'For All Mankind' sneak peek: Watch astronauts test-fire guns on the moon in 'Best-Laid Plans'

What can go wrong when somebody fires a gun on the moon? It looks like we'll find out in this week's episode of "For All Mankind" airing Friday (March 26) on Apple TV+ (opens in new tab).

An exclusive clip from the episode on YouTube shows various NASA astronauts on the moon doing target practice with brand-new space M16 rifles, painted white because the sun there is so intense that traditional black might melt through an astronaut's glove (as we learned in last week's episode "The Weight"). 

The first shot does not go to plan, which is distressing because in this alternate space history, the Americans are arming themselves amid a larger dispute about lunar rights between the United States and the Soviet Union. Not only does it miss the bull's-eye, but it completely misses the target.

Video: Take an astronaut-led tour of the 'For All Mankind' moon base

Several spacesuited astronauts mill around the target, wondering where the bullet went, when veteran astronaut Tracy Stevens (played by Sarah Jones) speaks up. 

"It could be in orbit," she suggests.

The puzzled astronauts look at her. 

"No one's ever shot a rifle here before, so for all we know, that bullet might be going around the moon to come right back around in a short while," she continues; of course, the moon has no substantial atmosphere to slow a bullet down, either. She then addresses the astronaut who fired the shot. "Vance, just to be safe, I wouldn't stand in that same spot if I were you."

To see what happens next to Vance, the bullet and the large astronaut crew at NASA's fictional Jamestown Base, you'll have to tune into the episode on the streaming platform Apple TV+ (opens in new tab), which requires a subscription of $4.99/month. Season 1 and the first half of Season 2 are now available.

We have a spoiler-free discussion of what to expect in Season 2, comparing it to real-life space shuttle history of the 1980s, courtesy of Space.com partner collectSPACE. More information (likely with spoilers) about the season is available on "For All Mankind: The Official Podcast (opens in new tab)," on Apple Podcasts. An augmented reality experience called "For All Mankind: Time Capsule" is also available in the App Store.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace