Alternative History


  • Jan. 27, 1967: All three astronauts for NASA's AS-204 Apollo mission suffocate from smoke inhalation in a cabin fire during a launch pad test.
  • April 5, 1967: A review board delivers a damning report to NASA Administrator James Webb about problem areas in the Apollo spacecraft. The recommended modifications are completed by Oct. 9, 1968.
  • Oct. 11, 1968: Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, launches on a Saturn 1 for an 11-day mission in Earth orbit. The mission also featured the first live TV broadcast of humans in space.
  • Dec. 21, 1968: Apollo 8 launches on a Saturn V and becomes the first manned mission to orbit the Moon.
  • March 3, 1969: Apollo 9 launches. During the mission, tests of the lunar module are conducted in Earth orbit.
  • May 22, 1969: Apollo 10's Lunar Module Snoopy comes within 8.6 mi (14 km) of the Moon's surface.
  • July 20, 1969: Six years after U.S. President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Apollo 11 crew lands on the Moon, fulfilling his promise to put an American there by the end of the decade and return him safely to Earth.
  • April 13, 1970: An explosion ruptures the command module of Apollo 13, days after launch and within reach of the Moon. Abandoning the mission to save their lives, the astronauts climb into the Lunar Module and slingshot around the Moon to speed their return back to Earth.
  • July 26, 1971: Apollo 15 (the first of the J-class Apollo missions) launches with a Boeing-built Lunar Roving Vehicle and better life-support equipment to explore the Moon.
  • Jan. 5, 1972: U.S. President Robert F. Kennedy announces the Artemis Program to succeed Apollo.
  • Dec. 19, 1972: Apollo 17, (the first of the K-class Apollo missions) launches with the Apollo LM Shelter awaiting the crew for a 14 day stay on the surface.

    Apollo LM Shelter

  • May 14, 1973: A Saturn V rocket launches the first Skylab module, the United States' first space station.
  • June 2, 1973: Apollo 20, the last Apollo flight, returns to earth after another 14 day stay on the surface of the moon.


  • Sep. 24, 1973: The 3rd and final Skylab component reaches orbit, completing the space station.
  • Aug. 30, 1974: The first Nova Rocket is tested. At 280 feet in height it is the largest vehicle ever built.
    Nova Rocket

    Nova Rocket compared to Saturn Rocket

  • March 12, 1975: Tranquility Base, the first permanent manned lunar outpost takes its first crew for a 3 month stay on the lunar surface.

    sketch of Tranquility base.

  • May 20, 1975: The Nova Rocket launches the first manned flyby of Venus using the Voyager CMS and a modified Artemis lander module.

    Artemis VFB-1

  • August 1, 1975: Serenity Base opens with a crew ready for a year long stay on the lunar surface.
  • January 3, 1976: Skylab B is completed.
  • April 30, 1976: The second manned flyby of Venus is completed. After extensive examination of the planet from orbit, it is decided that no landing should be attempted.
  • February 4, 1977: President Reagan announces the Voyager Program, with the intent of putting a man on Mars by the early 1980s.
  • July 5, 1978: NASA completes a three year stay onboard Skylab B.


  • January 8, 1979: NASA begins construction of the Voyager I spacecraft, set to land the first man on Mars by 1982.
  • November 11, 1982: John W. Young becomes the first man on Mars.

    Voyager 1 Landing

  • December 2, 1982: Voyager 2 lands 100 miles from the Voyager 1 team, NASA plans to send two teams within only a few months of each other for each mission to Mars.
  • February 24, 1983: President Reagan announces plans to build a much larger space station to succeed the Skylabs. Space Station Freedom will be used for both scientific purposes and keeping a permanent fuel station in orbit.
  • April 4, 1983: Voyager 3 lands on the Martian north pole. They confirm the presence of water ice in large quantities.
  • June 3, 1983: Voyager 4 lands on the Martian south pole.
  • January 30, 1984: The Voyager 1 crew return to earth with samples and evidence of life.
  • September 1, 1985: NASA sends the first C class Voyager missions with Voyager 5 and 6. The crew are to stay on the surface of Mars and build a permanent Martian base, and stay on the surface for no less than five years.
  • October 24, 1986: Space Station Freedom's first module enters orbit. The final station is set to be roughly the size of the empire state building.
  • January 3, 1987: Voyager 11, the last of the Voyager missions launches for Mars. It is set to stay at Sojourner Base for a period of five years.
  • March 19, 1989: NASA completes the first Delta Rocket, it is a launch vehicle capable of launching 50% more mass into orbit than the Nova Rockets.


  • June 3, 1991: NASA launches the first Pathfinder class spacecraft for Mars. the Vehicle, unlike the Voyager spacecraft, is intended to be fully reusable and uses a NERVA rocket engine to propel itself. Mars landings are used via the Venture Star Space Plane. NASA's long term goal is the establishment of several permanent human bases on Mars. The first crew aboard Pathfinder 1 is set to land at Sojourner Base and remain their indefinitely. The craft will return to earth with the crew of Voyager 11 in 1992.
  • September 26, 1992: Biosphere 2 goes online at Viking base. It is a 3.15-acre enclosed materially-closed ecological system designed to supply a permanent food supply for the residents of Viking base.
  • October 4, 1993: Space Station Freedom is completed. It orbits between Earth and the Moon with a crew of 100 scientists and engineers.
  • July 20, 1994: President Edward M. Kennedy announces on the 25th anniversary of the first moon landing plans to send a manned mission to Jupiter by 2001, in honor of Arthur C. Clarke's famous sci-fi novel. The mission is even known as Project Discovery.
  • May 1, 1995: Sojourner and Viking Base complete a Mars Railway, easing travel between the two bases. Sojourner now has a population of 1000 scientists.
  • February 5, 1998: The Pathfinder X crew lands on the martian north pole and begins to create the Mars Polar Station.


  • January 19, 2001: Discovery I reaches Jupiter's orbit. The mile long spacecraft contains a crew of 1000 and is intended to spend ten years in Jovian orbit. It begins to send a multiple teams to investigate the Galilean Moons. They confirm advanced macro-scale life on both Ganymede and Europa, with micro-organizes present on Calisto and Io. Bowman base is established on Europa.
  • January 4, 2004: Spirit and Opportunity base go online on Mars. They are designed to begin studying the potential for a long term terraforming project.
  • March 9, 2004: Discovery 2 reaches Jupiter. Its crew begins the process of expanding the current array of stations.
  • October 9, 2007: Discovery 3 reaches Jupiter.
  • August 20, 2009: Spirit and Opportunity Bases begin pumping greenhouse gasses into the Martian atmosphere.