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'For All Mankind' sneak peek: Space physics fixes a vending machine in 'Don't Be Cruel'

Studying space physics sure comes in handy when wrestling with vending machines.

NASA Johnson Space Center's fictional director, Margo Madison (Wrenn Schmidt), uses this knowledge to help a younger employee in this week's episode of "For All Mankind," which airs Friday (April 2) on Apple TV+ (opens in new tab).

This sneak peek clip form Apple TV+ shows Madison watching Aleida Rosales (Coral Peña) shaking a vending machine to no avail, after buying a snack during a late-night work session. 

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

"Try a little negative pressure," Madison suggests.

Rosales flaps the tray cover a few times and watches the bag fall successfully towards her hand. "Nice trick," she says, holding up the snack in a thank-you gesture.

The clip then includes a spoiler for a diplomatic situation NASA has been facing in this alternate history of the 1980s space program

We won't disclose what's been going on, except to say that Madison invites Rosales into her office to share a drink and discuss some progress. Rosales, who is very junior and new to the agency, hesitates until Madison urges her. "Come on! Before I change my mind."

Wrenn Schmidt as Margo Madison in the "For All Mankind" season 2 episode 7 "Don't Be Cruel." (Image credit: Courtesy of Apple)

To learn more about their discussion and NASA's diplomatic dilemma, watch the full 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.

If you've got time for a deeper dive, we have a spoiler-free discussion of what to expect in Season 2 on collectSPACE. More likely spoiler-filled information is available on "For All Mankind: The Official Podcast (opens in new tab)," on Apple Podcasts. You can also check out an augmented reality experience called "For All Mankind: Time Capsule" in the App Store.

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Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc (opens in new tab). in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Her latest book, NASA Leadership Moments, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.