It's 1969: the Soviets land on the moon. Now what?

Which raises the question; when would the USSR announce it’s lunar mission? IIRC the Soviets tended to wait until after a launch was succesful before announcing it (& coverup failures).

You probably mean this one, starring James Caan, Robert Duvall and directed by Robert Altman. It’s not available on Netflix, alas.

I dont get your question. The US would STILL land on the moon a week later, July 1969.

What difference would a week make?

Our astronauts on the moon would not even be in close proximity to the Soviets. We also would still make the same number of followup Moon missions, if not even more Moon missions. US technology, at the time, was still much better than the Soviets and we would still win out in the long run, as it did.

Might be hard to cover up a rocket to the moon if it actually got off the ground and was headed for the moon.

Just like every other private citizen. It would have occurred on Nixon’s watch so Nixon would have been deemed soft on communism.

Given about what we now know about the state of Soviet space technology, it is likely that the mission would have failed. Unlike Apollo, the Soviet moon craft required the cosmonaut to exit the capsul in moon orbit, and enter the lunar excursion module (or whatever the Soviets called it). Had there been any difficulty in this (like what Alexei Leonov experienced in his space walk), the whole thing would have been a disaster-and that would have not been a good thing for Soviet propaganda.
Anyway, had it worked, the end result would have been the same-Apollo would have proceded, and the Russians would have brought home a few pounds of rocks.
Big deal.

“With Blackjack, and Hookers!” :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m sure the Soviets would have been as disappointed as the Americans that there are no whales in the Sea of Tranquillity, too. :smiley:

And in Western capitalism it’s often cheaper to destroy food by the ton than to distribute it to hungry people who actually need it.

It’s been about twenty years since the dissolution of the USSR, and people there still live in tacky, pre-fab apartments—and not just the 1960s Khrushchovkas you’re probably talking about. Russian cities, towns, and villages are full of ugly, cheaply constructed prefabricated apartment towers which have been erected in the past decade.

This sort of thing was going on in the West as well, at least for the latter part of your claim. Remember the Red Scare? McCarthyism? It’s continued even today, though Islamic terrorism is the new bugbear used to justify the erosion of civil liberties.

I wouldn’t be so sure about that. The soviet equivalent of the M-16 was also entirely manual unlike the M-16 which was fly by wire. Soviet pilots needed to cope with radical changes in what they needed to do dependent on many factors. I try to never underestimate human ability.

I’m just basing on fatigue generated, increased potential for error, and, as far as I can tell, no radar.

When I say ‘we almost crashed’, I mean it. The descent was heading into a boulder field, and landing required Aldrin to call out the velocity and distance to ground while Armstrong piloted.

Given the restricted field of view, only one pilot, and the somewhat rough systems, the odds of that Russian craft landing successfully would have been low. Assuming the potential for one critical valve to blow, I’d call it nigh-zero.

And what do you mean ‘fly by wire’? A M-16 has no electric parts. F-16? Yes, the MiG-29 was a hydraulic control system, not an electric, but that’s not the point here: the Soviet Lander was meant to be operated by basically sticking your head out the window and eyeing the ground. Yes, the Cosmonauts were heroic pilots. God, who was the one that survived a crash landing from space? But this is something that’d be tricky, given lack of frame of reference, rather than anything depending on their skills.

Did you mean to say F-16? Because so far as I know, the Soviet equivalent of the M-16 was the AK-47, and neither of them was particularly likely to be operated by a pilot.

IIRC, the United States and the Soviet Union had agreed by 1967 not to nationalize bodies in outer space, so it wasn’t like the USSR would claim the moon if they got there a week before us in 1969.

My guess is that if the Soviet Union had demonstrated the capacity to send men to the moon, we would have maintained our capacity to do so simply to not cede a monopoly to the Soviets. Maybe we would have cut back to one mission a year just to keep our hand in. There would probably have been some move to longer missions- stays on the lunar surface of two weeks or a month would have been the next logical step, to get the most out of each launch. By the mid to late '70s there was a brief thaw in US/USSR relations that in our world led to the joint Apollo/Soyuz mission. In that world, it might have made sense to combine lunar missions to avoid a duplicate effort.

If both sides had a heavy launch capacity, then Skylab would either have been extended or a Skylab 2 launched. The USSR might have launched a similar-sized station rather than the smaller Salyut/Almaz labs. With the abilty to launch heavy military payloads already, the US might have focused on a “Shuttle” that was smaller and meant to deliver astronauts to a space station. On a darker note, if both sides still had a heavy launch capacity by the time US/USSR relations soured in the early '80s, there might have been a new, military space race. (As it was, in 1987 the USSR used it’s new Energia heavy booster on it’s first ever flight to try to launch the Polyus prototype laser platform!)

Just wanted to add: it’s very doubtful the N1 could ever gotten cosmonauts to the moon; but in another world an alternate proposal by a rival rocket bureau, the UR-700, might have suceeded.

There was a radar - the Planeta system, later modified to land the unmanned Lunokhod missions. Still not a mission I’d volunteer for, admittedly.