Alternative History

Space exploration is the use of astronomy and space technology to explore the solar system and outer space. Since Doomsday, worldwide interest in space exploration has dropped dramatically, made worse since most space programs were destroyed on Doomsday.

On the day that global nuclear war broke out, there were two human beings in space, cosmonauts Vladimir Lyakhov and Aleksandr Aleksandrov, who were manning the space station Salyut 7. Aleksandrov was able to land the Soyuz spacecraft in the Australian outback; he lived the rest of his life in Australia and ultimately became a citizen and civil servant. Lyakhov insisted on going down with the station, manually plunging it into the ocean in order to keep it out of perceived enemy hands.

In 2001, a new space age began when a joint European-South American team launched a new Odyssey-class rocket from the Guiana Space Centre in Kouru, Guyane. Since then the Guiana Space Centre remains the worldwide center of rocket launches and is controlled by the League of Nations Authority for Space Operations. Despite these advancements, no human has returned to space since Doomsday.

Today, the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand, the USSR and several other states operate their own national space agencies. Meanwhile, the member states of the South American Confederation have combined their resources to form the Confederate Commission for Space Research. Furthermore, the Atlantic Defense Community has created their own joint space agency, the Atlantic Space Agency. Both, the CCSR and ASA use the Guiana Space Centre as their main spaceport. The Republic of Superior runs a small military space program known as the Superior Space Command out of Keweenaw. Plans are, however, to combine the resources of the United Communities member nations into a unified "United Communities Space Authority", though this is still in the planning stages.

The events of Doomsday have convinced many that space exploration and colonization is necessary to ensure the future survival of humanity. Supporters of these ideas of suggested building "backups" of human civilization that could repopulate the Earth in case of another Doomsday-event that might wipe out all of human civilization, while preserving as much of human culture as possible. Suggested location for such facilities include the Lagrange points, the Moon and Mars. These ideas are purely hypothetical as none of the space faring nations currently has the capability or resources to construct such facilities, though the idea is frequently discussed and has some popular support. The ideas have gained some measure of official support as it has been mentioned in several LoN meetings, but it has not got past the discussion stage.

See also