Cold War heats up on the moon in 'For All Mankind' season 2 trailer for Apple TV+

 Space shuttles fly to the moon and astronauts take up arms in the new trailer for the second season of "For All Mankind," the alternate space history series from creator Ronald D. Moore.

The two-minute video released online on Friday (Jan. 15) sets up the stakes for the sophomore season, which is set at the height of the Cold War. The Apple TV+ series is set to return with the first of 10 new episodes streaming on Feb. 19.

"We need to remind them of Apollo 11 — 'we came in peace for all mankind.' We need to live up to that," Apollo astronaut Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman) says in the trailer, seeming to warn of the growing conflict between the Soviets and Americans on the moon. In the context of the show, it was a Russian cosmonaut, rather than U.S. astronauts, who first landed on the moon in July 1969, forcing NASA to seek new ways to surpass its rival in the Space Race.

The alternate space history series "For All Mankind" returns to Apple TV+ for a second season on Feb. 19, 2021. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Poster for the second season of the Apple TV+ series “For All Mankind” from creator Ronald D. Moore. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Season two of the series picks up in 1983, a decade after the end of season one.

"Ronald Reagan is president and the greater ambitions of science and space exploration are at threat of being squandered as the U.S. and Soviets go head to head to control sites rich in resources on the moon. The Department of Defense has moved into Mission Control, and the militarization of NASA becomes central to several characters' stories: some fight it, some use it as an opportunity to advance their own interests, and some find themselves at the height of a conflict that may lead to nuclear war," reads the synopsis released by Apple TV+.

The new trailer shows NASA recruiting and preparing a new class of astronaut candidates while suspicion grows that the Soviets are deploying some type of new weapon on the moon. Upgraded Apollo spacecraft and hardware are juxtaposed by the introduction of a new vehicle: the space shuttle.

"I give you Pathfinder," says Baldwin. "It is three times as powerful as our current shuttle."

Related: Tour the 'For All Mankind' moon base with a real-life astronaut

In addition to Kinnaman, season two brings back series stars Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones, Shantel VanSanten, Wrenn Schmidt, Jodi Balfour, Krys Marshall and Sonya Walger. Joining them are Cynthy Wu as "Kelly Baldwin," Ed (Kinnaman) and Karen's (VanSanten) adopted daughter; Coral Pe a as "Aleida Rosales," an engineer with a complicated past; and Casey W. Johnson as "Danny Stevens," the son of astronauts Gordo (Dorman) and Tracy (Jones).

"For All Mankind" is created by Moore, Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert. The three also executive produce alongside Maril Davis of Tall Ship Productions. The series is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

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Robert Z. Pearlman Editor, Contributor

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.