The United States of America is a federal republic with 51 states and a federal district and maintains a large and growing network of space colonies in Earth's orbit and the United Communities on the moon. The United States is the third largest country in size (behind the USSR and Canada) and fourth by population (behind India, the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China). It is the most powerful nation in the world in both economic and military terms. In addition to this it is on the cutting edge of technology; especially in space, military and computer technologies. The United States is considered one of the world's two superpowers, the other being the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
The United States is currently engaged in a Cold War with the USSR and they are at odds with each other over numerous issues. The biggest dividing current issue is their on-going competive space race which takes a large portion of the federal budget but also an increasing portion of the national GDP. While orbital locations are quickly established and under international law, Luna locations are up for grabs. As the United States has a much larger economy it is starting bases near some of the richest mineral locations and starts drilling a base, this strategy is causing friction. The United States is the leading nation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization - better known as NATO. NATO is the most important alliance in the Western World but has recently expanded into East Asia and Oceania.
In addition to Americas leadership in the sciences and military issue America is an important industrial power and is the second largest trading nation after Brazil.
This is the overview timeline for the Space Race since the point of divergence.
The Space Race, in many expert views, started with the Soviet successful launch of the first man into space in 1961. It further intensified during the Kennedy administration when he called on America to go to the moon by the end of the decade (the 1960's). It was during the Nixon administration that the most dramatic changes in American policy took place. These changes were in response to the USSR's sudden leap in space-related spending and what many see as a policy change that nearly ended the leadership of the Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev.
The sudden change in the Cold War politics effected not just the two superpowers but also the relationship between the Soviets and their North Vietnam allies which in turn led to the fall of the North and eventually to the Chinese spliting up and falling into Civil War, a war that still effect so many in the world.
The rewards of the alteration from a cold war to a (peaceful) space race have been the reduction of nuclear weapon stockpiles by nearly 50%, since the signing of the SALT I Treaty in 1971 and SALT ll in 1986. As well as a dramatic change in race relationship within the United States. An unprecedented period of growth in research and development, leading to a near tripling of R&D budgets around the world and a cutting in half of most Defence Budgets. Not only has space and engineering benefitted but also health care and most other academic endeavors.
The current president of the United States is John Stossel, since January 20, 2013. He replaced Hillary Clinton in a surprise upset making him the first independent to win the presidency. He is a registered Libertarian OTL.
Complete List of Presidents.
The economy of the United States is the largest in the world with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $22.1 trillion dollars and a per capita (GNP) of $60,000 ranking seventh. Its economy is mixed industrial with a strong agricultural sector which produces over half the world's exportable surplus grains. It has an ample mining sector and is the largest producer of steel on earth (300 million long tons) and in LEO (75 million long tons).
The United States is renowned around the world for its continued "can-do" attitude, an innovative workforce and large middle class. The driving force in the USA is its rapidly growing space assets and continued efforts to maintain a technological advantage over its chief rival the Soviet Union, both of which receive very large research and development budgets.
Foreign relations and military
America maintains embassies in most countries around the world and maintains close ties with her NATO allies and largest trading partners. The United States is currently involved in a period of détente with the Soviet Union in its ongoing space race. While its unannounced space race has been a focus point in its national policy for over four decades; the space race is in fact an off-shoot of the cold war, also unannounced.
The United States' ongoing rivalry in space with the Soviet Union can be traced back to the Nixon administration when both the United States and the Soviet Union starting placing greater efforts on space exploration and technologies. These efforts caused a great amount of concern among the "hawks" of both nations. However, Nixon was able to get a working majority from both parties to prevent a slowdown in spending for NASA and other space related programs.The cold war also require a substancial amount of national resources. The assets that America pours into the military does not nessecerily pay off dividents in the civilain sector the same way a space and other sciences do.
