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While the motivation for Ed assigning Gordo to the mission may be suspect, Gordo physically would not qualify as he is portrayed at the moment. Not sure what the timeline is for the mission, but if its anything less than a year there is just no way.

Now Ed's motivations in making crew assignments may be called into question since the young hotshot got passed over again for a mission. Ed putting Gordo and Danielle on the same mission may allow Gordo to "make things right" allowing Gordo to overcome his regrets and past failure. Who doesn't like a redemption arc? Oh, wait... Yeah this will not end well.

And Tracy missing SIMs? Unless her travels were agency related, that is the fastest way to get de-assigned to a mission. <- Foreshadowing to something going wrong and Tracy isnt prepared to react?

I really felt for Molly. She did what was right, likely giving herself a fatal dose of radiation, for a fellow astronaut who decided to walk away.

I was surprised that they used the Battlestar "swapping radiation badges to keep flying" beat. It was too obvious.

Can anyone confirm that they are doing any filming @ JSC? the exterior shot of Molly and Gordo at the end looked just like an area outside of MCC-H.
 

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Why would you (Win Joy Jr) say here exposure was "considerably less"? She only went out right as the storm hit. I suppose his body draped over her back shielded her -- is that what you meant?

And, yes, Ed should be fired for putting a middle-aged, overweight, depressed drunk on a mission. Danielle should have slugged him when he announced it.

But, hey, it's a scripted TV show, not a documentary (I know you're all thinking documentaries are most definitely scripted).
I didn't say that.
 

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I have to keep telling myself “It’s a fictionalization account of an alternate history”.

Ed punching out would have required a grounding for a Heath evaluation that would have had him removed from the first flight of Pathfinder (Is that the vehicle name?).

As far as having spare hardware laying around? That’s how they did Apollo/Soyuz in the first place. Ever been to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum on the National Mall? The Skylab they have on display was the flight backup hardware.

I was literally screaming about the “giving them the tour”. Part of training would be on ground based mock-ups. I had the opportunity a few years ago of visiting the ISS training facility at JSC.

And the new engineer in the gallery of the Flight Control Room? Been there, done that.
 

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They'd only only work for things in the same orbit as Pathfinder. And if you blow up something in the same orbit, congratulations, you're now in orbit with a bunch of debris.
You heard me at your house when I screamed at the TV?

I am also getting the vibe that Dr. Ride is going to either quit the mission (doubtful) or if they get a directive to fire she may not comply and it appears that her position is needed to launch.

I also appreciate the character development between Aledia and Bill. What she did was a crap response to not being heard, but I think she will find that Bill
who will return to NASA
will be more receptive to her inputs.

I thought Molly was going to consider punching out at the edge of space, I think facing loss of flying then loss of her sight is something she will not be able to deal with for a lifetime. And she has to be thinking that this will not be the first health crisis she will face.

I'm curious and have not seen a reference, but I am assuming that the shuttles remain in orbit during the various expeditions? Or are they just a cab dropping off one group, picking up the returning crew and heading home? If it's the former, I am assuming they are shutting the orbiter down? And as far as cargo, I know they rely on SeaDragon for heavy cargo, but did they have to sacrifice cargo capacity of the orbiter to make Lunar Insertion? And, if I recall my Orion specifications correctly they are supposed to be returning faster than Apollo, so could a legacy shuttle actually survive a re-entry on the direct return from lunar orbit without somehow slowing to re-enter earth orbit then deorbiting?

My wife told me last night to "Switch off 'Work Mode'" while watching.
 

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(Also, in that movie, Ben marries Mrs. Robinson's daughter. Karen's got a daughter, Kelly, and she and Danny will be away at school together. Hmmm.)
Are they both going to Annapolis? I was under the impression that Danny was going to the Air Force Academy, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense since Ed is an alumni of Annapolis.

Even if they are both at the same Service Academy, Danny is at least one year ahead of Kelly so any relationship development would be in Season 3 (assuming another 10 year / decade time jump between seasons).
 

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I totally enjoyed the “Gordo got his swagger back” arc. Ed being the guy in the O&C (Operations and Checkout) to finish suiting up Gordo and putting the helmet on was a great touch. I’m curious if Ed’s motivation was more concern for his friend or concern as the former Chief of the Astronaut Office who assigned Gordo to the flight. Maybe equal parts. Gordo opening up to Tracy about what happened and how that affected him and their marriage told her that the man she was married to is (maybe) back.

The Soviet Cosmonauts were not on the US claimed region of the lunar surface so I am not surprised that they did not have the translation cards attached to their suits.
 

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We haven't seen too much of the details of the transport logistics aside from 2 or 3 shots of shuttles in lunar orbit.

