have to lay idle for at least 6 Month.

Terraforming Stations on one colony are limited to a maximum of 25. But additional ships can always be supplied.
Mass Drivers are only allowed for Automated Mining Colonies. Once settlers are on a planet minerals have to be transported by cargo ships for security reasons. Homeworld is exempt from this. Receiving Mass Driver is allowed on Homeworld.

Wars between the nations will happen, but they will not happen on earth due to the "too immediate nature" of a direct earth attack with multiple fractions on one planet. Ground Wars are still possible though and some of the nations will try to annex neutral countries to add them to their space exploration capacity. An outside attack on earth is also possible.
Earth will start with a 50 point value in Atmosphere Dust and 500 point value in Radiation (due to the oversized use of atomic weapon testing).

Sol System has been enriched with minerals and it will take some time to exhaust it. Therefore research of Jump Point Theory will not happen early in the game. This is planned to happen earliest around the year 2000, but depends on how the colonization goes forward.

Most of these rules are designed to limit some of the free features of Aurora to make them closer to real life. They surely shall not prevent the game from flowing forward. If they do I will adjust them if needed.

As for the reports: I will most likely deliver the reports more in the form of stories, possibly from the perspectives of the involved people. Some technical aspects might show up here and there - but most of the time I will use Aurora Engine to give me the border in which I can tell the stories and use the randomized features to spice up the storytelling.

Starting Setup for the Nations:
USA starts with 209 Million People, a 11.25 Mill Litre Fuel Reserve and 760.000 Fuel Production per Year and a fully developed Infrastructure of 1600 TMP: 500 Mines, 500 Construction Factories, 20 Refineries and 4 Research Facilities.
They also have: 200 Ordnance Factories, 200 Fighter Factories (both are switched off because of worker shortage), 2 Shipyards (1 Naval, 1 Civilian), 1 Tracking Station, 10 Ground Forces Training Facilities and 3 Naval Academies. Which leaves the US with 0.04 Million People unemployed under their newly elected President: Richard Nixon, Civilian Administrator. Actual Wealth: 950 (Income 3232) and a total Stockpile of Minerals of 151.840t. Production: 16.722t.

UK starts with 55 Million People, a 3.75 Mill Litre Fuel Reserve and 418.000 Fuel Production per Year. Infrastructure is at 710 TMP: 200 Mines, 210 CF, 10 Refineries, 2 Research Facilities.
They also have: 100 Ordnance Factories, 100 Fighter Factories (both are switched off because of worker shortage), 2 Shipyards (1 Naval, 1 Civilian), 1 Tracking Station, 6 GFTF and 2 Naval Academies. This leaves them with 0.41 Million Workers unemployed under their Prime Minister: Harold Wilson, Civilian Administrator. Actual Wealth: 290 (Income 925) and a total Stockpile of Minerals of 52.350t. Production: 7.904t.

USSR will start with 186 Million People, a 15.5 Mill Litre Fuel Reserve and 1.131.840 Fuel Production per Year. Infrastructure is at 1600 TMP: 550 Mines, 400 CF, 25 Refineries, 4 Research Facilities.
They also have: 150 Ordnance Factories, 150 Fighter Factories (both are switched off because of worker shortage), 2 Shipyards (1 Naval, 1 Civilian), 1 Tracking Station, 8 GFTF and 3 Naval Academies. This leaves them with a worker shortage of 0,40 Million Workers under their Leader: Leonid Brezhnev. Actual Wealth: - 700 (Income 2848) and a total Stockpile of Minerals of 175.930t. Production: 16.601t.

Earth has a total Stockpile of Minerals of 163.988.370t - So it basically will not happen that Earth will be depleted during this gameplay - also because the average accessibility is 0.3.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 03:23:32 AM by TMaekler »

Offline TMaekler (OP)

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Re: Space Race 1969 - The Backstory
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2016, 01:50:15 PM »
Official Listing of Active Personell in "Space Race 1969". This list reflects only the actual active characters in the game which have relevance to the latest entry. I will update this file als the story progresses.
Date of latest entry: January 1st, 1977.

