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  Changes to Apollo if 1970-1 Soviet moon landing?

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Author Topic:   Changes to Apollo if 1970-1 Soviet moon landing?

Posts: 822
From: Messina, Sicilia, Italia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 02-21-2014 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carmelo   Click Here to Email carmelo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What if the Soviet Union was able to send men to the moon with the N-1 (LOK/LK) system in 1970 and 1971? Some change in U.S. space program?


Posts: 270
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 02-21-2014 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Depending on when the Soviet landing(s) occurred, it might have prevented Apollos 18 and 19 from being cancelled, but nothing beyond that.

President Nixon was ambivalent towards Apollo, since it was not his creation/idea, and probably would not have sought additional funds for more lunar missions (beyond Apollo 19) just to maintain our presence on the moon while the Soviets were there. He certainly would not have allowed planned Apollo lunar missions to be cancelled because it would have looked like a sign of weakness, on our part, in the face of a Soviet lunar presence.

The U.S. space program, at the time, was pretty much set with finishing off Apollo and Skylab at least by 1974 and getting funding for the development of a reusable space vehicle (the shuttle) which was on the fiscal horizon.

The bottom line is that unless the Soviet Union directly challenged the United States to build some sort of moon base, alone or with them, I do not see how their lunar landing(s) would have seriously changed our space program.


Posts: 1040
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 02-21-2014 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tend to agree with that. Though he might have considered building a moon base because that would have been his plan/idea and to keep ahead of the Russians. Especially so if they showed any interest in staying on the Moon, though just them having gone there might have spurred this on.

All times are CT (US)

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