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USSEC: United States Space Exploration Commission

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Posted (edited)


After World War II (WWII), the United States started a secret project called project paperclip to attain German scientists and engineers who worked on many of the German’s weapons of war. Among those scientists and engineers was a man named Wernher Von Braun. He had always dreamed of exploring the stars above, and was very much a space enthusiast.


He worked on the V-2 Rocket, a (fairly faulty) missile built to launch at Germany's enemies. It flew higher than a jet fighter, and was hard to shoot down. It one upped the V-1 in every way, which scared the hell out of the allies. Many were captured by the allies, especially the Americans and Soviets.

Quickly, both sides got to work designing sounding rocket after sounding rocket, and developing missile technology even faster than the Germans would.

Now, back to Von Braun. He, with many other German scientists, built the American’s war machines of the early 1950s. They helped America in the now cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States. However, it was a huge blow to them when the Soviets built the R-7, the world’s first ICBM. Von Braun knew its capabilities, too. Here’s where the alternate history stuff begins.

The U.S. followed with the Redstone becoming their first ICBM, and this gave Wernher a very interesting idea. He quickly designed a satellite, called the Explorer. He proposed it to the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1955, saying that it may in fact prove America was ahead of the Soviets in the Cold War. They proposed the project to Eisenhower, who gave his request… the green light. Some say Wernher jumped with delight upon hearing the news. However, the USAF was dedicated to air defense, not space. So Eisenhower set up America's space program, called the United States Space Exploration Commission, or USSEC for short.

Wherner said his satellite should be done by mid 1956, and the USAF said a Redstone should be ready around then, too. The date picked was July 4th, so America could celebrate their victory on their day of independence. The space age had begun…

Edited by Kerbalsaurus
Title Change. THOSE GUYS from WWII are a banned word. For the best, really.
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2 hours ago, Vanamonde said:

Since this is not a mission report, the thread has been moved to the Spaceflight sub. 

It is. I just haven’t gotten to the mission part yet. I have the screenshots though, and I was going to upload today.

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Posted (edited)



JULY 4TH, 1956

If you asked any American what they were doing this Fourth of July, they'd say they're watching the launch of Explorer 1. USSEC's satellite is in the minds of every American, from farmers to politicians. In a Cold War they were losing, they might finally climb to the top. Intelligence does suggest that the Soviets are in fact preparing their own satellite. While a concern, for now its gone to the back burner.

The satellite itself is very basic. It's about the size of the average person, and only has basic instrumentation. It will put itself into orbit via the solid rocket motor on the very back of it. The Redstone missile its going to be launched on is also very basic, and not even able to put the satellite into orbit. Designers decided to add an extra kick stage to launch the satellite a little bit higher.

The missile is brought out to launch pad at Edward's Air Force Base, the current launch center of USSEC.


Explorer 1 on the launch pad

The clock slowly counts down to zero. The entire country is on the edge of its seat.

3, 2, 1...

"Liftoff!" cries Wernher, his voice breaking with excitement.

Explorer 1 climbs high into the air, it's smoking trail following as the engine burns. People in mission control are glued to their consoles. First stage cutoff, kickstage ignition. Kickstage cutoff, satellite separation. The space craft is fine, and continues flying above the atmosphere. Once it reaches its apogee, it fires its solid rocket motor. Mission control goes silent. This is the most critical part of the flight.



The mission is a complete success! The country erupts in cheers! America had just put the first artificial satellite into Earth orbit!


As one would expect though, this does startle the world a little bit. For a brief moment, America started the blue scare. If they can launch a satellite, why not launch a nuke into orbit? They'd be uncontested. America quickly alleviates fears, having Wernher show the world they're scientific purposes for exploring space. Still, the fear lingers for a little while



Ivan Serov, head of the KGB, runs down the hall to catch up Nikita Khrushchev.

"Mr. Khrushchev!" Serov yelled, "They've done it! The Americans! They've put a satellite up there!"

Khrushchev looked at him puzzled.

"It's called Explorer 1. It beat us to space."

Khrushchev stood silent for a second. And then he laughed. This surprised everyone around. Why was the De Facto laughing? This was a national emergency!

"Ah, those pesky Americans." Khrushchev chuckled. "We'll catch up eventually. We must."

And with that, Khrushchev went on his way. This is not a one sided journey to space. Yes, the space race was on.

Edited by Kerbalsaurus
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Posted (edited)


December 17th, 1956

The success of Explorer 1 allows USSEC to construct another satellite, named Explorer 2. Explorer 2’s flight plan is identical to Explorer 1’s, but maybe perhaps going a little bit higher. The clock counts down to zero, and the mighty 75-110 A7 engine lights on the launchpad, and Explorer 2 is off.



The flight goes off without a hitch, and Explorer 2 becomes Earth’s second artificial satellite. And with that, USSEC begins building Explorer 3.