Secretary General: Kurt Josef Waldheim, Austria

Head of Commonwealth of Nations: Queen Elizabeth II. (since Feb 6th, 1952)
Secretary General: Shridath Ramphal, Guyana

Secretary General: Hassan Al-Touham, Egypt

Prime Minister: Malcolm Fraser

President: John Diefenbaker

Tenno: Hirohito
Prime Minister: Miki Takeo

Space Command:
     Sheihk Khaleen
     Sheihk Jabir
     Sheihk Ahmud
     Sheikh Din Khaliz
     Sheikh Hamid
     Mufti Majid Sulaiman
     Mufti Ahmad

President: Jiang Qing
The other Coup Leaders: Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, Wang Hongwen

President: Piotr Jaroszewicz

President: Leonid Brezhnev
Prime Minister: Alexei Nikolajewitsch Kosygin
Adjutant: Dimitri Lezov
Permanent Representatives to the United Nations: Oleg Troyanovsky
Chief of Operations: Rear Admiral Katalena Kobrin
Chief Scientist: Bolodenka Punin
First Contact Transport Ship Crew:
     Captain Stanislov Veskresensky
     Engineer Gregori Fomin
     Lt. Shura Sobolev
Ship Commander: Cmdr. Shurochka Uspensky, Captain of the First Russian Geological Survey Vessel
Ship Commander: Cmdr. Nicolai Yakovlev, Captain of the Russian Freighter 'Theban'

Prime Minister: James Callaghan
Commander - UK Space Division: Admiral Dewi Morys
Logistics - UK Space Division: Cmdr. Amber Pollard
Operations - UK Space Division: Cmdr. Ellen Hammond
Leader of UK-Mars-Colony: Jennifer Anderson
Ship Commander: Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Lyons, Captain of the first UK Cargo Vessel
Ship Commander: Cmdr. Madison Pearson, Captain of the first UK Cryo Transport
Scientist: Joseph Hutchinson, Head of UK Power & Propulsion Research
Xenology Team Mars: Scientist Urs Pigrato, Ariana DeJones

President: Spiro Agnew
Secretary of Defence: Melvin Robert Laird
Planetary Commander: Darrick Basulto, Leader of Marsian Basulto Base
Director of Central Intelligence: Richard Helms
Ambassador to the United Nations: John F. Kennedy
Chief of Naval Operations & Chairman Joint Chiefs: Admiral Thomas H. Moorer
Chief of Staff US Army General, Commanding Officer - 1st Earth Defense Division: General William C. Westmooreland
Chief of Naval Operations: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt
Chief of Staff US Air Force: General George S. Brown
Commandant US Marine Corps: General Leonard F. Chapman
Commander - Space Naval Command: Admiral Columbus Vessey
Logistics - Space Naval Command: Lt. Cmdr. Nathanael Krenke
Operations - Space Naval Command: Lt. Cmdr. Eve Cole
Public Affairs - Space Naval Command: Lt. Joe Schons
   CEO: James E. Webb
   Chief of Operations: Thomas Paine
Ship Commander: Lt. Cmdr. Saul Trillinger, Captain of the first US Cargo Vessel "Achernar"
Ship Commander: Lt. Cmdr. Burt Millholland, Captain of US Cargo Vessel "Arlington"
Ship Commander: Captain Agnano Viera Segura, Captain of the first US Cryo Transport
Scientist: Reed Bullis, Head of Research Project Active Grav Sensor
Scientist: Chadwick Voller, Energy & Propulsion Research
Scientist: Aretha Gofman, Logistics & Ground Combat
Civilian: Gene Roddenberry, Screen Writer & Science Fiction Author
Xenology Team Mars: Lt. Cmdr. Carl Faggan, Major Ronald Penderton, Scientist Elinn Faggan

Diplomatic Relations:
     Senator Fallan'Ar B'sen
     Senator Holan Marsani
Ship Commander: Captain Sirga Neticor, Captain of Deep Space Exploration Group Alpha, Captain of the 'Lectenos Callar / Pride of Caldera'
Private Citizen: Flinej B'sen

First Contact Captain: Tapati Raut, deceased unfortunately in an accident during the refit duty of his Deep Space Fleet

Unknown entity operating on Earth. Known contacts in the US leadership: General William C. Westmooreland
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 07:42:02 AM by TMaekler »