In this speculative fiction novel, what-if Ronald Reagan became President in 1976 instead? He continues with the moon landings, and declares that a moon base would be established by 1979, followed by a Mars Base by 1989. The Soviets decide to up the ante by building an interstellar starship, and send it on its way as the US establishes a permanent presence on the Moon. The US builds a space station, followed by a base on Mars, that will eventually be turned into a colony.
The rest of Earth follows the original timeline, so terrorism rears its ugly head, which will forever change American politics. Iran and its attempt at taking hostages is taken care of in 1979, but a new threat emerges because of it. The new POTUS has to pursue these enemies of the US to secure America's future. We follow America's progress from Moon to Mars, along with the Teacher in Space Program, to an eventual starship mission out of the solar system, which will continue in book two.