12 episodes

This is the world of “what if”. What if we had continued the space race, what would our space footprint look like? What if we had invested heavily in a transportation infrastructure around the globe, how would that change how we get from point A to point B today? What if we decided as a species that world hunger was not acceptable, how would we have solved it with technology? What if we had solved the autonomous car problem 50 years ago, how would that have changed how we worked and played today? What if sustainable energy was standard practice for a generation, how would that change how we interacted in our world today?

From the space program to high speed trains. From bridges to artificial intelligence. From pop culture to politics. From war to religion.

Belitopia is about the world of what if. What if, different decisions were made in our history? Different priorities held by our leaders? Different politics involved?

Let’s see the world as it could have been, perhaps should have been, and might still become.

Welcome to Belitopia.

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp

Belitopia Lee Atchison

    • Science Fiction
    • 5.0, 3 Ratings

This is the world of “what if”. What if we had continued the space race, what would our space footprint look like? What if we had invested heavily in a transportation infrastructure around the globe, how would that change how we get from point A to point B today? What if we decided as a species that world hunger was not acceptable, how would we have solved it with technology? What if we had solved the autonomous car problem 50 years ago, how would that have changed how we worked and played today? What if sustainable energy was standard practice for a generation, how would that change how we interacted in our world today?

From the space program to high speed trains. From bridges to artificial intelligence. From pop culture to politics. From war to religion.

Belitopia is about the world of what if. What if, different decisions were made in our history? Different priorities held by our leaders? Different politics involved?

Let’s see the world as it could have been, perhaps should have been, and might still become.

Welcome to Belitopia.

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp

    S1E10 - After Apollo

    S1E10 - After Apollo

    Project Apollo started as a program simply to land a man on the moon before the Russians. But, as time went on, the Apollo technology found more and more uses as we learned how to live and work in space. Apollo technology gave us earth orbiting space stations, two bases on the` lunar surface, a lunar orbiting space station, communications satellites a quarter of a million miles from either the earth or the moon, and a crewed mission to flyby the planet Venus.


    What a legacy.


    But what’s next? Now that we’ve proven we can live and work in space, what is our next challenge in space?


    The next challenge is learning how to live in persistently and sustainably in space. How can we have a permanent presence in space?


    That is the subject of season 2 of Belitopia, and this final episode of season 1 gives you a glimpse into the missions and technology that are next inline after Project Apollo, and the Apollo Applications Program is complete.


    LinksLink to episode ( https://belitopia.com/110 (https://belitopia.com/110) )


    Apollo Program Information ( https://belitopia.com/apollo (https://belitopia.com/apollo) )


    Help support our show ( https://belitopia.com/support (https://belitopia.com/support) )


    Review and rate us on Podchaser ( https://www.podchaser.com/Belitopia (https://www.podchaser.com/Belitopia) )


    Keep Informed when season 2 is about to start ( belitopia.com/signup (http://belitopia.com/signup) )


    Neil deGrasse Tyson - StarTalk ( https://www.startalkradio.net (https://www.startalkradio.net) )


    Space Resource quote - StarTalk, Nov 27, 2016


    IntroductionThis season of Belitopia has been all about project Apollo, and extensions and enhancements to the use of project Apollo technology in order to further human presence in space.


    Using Apollo technology in Belitopia: We landed on the moon. We lived and worked in earth orbit. We lived and worked in lunar orbit. We lived and worked on the lunar surface. And we visited our nearest neighbor, the planet Venus.


    All of these missions were possible extensions to the real world Apollo program, if we would have just committed the financial resources to make it happen. And in the world of Belitopia, we did commit those resources and these missions occurred.


    So, this begs the question. Why didn’t we do these missions in real life? Well, you have to remember what was the primary driver for the Apollo moon mission in the first place. It was politics. We were afraid of the Soviet Union and what they could accomplish in space. Sputnik scared America, and our response was to build a space program to prove we were better at space exploration than the Soviet Union. It took many years...decades...before we caught up with the Soviet Union. They kept beating us to space firsts...


    ...first man in space


    ...first man in orbit


    ...first unmanned ship to the moon


    ...and many others.


    We needed a victory.


    We eventually found that victory in July of 1969 with the landing of the first man on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin won the space race for us. It wasn’t because we, the United States, were better at space than the Soviet Union...we weren’t. Rather, it was because we finally were able to beat them at something. Beat them at one thing...landing a man on the moon.


    But once we did that, for all practical purposes, the race was over. The political drive that motivated the need for the space program was gone. We gave up, and we moved on to other more pressing national priorities, such as the war in Vietnam.


