For All Mankind: Best-Laid Plans
March 27, 2021 4:35 AM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

American astronauts and NASA leadership prepare for a new mission with unlikely partners; Ellen gets in touch with an old friend.

NASA greets the Soviet delegation in Houston with a brass band and no interpreters or foreign language preparation; Margo explains how Apollo will dock with Soyuz and then must wrestle with how, in Soviet Russia, Soyuz docks with Apollo; Tracy takes a new pilot for a proficiency check flight with a dozen astronauts strapped to the outside of the lander; Aleida surprises no one by working on someone else’s deliverables but eventually gets everyone on the same frequency; Gordo overhears a phone call and visits Sam Cleveland’s mansion to read his books, drink his wine, and declare his intentions; the astronauts break the ice with cosmonauts over hamburgers and Jack in a dive bar; Ellen declares her intentions to Pam and Larry; Kelly learns she saved Ed and Karen’s marriage, but gets no help from her dad with her homework; Ed troubleshoots the simulator; things get frisky when the NASA delegation arrives in the USSR.
posted by cardboard (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are there actually any bullets in the guns?
posted by spudsilo at 9:02 AM on March 27

You'd think they could find smarter Marines willing to go to the moon.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:54 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]

So, uh as an aside, should we know who Sam Cleveland is, or is he a whole-cloth character for the show?

And I could've stood to have a bit more of an explanation about the simulator, the gist I got was that the failed IMU was 50% of the positioning data available to the only remaining flight computer, so it was a coin toss whether it was providing inaccurate data and Ed just got lucky?

Also, not gonna lie, I was kinda wondering what the orbital velocity had to be, and it's not _far_ off. Back of the envelope calculations from Quora suggest 1700m/s to orbit the moon, and an AR15 is on the order of 1000m/s, but tanks can apparently fire hyperkinetic rounds that could theoretically get into an approximation of a lunar orbit.

Also also, I didn't get a good enough look, but were they just rifles with the trigger guards removed to account for Big Ol' Moon Gloves? That seems, uh, exciting? I'm not sure what direction I'd want to go, maybe paddles with a higher pull and a _really_ damn clear safety?
posted by Kyol at 10:24 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]

Tracy takes a new pilot for a proficiency check flight with a dozen astronauts strapped to the outside of the lander

And carrying what I'm guessing is the complete complement of Moon Guns.

The show often seems to create tense situations by overstuffing scenes, leading to characters doing extremely dumb things that beggar belief even by the standards of this fast-and-loose version of NASA.

Gordo going to "get Tracy back" is the dumbest thing. Between that and Ed's "toughen up, baby" speech to Gordo a couple of episodes ago, there's a lot of unchecked toxic masculinity going on.

Pretty soon the show is going to have to reckon with the fact that a continuing space race would not have done much to stave off the collapse of the Soviet Union. I wonder if they'll keep the show going into the 90s or slow the pace down asymptotically, especially as the season 1 characters age out of the program. The oldest active astronaut (so not counting John Glenn) was Story Musgrave at 61. By 1983 the early Apollo crews would be in their 50s (Gordo was 56, for example), so that's not unrealistic for now, but my guess is that the show wraps up with their retirement and the fall of the Soviet Union.
posted by jedicus at 11:33 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]

That sea launch was pretty awesome. Something similar shows up in John Barnes’ Mother of Storms, I hadn’t realized it came from a 20th century concept.
posted by sixswitch at 8:53 PM on March 27

@sixswtich -- link to the full Sea Dragon launch. The footage was originally used as a post credits scene on S1E10.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:01 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]

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