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'For All Mankind' sneak peek: Astronaut handles zipper malfunction in 'Rules of Engagement'

"For All Mankind" shows an amusing twist in its latest episode airing Friday (March 5): a zipper "malfunction" that stops famed astronaut Gordo Stevens from getting to a meeting on time.

Stevens (played by Michael Dorman) was one of the astronauts on the fictional version of the Apollo 10 mission that came close to landing on the moon, but did not end up doing so as it wasn't part of the mission plan. ("For All Mankind," leans a little on actual space history, but uses an alternate Space Race timeline in which the Soviet Union beat the United States to the moon in season 1.)

Season 2 of "For All Mankind" showcases an alternate-timeline 1980s in which the U.S. and Soviet Union each have bases on the moon. In episode 2 last week, Stevens was assigned his first moon flight in years. So, naturally, he has to look the part.

Q&A: Astronaut Garrett Reisman guest stars on 'For All Mankind'

The episode 3 sneak peek clip shows Stevens trying to get back into the groove by putting on his blue astronaut flight suit, but he's gained a little weight since he last wore it. To the tune of the 1980 song "Whip It" (Devo), he carefully pulls and pulls at the zipper with the help of a mirror to check his maneuvers, astronaut-style. But it all comes to vain when the zipper breaks in his hands.

Astronauts Gordon Stevens (Steven Dorman) and Dani Poole (Krys Marshall) prepare for new space missions in the "For All Mankind" episode "Rules of Engagement" in season 2.   (Image credit: Apple TV+)

A chagrined Stevens then shows up at a NASA classroom filled with astronauts (or astronaut candidates), all decked in uniform. Still in his civvies, he sits down beside colleague Danielle Poole (played by Krys Marshall).

"You're out of uniform, captain," Poole teases Stevens. 

"I had a little malfunction," he whispers.

"Malfunction?" Poole asks, then laughs when Stevens explains what happened: "The zipper broke."

It's a lighter moment in an otherwise heavy episode 3 of season 2, in which NASA is said to be considering arming astronauts in relation to a dispute. The episode, called "Rules of Engagement", premieres Friday (March 5) on Apple TV+.

'For All Mankind: Time Capsule' AR app augments alt space history series

If you need to catch up to where we are today, make sure to check out "For All Mankind: The Official Podcast", available now on Apple Podcasts. A new augmented reality experience called "For All Mankind: Time Capsule" is also now available in the App Store.

We also have a spoiler-free discussion of what to expect in Season 2, with a look at how it compares to real-life space shuttle history of the 1980s, courtesy of Space.com partner collectSPACE.

"For All Mankind" Season 1 and the first two episodes of Season 2 are available on the streaming platform Apple TV+, which requires a subscription of $4.99/month.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for Space.com who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.