    The only reason there were Apollo missions beyond the Apollo 11 moon landing was because of the momentum involved in stopping it. The political pressure to stop investing came almost immediately, and eventually the program was swallowed up by the pressure and we stopped after Apollo 17. We had plans for more Apollo missions, and started building the space

    • 22 min
    S1E9 – Lunar Communications Network

    S1E9 – Lunar Communications Network

    We landed on the moon. We built a habitat on the moon.


    We are living in earth orbit, and we are living in lunar orbit.


    We are living on the far side of the moon, with no visibility to earth...ever.


    With four space stations, two lunar bases, and over 35 crewed trips between the earth and the moon, how can we possibly communicate with each other over the long term?


    How can we keep all these missions in communications with earth?


    The answer, is a communications network that grows and becomes more sophisticated as time goes on. By the end of the Apollo-era, we can communicate over a half million miles without the requirement that we be line of sight with an earth based antenna. This required a sophisticated network of communications satellites and technologies…and a bit of luck.


    This is the Apollo Lunar Communications Network. In the world of Belitopia.


    LinksEpisode Details ( https://belitopia.com/109 (https://belitopia.com/109) )


    Belitopia Information from this Episode ( https://belitopia.com/lunarnet (https://belitopia.com/lunarnet) )


    Lagrangian Points ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point) )


    Lunar Fronzen Orbits ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_orbit#Lunar_frozen_orbits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_orbit#Lunar_frozen_orbits) )


    Precession ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precession (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precession) )


    Lunar Wobble - NASA ( https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/10836 (https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/10836) )


    Lunar Libration - Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libration#Lunar_libration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libration#Lunar_libration) )


    Earth Rise - Famous picture from Apollo 8 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthrise (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthrise) )


    As we near the end of season one, we’re going to try a slightly new format for this episode. We aren’t going to use the future documentary format, rather we are going to stay in a current day conversation. In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the fledgling communications network being built in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to support the various Apollo missions we have previously discussed in season 1. We’ve talked about part of this network briefly in episode 7, when we talked about the lunar base on the far side of the moon...the BLA base. But there’s a lot more to that network than you imagine, and a lot more to lunar communications in general than you might think. This network was the first such extra-earthly communications network, and it was developed during the early days of the space race.


    Global Earth Dish NetworkDuring the early Apollo days, during our first missions to the moon, one of the initial communications problems that had to be solved was how do you keep the moon-bound Apollo space craft in communications with earth, when the earth keeps rotating. That means, mission control, in Houston, Texas, was only in line of site of the Apollo space craft for relatively short periods of time every day — a few hours at most.


    In order for Houston to maintain a 24 hour a day communications with the moon-bound space craft, a series of satellite communications stations were built around the globe. As the earth rotated, different stations around the globe were in line of sight communications with the Apollo spacecraft at different times during the day. These stations were in direct communications with Houston via landline communications channels...essentially phone calls. Each station, when it was their turn, would relay signals between the Apollo space craft and mission control. The result was a virtual 24 hour a day continuous connection between Houston and the Apollo spacecraft.


    This was a great start. But as the 1960s moved into the 1970s more and more spacecraft were put into space between the earth and moon. Th

    • 28 min
    S1E8 – Lunar Skylab

    S1E8 – Lunar Skylab

    The United States was forming quite a bit of a space complex.


    They had space stations in low earth orbit, learning how to live and work in space, eventually to establish a permanent presence in low earth orbit.


    They had bases on the surface of the moon. Learning how to live and work on the lunar surface, 239,000 miles from earth, and in the case of the BLA base, not even visible from the surface of the earth.


    They even had satellites far from earth at the earth-moon Lagrangian points.


    All of this has been discussed in past episodes of Belitopia.


    But what was left was an orbital presence above the surface of the moon. We’ve had many ships that have orbited the moon. Every Apollo mission that went to the moon, orbited the moon for some period of time. Yet, given the constraints of the Apollo command module, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for long term study of the lunar surface from lunar orbit.


    This was the purpose of the Lunar Skylab program. Provide an environment for the long term study of the lunar surface from low lunar orbit.


    This is…Lunar Skylab. Welcome to Belitopia.


