'For All Mankind' review: Militarization of space and its devastating consequences take center stage on Apple TV+ show
The Outer Space Treaty, which forbids the installation of weapons of mass destruction in space, is the main reason the space race never escalated into a space war
'For All Mankind' speculates on an alternative history for the space race and it offers some very interesting changes to the way NASA's space program evolved.
The Moon landing makes the space race number one priority for both the Soviets and the Nixon administration. Though America may have lost the race to the Moon, Nixon is determined that the US should be the first to set up a military base on the Moon.
Interest in the possible military applications of a Moon base spikes after water is discovered on the Moon, which means that whoever creates the first Moonbase has a chance to create a refueling station on the satellite, allowing them to potentially conquer the solar system.
In reality, the armed forces have had their fair share of conflicts with NASA. The creation of the agency effectively ended the military's control over the space program and allowed scientific pursuits to take precedence over military advances (mostly at least).
However, the world of 'For All Mankind' doesn't allow for such luxuries. The Soviets landing on the Moon made space a more important frontier in the Cold War than even Vietnam and this, make no mistake, this is war now.
The only person to raise any serious opposition against the military's involvement in the Moon program is the fictional version of Wernher von Braun (Colm Feore), the scientist who helped create both the Saturn V rocket that helped get the Apollo 11 to the Moon and the V-2 rockets that allowed the Nazis to kill thousands during World War II. He is swiftly discredited and turned out of NASA so that the powers that be can pursue their ambitions unopposed, which perfectly showcases how science is often sacrificed for the sake of political and military advancement.
The escalations in the space race cause both the Soviet Union and America to start playing fast and loose with the terms of the Outer Space Treaty.
In our world, this treaty, which forbids the installation of weapons of mass destruction in space, is the main reason the space race never escalated into a space war but there's a pretty good chance it might get thrown out the window soon in the show, and there's no telling what hell may break loose if that were to happen.
'For All Mankind' Episode 4 will arrive on Apple TV+ on November 8.