Picture once again an alternate timeline where the mythological Amazon society was real, and exists up to the present day.
The United States placed the first human being on the surface of the Moon in 1969, and in doing so all but won the race to the Moon. As a result both the other nations of the world and the American public lost interest in space exploration, America would go on to complete 5 more missions on the Moon with near non-existent public attention. Head of Themyscira’s Space Operations, Xanthippe Gazis had succeeded in putting Amazons into orbit multiple times, and was ready to start making their own attempts to reach the Moon. Because the propaganda branch of the Themysciran government agreed that man should not be able to claim to be the only one to have set foot on the Moon, military leadership allowed Gazis to go ahead with her plans. She would have to operate within the budget constraints, however. To get to the Moon she had no more than 6 launches, as many as it took NASA, but with a far weaker rocket.
The Amazon P-14 rocket had been responsible for carrying ships into low-Earth orbit, however it was far too weak to do the same with the vessel planed to fly to the Moon, even with the new efficiency modifications applied. Gazis’ engineering team made the decision to use the “Earth-orbit rendezvous” approach: using two rockets to each carry half of the ship, then assemble the components in orbit. Six launches thus became only three flights. One to test assembly, lander separation and flight procedures, one to do the same in lunar orbit, and one to land. Any of these missions failing would mean no Amazon moon-landing. There was no room for error.
The first mission was executed in 1970, and was deemed a flawless success after the assembly and lunar-lander flight was completed without problems. The second mission saw the first Women to lunar orbit in 1971, however once there, a radar malfunction forced the lander to return early to the command ship. Despite this only half successful mission Gazis chose to allow the third crew to attempt a landing, after the mission commander argued that they could pull it off despite the errors that occurred with the previous crew. So it came, that in 1974, after a lengthy period of tests and examinations, the crew lead by veteran astronaut Petra Arma placed women on the Moon for the first time, and paved the way for Themyscira’s glorious future in space.
This image is of the vessel to make the landing, the Andromache (with the landing craft Alkaia), in Earth-orbit shortly after assembly. Commander Arma oversaw proceedings from inside the command pod, while co-pilot Celaneo Axiotou and engineer Eriobea Kyrkos exited the cockpit to perform the final examination before trans-lunar injection.
Post on DeviantArt here.