Two details that the geek in me would have wanted to see (a) where do they hide all the extra fuel for TLI and TEI? and (b) How do they handle thermal management in flight (the one shot we've seen of a shuttle in cruise had the main doors closed; our shuttle has a short operational window with the doors closed before it starts to overheat, there are radiators as part of the door assembly)

That, and the whole 100nm range thing is just bizarre. A space-modified missile is going to need steering jets instead of fins, and "distance" doesn't mean much; depending on relative orbits your range could be far, or you could have a hard time hitting something that's currently not too far away.

But yeah, at times I need to shut off "engineering brain".
The other thing that made me question the communications is if the bay doors were closed then the Ku-Band antenna isn't available and an S-Band Omni antenna as embedded in the shuttle structure would not be useable for comm.

Maybe they added fuel tanks for the OMEs in the payload bay? How much delta-v would be needed for TLI TEI?

and could the shuttle survive a trans lunar re-entry?

It seemed that cargo was only taken by Sea Dragon, ignoring shuttle cargo bay.
 

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*** SPOILERS FOR S02E09 "Triage" START HERE ***

Yeah, Today was a Bad Day.

  • Jamestown under assault. Jamestown occupied by hostile forces.
  • One Astronaut dead.
  • Jamestown damaged, potentially requiring abandonment (my speculation). Is Comm cut off? I think so.
  • Braun blockading the moon.
  • Pathfinder launch (Virgin Galactic has to be saying "Yep, that's how you launch"
  • Karen dumping her infidelity on Ed as he is walking out the door to get his mission launched.
  • Ed picking up a woman at a bar and stopping before [Insert dirty euphamism]
  • Margo's Russian Counterpart saying Soyuz launched even as Jamestown is under assault. Did it launch? Will there be a linkup or is the Apollo-75 grew walking into a trap. Did Margo's counterpart know of the attack?
One more episode to wrap things up.
 

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So much to unpack. It was really a Bad Day.

Jamestown. Under siege. While the Cosmonauts are occupying the operations segment, can it be operated in its condition? Is the goal is to force the Americans to evacuate Jamestown? If yes, will Tracy be up to the task to fly them out? With the operations area out of commission, occupied by the Soviets, NASA has no idea what is going on. Can they notify JSC via the radios on the transports? Is there a shuttle in orbit for evac? I need to watch S02E01 and S01E02 again to see about the flight home after the solar storm.

JSC - Has Margo been totally played? Provided info on design defects that allowed the Soviets to launch Braun which enabled the blockade. Did Margo's counterpart continue to play Margo regarding on the status of the Soyuz launch? Could the crew of Apollo-75 end up opening up the hatch and staring down a gun?
 

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Pathfinder: I was surprised by Sally Ride's acceptance that the mission is now military in nature and her handling of the side arm. I am old enough to remember Enterprise undergoing atmospheric testing, and how there were concerns of contacting the SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft) vertical stabilizer. The tail on Pathfinders aircraft was huge!

On edit: no one caught me Mis-identifying the SCA?
 

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Remember, though, they very specifically mentioned Pathfinder's military superiority to Buran. I can't imagine that won't play a big part next week...
If Jamestown has fallen, would Pathfinder still try to run the blockade? Because at the moment no one outside of Jamestown knows what is going on.

I wouldn't put it past the show runners to leave us in a bad place at the end of the season and then starting Season 3 Ten years later having the US rebuilding. Maybe the race to Mars after giving up on the Moon?
 

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One thing that struck as odd at the time was when the Americans left the Soviets alone in the airlock with the dead body (and with the Americans' space suits). I wonder if that will come back to haunt them?
I was going to say that they were not left alone, then remembered after the claiming of the body of the dead Cosmonaut that they were left alone. Depends if the assault was planned before or after that trip.
 

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FROM THIS POINT ON THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 10: "GREY".

Well, that was not all that predictable.