    Links


    Episode Details ( https://belitopia.com/108 (https://belitopia.com/108) )


    Belitopia Information from this Episode ( https://belitopia.com/lunarskylab (https://belitopia.com/lunarskylab) )


    Skylab + Episode ( https://belitopia.com/105 (https://belitopia.com/105) )


    Apollo Lunar Bases p1 Episode ( https://belitopia.com/106 (https://belitopia.com/106) )


    Apollo Lunar Bases p2 Episode ( https://belitopia.com/107 (https://belitopia.com/107) )


    Lunar Frozen Orbits ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_orbit#Lunar_frozen_orbits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_orbit#Lunar_frozen_orbits) )


    Topic Introduction


    The goal of the Lunar Skylab program was to send a Skylab-like space station into *lunar* orbit — 60 miles above the surface of the moon — then occupy the station with long duration crews that could study the lunar surface in greater detail, along with learn how to live in zero G far from the surface of the earth.


    In real life, this program never took place. There was never a space station built beyond low earth orbit. But in Belitopia, we deployed a Skylab-like space station into Lunar orbit in order to facilitate the study of the lunar surface, to facilitate telescopic study of the space without the worry of earth’s atmosphere, and explore alternative transportation mechanisms between lunar orbit and the lunar surface.


    What follows is a fictional documentary about the Lunar Skylab space station. The documentary is presented as if it takes place in the year 2040, some 70 years after these events took place. The documentary, titled “Our World in Space”, describes the construction and occupation of this lunar space station. The documentary describes these events as a future historical record of past events.


    While fiction, it’s based on research into how such a station may have been constructed, what it would have been used for, and how it would have benefited humankind. Theis documentary is about the Lunar Skylab program and its impact on our long term presence in space. The Lunar Skylab program, in the world of Belitopia.


    Documentary


    Hello, and welcome to “Our World in Space — The Lunar Skylab Program”.


    The Lunar Skylab. A space station 60 miles above the lunar surface. The first long duration human habitat to be built in space that was not in low earth orbit.


    The technology wasn’t hard for the station itself. The space station was essentially identical to the Skylab I space station, except it utilized many technology improvements that were built into Skylab III.


    The hard part was, how do we put it into lunar orbit? After all, the original skylab was launched into low earth orbit using a Saturn V rocket, at least the first two stages of it. That was easy. But now, the goal was

    • 29 min
    S1E7 – Apollo Lunar Bases p2

    S1E7 – Apollo Lunar Bases p2

    Not long after the end of the Apollo lunar landings, it was time for the next step in lunar exploration. There was belief, and some evidence from the experiments that were performed on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions, that there were minerals...water...and other scientifically useful resources on the lunar surface.


    There was also a concern that the Soviet Union would eventually land on the lunar surface, and attempt to claim all or part of it as their territory.


    So, the space race continued. On this front, the race was to the first long duration habitation of the lunar surface, and eventual lunar colonization. The United States created a habitat, a base, designed for the long term exploration and habitation of the lunar surface. In fact, they created two such bases. This allowed the Americans to explore the scientific wealth that awaited them on the lunar surface, as well as make a long term claim of the lunar surface before the Russians. While this is not what happened in real life, it is what happened in the fictional world we have created.


    This is…the Apollo Moon Bases — part 2. Welcome to Belitopia.


    Links and More Information Belitopia Website (https://belitopia.com/)


    Apollo Lunar Base - Belitopia (https://belitopia.com/lunarbase)


    Apollo Moon Bases p2 Episode (https://belitopia.com/107)


    Apollo Moon Bases p1 Episode (https://belitopia.com/106)


    Tycho Crater - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_(lunar_crater)) )


    Tsiolkovskiy Crater - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsiolkovskiy_(crater))


    Lagrangian Point (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point)


    Please support our show (https://belitopia.com/support/)


    IntroductionNot long after the end of the Apollo lunar landings, it was time for the next step in lunar exploration. There was belief, and some evidence from the experiments that were performed on the lunar surface, that there were minerals, water, and other scientifically useful resources on the lunar surface. There was also a concern that the Soviet Union would eventually land on the lunar surface. As it turns out, the Soviet Union had given up on the quest for the lunar surface, and instead had focused on exploring and conquering near earth orbit. This was something we talked about in a previous episode, episode number 5, on Skylab. However, the United States was not aware of this fact, and they continued to work under the assumption that the Soviet Union was still trying to land on the moon, so they could claim as much of the lunar surface as possible.


    So, given this information, the United States turned away from spot landings of single Apollo LMs for relatively short stays on the lunar surface, towards developing and building their first long duration base on the lunar surface. The purpose of the base was to provide a long term habitation of the lunar surface by Americans. In fact, two bases were built.


    This is the story of those bases. In part 1, we discussed the design and layout of the Tycho base, which was located near Tycho crater, the same location of the famous monolith found on the Lunar surface in the Stanley Kubrick movie 2001 A Space Odyssey and Arthur C Clark’s book of the same name.


