In the 1960s, the USSA became involved in the Space Race. Mr. Pebbles was the first animal—a common house cat—launched into space. On May 5 1961, Captain Carl Bell of the U.S. Air Force became the first human in space. This claim was disputed by both the Soviet Union and China. Captain Bell's flight in Space Capsule Defiance 7 lasted twelve minutes and seven seconds, and made a full revolution around the Earth. Bell died when the capsule crashed on its return to Earth.
During the 1960's Space Race, U.S. Air Force Colonel Hartigan and his ship Clarabella 7 were returning from a low orbit space flight when Mothership Zeta abducted them. He attempted to make peaceful "first contact" with the Zetan aliens until they violently cut him off. Around this time Holly Barrisford, a linguistics specialist for the USSA, was also abducted. In 2277, Colonel Hartigan is found dead in a cryogenics pod by the Lone Wanderer and an alien captive recorded log detailing Holly Barrisford's interactions with the aliens is found onboard Mothership Zeta.
On July 16, 1969, The Virgo II Lunar Lander Valiant 11 with U.S. Air Force officers Captain Richard Wade, Captain Mark Garris, and Captain Michael Hagen landed on the moon. The astronauts became the first humans to walk on a celestial body other than Earth. On November 14, 1969, the Virgo III Lander Valiant 12 also landed on the moon. In 2020, the Delta IX rocket was commissioned by the USSA. The Delta IX rocket was the last of the manned rockets to the Moon. The longest recorded spaceflight in a rocket of this type was the 17-day Zeus 12 Mission to the moon. Almost 15 years later in 2035, the Delta IX rocket was converted for U.S. military purposes. The crew and instrument sections were replaced with a nuclear warhead. The last manned mission to the moon, which recovered the Valiant 12 flag from its surface, occurred in 2052.
While missions to the moon had completely ceased, experiments in the applications of technology continued. One specific experimental program was the Deep Sleep project, which launched in 2070. The project's aim was to test the viability of hibernation pods in outer space, with the project comprising five individuals, including Commander Sofia Daguerre.
In the 2070s, the USSA planned the Mars Shot Project; an attempt to launch a manned mission to Mars by July of 2078. ArcJet Systems was contracted by USSA to produce the XMB booster engine and deep range transmitter for the Mars Shot Project. In early 2076, problems arose over the XMB's weight, however, these problems were eventually fixed shortly after the project went public. In September 2077, the USSA raised concerns over rising political tensions, estimating that the Mars Shot Project may be delayed for a year or more.
Valiant space station
At some point prior to the outbreak of the Great War, the USSA participated in some capacity in the maintenance of the Valiant space station, evidenced by the presence of USSA logos on spacesuits that can be found aboard the remains of the station in 2102. The station's exact mission parameters are unknown, although the presence of skeletons in lab coats and mainframe equipment amongst the station's wreckage would imply it was at least a research platform of some kind, likely one orbiting Earth. Also unknown is the manner by which the station was forced back down to Earth to its final resting place in the Toxic Valley region of Appalachia.
Behind the scenes
- The USSA is a fictional equivalent of the real-world NASA, although NASA is mentioned in Fallout 2.
- While it doesn't specifically mention the USSA, the space program was a major element of the plot of Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.
- F76 Sofia Daguerre.png
- Patent design: Deep Sleeper Pod
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition: "Once thought to be covered up by a government conspiracy and believed only by “crackpot” groups such as the Quaere Verum, evidence of extraterrestrial life can be traced back throughout human history, but became nationally recognized after the mysterious disappearance of the Clarabella 7 space pod during the 1960s Space Race. It is said that Alien technology was the basis of many of the Enclave’s more exotic and impressive weaponry and robotics, and even toy manufacturers such as Wilson Automatoys weren’t immune to these accusations. Recently, after the discovery of an Alien body in Fort Bannister, the shocking truth was revealed. The Aliens are not only real and alive, but they’re back. And they’re pissed."
- Posters scattered throughout Fallout 4
- Museum of Technology exhibit description in Fallout 3
- ArcJet Systems terminal entries
- Wreckage of the crashed space station in Fallout 76
- Museum of Technology terminal entry "Spaceflight Exhibits" in Fallout 3