Jamestown:
  • I truly appreciated the "Abandon in Place" cables in the Galley, and that happens all the time on the ground.
  • I figured that Gordo was doomed as part of his redemption arc, but Tracy also? Loved the determination and that they did not leave each other behind. Died in each others arms. A nice touch of accuracy the rupturing of blood vessels near their eyes, and the degradation of the "suits" during the "EVA".
  • I am guessing that there must have been some sort of shutter that allowed the restoration of atmosphere in the OPS module. Don't buy that MCC took the "Bad Sensor" call from Jamestown. Atmosphere components for a repress has to be gauged and telemetered. And each and every hatch should have a status indicator indicating if its open, closed and locked.
  • Who the heck installed and integrated a second reactor?
Pathfinder:
  • I called it that Sally Ride would not agree with firing the missiles.
  • I was surprised that Ed destroyed Sea Dragon.
  • Sorry, but there is no way Buran has the Delta-V capability to make the type of orbital adjustment described. And there would have to be another maneuver to get the 2 vehicles in the same plane.
Apollo:
  • Loved that Danielle made the call to go for the docking. I think she may be the next Chief of the Astronaut Office in Season 3.
JSC:
  • Loved the touch that Bill had Aleida give the go for docking. In 10 years she may be a Flight Director in Season 3. Loved her and Molly's interaction.
  • There is no way that a receiver would be left on, behind a bunch of boxes in JSC. Also, JSC does not have a direct link to any vehicle. All comm goes through Goddard (loved the Goddard shout-out)
Earth:
  • In the Arlington National Cemetery I only counted 3 caskets. By my count there were 4 fatalities. The OPS guy last week, the Marine this week, Gordo and Tracy.
  • I REALLY do not want the whole "Margo will be compromised by the Soviets" line.
  • Curious if Ed and Karen are done. Surprised that Ed was driving to DC from Houston for the memorial.
Mars:
  • Interesting that the EVA boots look a lot different. Reminded me of the boots currently in use for Crew Dragon.
  • With the nuclear powered shuttle the US SHOULD be able to beat the Soviets to Mars. especially with Ellen as Administrator.
Bring on Season 3.
 

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The Stevens arc was so good, it only made sense for them to die together or live together.

Great episode and show!
Jamestown: I'm going to say that the redemption arc was both characters journey. Tracy went from being a "spokesmodel Astronaut" on Earth, to rediscovering her "Astronaut" after a disastrous start to her Jamestown tour of duty, to finally doing exactly what Molly did in S2E01 not leaving (the love of her life, her partner and) another astronaut behind.

JSC: I also found it a nice touch that only one person (a no named extra) took Margo up on her offer to head to the shelters. It circled back to Bill's determination during Gemini story. Aleida stayed. She has found her place. Molly's "I like this one" is high praise.

What I just realized is that Margo should have no business on the floor of the FCR (Flight Control Room) in any reality. There is a conference room off the gallery where VIP staff monitor the mission. The Flight Director is in command of the room. Having the Administrator there would undercut Helena's authority. I doubt as the JSC Administrator that Margo kept up with her Flight Director certification.

Yes I know it's fiction, it's an alternate reality, Margo was in the FCR for story and dramatic purposes, but it should have been Flight who gave the speech during the sounding of the air raid sirens.
 

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Indeed, and besides, Sally was begging Ed to disobey orders anyway. She wasn't going to then duck her part in it he decided to do so.

Aside: did anyone else find it just slightly weird watching this scene that Sally Ride was a real person? I wonder what her family and her partner would/did think of what they had her do here.
There were many more "Historical Figures" portrayed during Season 1. Gene Kranz, Buzz Aldren, John Glenn, Wernher von Braun as well as Deke Slayton and more that I am not recalling. In the Season 1 finale, Deke's reaction to Ellen's coming out to him was a very powerful scene.

As far as Sally Ride in this timeline, who knows how here character has evolved differently. Deke's character has only had a short amount of time to be affected by losing the "Space Race". Sally Ride was born in 1951, so she was a teen-ager when the Soviets beat the US to the moon. While she became an astronaut, there is no info on how the character has differed from our reality.
 

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I'm aware, of course, of the other real-life figures in play here. Molly Cobb is another one (based on Jerrie Cobb), as was Thomas Paine. Some of their fictional counterparts got stories not dissimilar from their real lives (Slayton, for example, came out from behind a desk and named himself to a mission, the real-life US-Russia "handshake"; Cobb really was a member of the Mercury 13). Curiously, most of the fictional counterparts who have had story time have met with unnatural ends: the show has killed Slayton (in a space accident), Kranz (in an explosion); Paine (on KAL 007); and Cobb doesn't seem destined for a happy ending.

As for Sally Ride, obviously we are watching a character, and so they can have her do whatever they want. But it's a character deliberately taken from a real person, so I was just musing on what that real person's survivors would think of what they had her do here.
If I came across as critical, that was not my intention. I had the same thought a year ago about Deke Slaytors descendants seeing him portrayed.
 

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Houston: what I found interesting is that Tracy's current husband didn't come off as anything but nice when Karen seemed to have a hesitation right before settling selling the bar (I'm hoping her lawyer was already there). I know it was mentioned in an earlier episode, but how much did she sell the bar for? Even in 1908's dollars was it enough to set her up for life? I was getting the sense that the Bar was hers and not theirs.
 

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I believe it was $375,000.
Not enough for her to be set for life. Ok, speculation
Ok, lets add more poor choices, maybe Karen ends up with Tracy's widower?

Another reason I suspect Tracy is gone is that she realized space is where Ed wanted to be and she basically pushed him back into it and then once he was up there she was freaking out again so I am pretty sure she knows he is not meant for her.
Karen
 
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