    We discussed how the base was delivered to the lunar surface in four separate pods, and how those pods were assembled on the lunar surface.


    In Part 2 we will continue our documentary “Our World In Space”, which takes place in the world of Belitopia in the year 2040, 65 years after the bases were created.


    We will continue this documentary to discuss the complex lunar transport system put in place to shuttle crews back and forth not only to the Tycho base, but the second base that was also created. We’ll discuss one of the side effects of this transportation system was the formation of an LM graveyard.


    We’ll also talk about the emergenc

    • 29 min
    S1E6 – Apollo Lunar Bases p1

    S1E6 – Apollo Lunar Bases p1

    Links and More Information Belitopia Website (https://belitopia.com/?utm_source=shownotes&utm_medium=links&utm_campaign=107)


    Apollo Lunar Base - Belitopia (https://belitopia.com/lunarbase?utm_source=shownotes&utm_medium=links&utm_campaign=106)


    Apollo Moon Bases p1 Episode (https://belitopia.com/106?utm_source=shownotes&utm_medium=links&utm_campaign=106)


    Tycho Crater (Wikipedia) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_(lunar_crater))


    Please support our show (https://belitopia.com/support/?utm_source=shownotes&utm_medium=support&utm_campaign=106)


    Not long after the end of the Apollo lunar landings, it was time for the next step in lunar exploration. There was belief, and some evidence from the experiments that were performed on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions, that there were minerals...water...and other scientifically useful resources on the lunar surface. There was also a concern that the Soviet Union would eventually land on the lunar surface, and attempt to claim all or part of it as their territory.


    So, the space race continued. On this front, the race was to the first long duration habitation of the lunar surface, and eventual lunar colonization. The United States created a habitat, a base, designed for the long term exploration and habitation of the lunar surface. In fact, they created two such bases. This allowed the Americans to explore the scientific wealth that awaited them on the lunar surface, as well as make a long term claim of the lunar surface before the Russians. While this is not what happened in real life, it is what happened in the fictional world we have created.


    This is...the Apollo Moon Bases. Welcome to Belitopia.


    IntroductionProject Tycho was the name of the program to create the first long term habitat on the lunar surface. The United States worked hard and fast in order to create this habitat, so that we could continue our exploration of the lunar surface after the end of Apollo 20. After all, the Russians couldn’t be far behind. For the first time since it began, the United States was finally leading in the space race against the Soviet Union. They intended to stay in the lead.


    As it turns out, the Soviet Union had given up on the quest for the lunar surface, and instead had focused on exploring and conquering near earth orbit. This was something we talked about in the past episode, episode number 5, on Skylab. However, the United States was not aware of this fact, and they continued to work under the assumption that the Soviet Union was still trying to land on the moon, so they could claim as much of the lunar surface as possible.


    So, given this information, the United States turned away from the relatively short duration spot landings of single Apollo landing missions, which could only provide them with relatively short stays on the lunar surface. Instead, they turned their sight towards developing and building their first long duration base on the lunar surface. The purpose of the base was to provide a long term habitation of the lunar surface by Americans. The habitation would be by regular astronauts, but also by astronaut scientists that could study the lunar surface in greater detail over an extended period of time.


    How long of a period of time? The goal was to enable stays on the lunar surface of upwards of eight months by any single crew, and provide a total lunar habitation of five years at a single site on the lunar surface by multiple crews. Between the two planned sites, it would create the opportunity for nearly seven years of continuous lunar habitation and exploration.


    This would give astronauts and scientists plenty of time to study long term effects of living on the lunar surface, and time to study the surface of the moon in substantially greater detail. The desire was to prove feasibility for a permanent presence on the lunar surface and

    • 23 min
    S1 Bonus – What is Belitopia About, Review: For All Mankind

    S1 Bonus – What is Belitopia About, Review: For All Mankind

    What is Belitopia all about? This is a bonus episode where I answer questions about Belitopia and my plans for the future of the world of Belitopia, including future podcast episodes and other content. Plus, have you seen the Apple TV+ show “For All Mankind”? If not, you should! Hear my thoughts on this new show and how it is similar, yet different, from Belitopia.




    This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

    Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
    Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Parnellus ,

Great alternate history!

Folks, if you have even the slightest interest in the space program, (past, present and ALTERNATE HISTORY) and haven't been listening to the Belitopia podcast, you really should be. It is well produced, highly informative and thought provoking. It asks you to imagine, "What if . . ."

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