'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+.

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+, 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," 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 (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, 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 a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. 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