April 11th, 1957

Explorer 3 is similar to Explorers 1&2 in several ways, but what sets it apart is the way it’s designed. Wernher Von Braun had an interesting idea for the satellite. What if a satellite could generate its own power? He heard of something called solar panels before, and looked into it.


Solar panels are able to harness the energy of the Sun’s light. This was perfect, as that was most likely the only form of energy in space. While its flight plan was similar to Explorers 1&2, the mission profile was different. It would both study the mysterious Van Allen belts the Explorer 1 discovered and study the potential use of solar panels.


The rocket lifts off the pad, carrying this highly experimental satellite with it.



A little less than 10 minutes later, it entered low Earth orbit.


The solar panels would keep the spacecraft operating for about 3 days, before they wear out and the batteries run out.


September 31st, 1957


Explorer 4 is very different from the rest of its counterparts. The goal of Explorer 4 is to launch a satellite into a polar orbit of the Earth. Another goal of this flight is to continue the use of solar panels, placing the satellite into an orbit in constant contact with the Sun. In other words, it will never see the dark of night. The Redstone rocket lifts off from Edward’s and up into the crisp morning sky.





Explorer 4 is a rousing success for USSEC, and while the name line Explorer may last for a long time, the original Explorer probe bus doesn’t fit for the big plans USSEC has, nor the USAF.


October 4th, 1957

It all starts with a beep, beep, beep… They'd done it. The commies put a satellite up there. It’s called Sputnik 1. While it's not as complex compared to the Explorer probe bus, the message it sends is very clear. The Soviets aren’t going to let space slip under their fingers. If it’s a fight the Americans want, it’s a fight they’ll get…


Edited by Kerbalsaurus
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1 hour ago, TORCHFORMANKIND said:

Which mod was used for the clouds in the picture?

The visual mods I use are Environmental Visual Enhancements (EVE), and Sci-fi Visual Enhancements (SciVE).

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November 3RD, 1957

The Soviet Union prepares to launch Sputnik, in an attempt to launch the first animal into orbit. The spacecraft, however, was rush built in order to be ready in time for the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. However, because it was rush built, it wasn’t a very, umm… reliable spacecraft. Many engineers suggested they delay the launch in order to fix up the rocket, but they were all turned down. In the dead of night, the mighty R-7 fires its engines to launch Laika into space.


That would be, if it made it. About 10 seconds into the flight, 2 of the R-7’s 4 boosters shutdown. Both on the same side. The spacecraft quickly lost stability, and, well, you can guess what happened next. 




The launch of Sputnik 2 was quickly covered up, and the engineers responsible for the launching of the spacecraft won an all-expenses paid trip to Siberia. Something tells me they’re gonna be on vacation for a long time…


February 8th, 1958

For the past few months, USSEC has been working on a spacecraft unlike any other. Their goal was to launch it all the way to the Moon, and make it the first spacecraft ever to leave the gravitational pull of Earth. However, it won’t just go to the Moon, it will in fact perform the task of entering orbit of it. This will be accomplished via the 2 solid rocket rocket motors on the back of the spacecraft. On board are experiments which will observe the temperature around the Moon, as well as the tidal forces it experiences from Earth and the tidal forces it exerts on the Earth. This is the Mond probe.


The Mond probe was named by Wernher Von Braun, as Mond in the German word for Moon. The probe is very simple, simply containing a solar panel on a metal tube. This will definitely put the Americans ahead of the Soviets in the race for space. They will make sure the Soviets are always in last place.

The rocket is a very basic, conical Moon rocket called the Mond-Redstone, a derivative of the Redstone rocket. The launch will be done from Edwards AFB, but there’s talm of moving USSEC to Cape Canaveral, as the launch pads at Edward’s Air Force Base are starting to become less and less optimized for the big plans USSEC has.





The spacecraft begins its 3 day coast to the Moon, with a little mid course correction along the way.




The mission goes off without a hitch, and Mond 1 enters lunar orbit successfully. Lots of data is collected from this mission, and our knowledge of the Moon expands greatly. No longer is it a bright circle in the sky, it’s now an actual physical object of which we can visit. The Soviets, however, will not let this achievement go unanswered. The Soviets have prepared an equally ambitious spacecraft...


February 19th, 1958


Site not affiliated with Edwards AFB.

The Soviets have prepared an interesting concept for a spacecraft. Luna 1, as they called it, was something called a lunar impactor. It would literally fly straight into the Moon, and return data from the surface back to Earth. While not as ambitious as the Mond Program, it would possibly pave the way for a (very rough) lunar lander, which would clearly put the Soviets ahead of the Americans in the space race. But that’s thinking way too far ahead. For now, let’s just crash into the Moon.


Shortly after orbit is attained by the spacecraft, it starts its trans-lunar injection (TLI) burn, putting it on an impact course.



And just like that, Luna 1 impacts the Moon! The Soviets have made the first man-made object ever to enter low lunar space, as well as reach its surface. Impressive stuff, isn’t it?

Edited by Kerbalsaurus
Changed from Lunik to Luna. Lunik's kinda stupid.
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