The military of the United States is by far the most powerful. The United States has a draft system to ensure an adequate troop level. It has an active force of 2,150,000 with 3,000,000 reservists and guardsmen. Its navy is backed by over 350 combat vessels, with ten carrier battle groups, five Ithacus strike force groups and 150 submarines. The army has 11,500 tanks and 18,000 other armored vehicles as well as nearly 2500 helicopters. The air force maintains 4500 combat craft with 200 long range sub-orbital bombers, while its space command force (its newest branch) has 100 rockets capable of moving 1200 troops or marines per ship. It also has a space force of 215 defense satellites and 24 orbital gunboats and eight ships with interplanetary reach.
Science and technology
Main page Science and Technology
The United States has a very active space program which has changed greatly over the last few decades. From launching small rockets into orbit in the late 1950's to sending probes deep into space the United States has been very engaged in a Space Race with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The primary space agency is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which was founded in 1958. NASA's mission has been to "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research." Other agencies include Space Command founded in 1979 to utilize outer space for the United States Armed Services and to protect American assets from unlawfulness. Federal Space Administration (FSA) founded in 1981 whose mission is to control and guide spacecraft throughout the solar system.
Telecom and technology
The United States maintains very advanced communication and computer networks. Its computer industry has been on the cutting edge for many decades. American and Europeans have in a joint project recently passed the exa scale computer level. The supercomputer nicknamed "Superman" is located in Houston, Texas and will be used for researching advanced nuclear-pulse rocket for NASA and the ESA.
Medicine and HealthThe United States health care system is single user system and most Americans have excellent health. Due to the rapid expansion into space and onto the moon many new problems have arisen. Several pathogens have mutated due to exposure to space radiation because of inadequate shielding. This forced America to set up very strict policy of monitoring and prevention. Other advances have come due to Luna regolith causes both eye and lung problems. Regolith, which are nearly microscopic pieces of rock with sharp edges, is a severe problem throughout the lunar communities. This problems have lead to many advances in eye and lung care and treatment which otherwise may not have been made.
Orbital habitats have in recent years have established zero G medical facilities. The Shriners L5 Center is a floating hostipal that allows children with severe burn or spinal problems to be treated without having to lay down which is a great cause of pain.
The United States is largely energy independent and is a major exporter of nuclear technologies and other forms of green energies. Solar and wind technologies for the production of electricity have seen dramatic improvments over the last few decades. The United States remains a fossil fuel dependent nation and is a moderate sized exporter of oil and refined fuels.
The United States has a population on 376,500,000 as of July 2012 from the 2010 census of 368,700,000. The population has been growing steadily since the first census in 1790. It is one of the most diverse and educated populations in the world. America is one of the few major economies whose population is projected to continue to grow. With a strong immigrant history people from around the world continue to move to the United States. There is a sizable illegal immigrant population, estimated at around 2,500,000 most of which are from the war-torn areas of both north and south China. Many Chinese families are known to sell off anything to raise funds to send a child to America. In recent years it has increasingly been a daughter, as so many young men have died in the wars. In addition to the illegal population there is a very large immigrant population of nearly 80,000,000 from virtually every nation on Earth. However, the future is showing sighs of a slow down of its population growth as both immigration and births have slowed down in recent years.
While migration within the United States is nothing new it, in fact, has been going since before the birth of the nation. From historically moving west into Ohio to wagon trains on the Oregon trail or going to the "Golden State" of California for new opportunity, America has always been on the move. What is new, however, is migrating "off planet" to America's prosperous and rapidly growing off world system of space stations and Luna cities and towns. The total population of these new areas is over 1,200,000 and is expected to triple by 2020.
Culture and lifestyleThe United States is the most diverse country in the world and nearly everyone has an immigrant past (except some Native American people or Pacific Islanders). America has developed a multicultural society based on opportunity and education. While America's past is full of many negatives in regards to race relations and gender equality, America has made great strives in recent decades.
The multicultural population has greatly contributed to America. With a growing Asian population the arts and literature have once again started to change with their growing influences.
Sports has been changing in recent decades as new sports have developed on America's off world communities. The most popular of these is off-road lunar buggy race. Other new activities included human flight in low or zero gravity conditions.
Mass media has not missed the rapid introductory of space culture into the general population. Many television shows include space references or travel to or from. Music also has been influenced,