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Yeah, Season 1 was more hit than miss to me (the last two episodes were a departure from my normal level of sustainable disbelief).

I'm looking forward to Season 2, and I hope that like Season 1 they use this as another opportunity to unearth some obscure Apollo and Shuttle-era discarded designs.

Hope everyone here saw the post-credits scene at the end of Season 1.
 

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I hope S2 has a lot less melodrama, but I get that some of it was to establish the characters.
Depends on what you are talking about for melodrama. For the ground-based stuff, I'll actually accept some of the melodrama, since a lot of that was surprisingly real. For real history, read Deke! which covers a lot of the random Astronaut Office drama.

For the space-based drama? Yeah, I'm with you.
 

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Yeah, like any sort of "alternative history" work, they've mostly replaced main characters with close analogs, I think s

Only "main" character that's actually a real historical figure is Deke Slayton.

The only semi-major characters I see that seem to be real people were Kranz and Von Braun, and both of them differ modestly from their real-world counterparts.

All sorts of other divergences as well.
 

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Obviously Kranz and Von Braun and Deke were real people. And there were always questions about Von Braun's Nazi past. As I said, I'm pretty sure there's a connection between Stevens and Cooper, otherwise they could have gone with a completely different name so there is no confusion. I figure because of how they portrayed Gordo Stevens, they changed the name to avoid possible lawsuits. And they did mention some other real astronauts. I remember them talking about Borman and Lovell for example.
I should have finished my thought up there. They replace major characters with analogs just to give them a bit of freedom to not be too tied to the actual person.

So I think you are right. Gordo's nominally a replacement for Gordon Cooper; their backgrounds are similar, just that Gordo in FAM seems to have stayed in NASA's good graces a bit longer. This actually makes a bit of sense if something happened in this universe to make Apollo 10's prime crew unavailable; Gordon Cooper was on the Apollo 10 backup crew, along with Don Eisele, another astronaut not terribly liked by Deke.
 

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For what it's worth, I do like, aside from a few people being replaced by similar characters, trying to figure out what the nominal departure point between real history and FAM.

I'm guessing that it's January 1966, when Sergei Korolev died during botched surgery. That severely hobbled the Soviet rocket program; perhaps if Korolev lived the N1 program would have been successful, and they would have had enough heavy lift capability to convert their Zond flybys of the Moon into full Soyuz-7K-LOK flights and potentially do a landing.

Although that's probably the point where the NASA logos in FAM got mirror-imaged, too[1]

[1] Upon seeing the first trailer for FAM, my friend Allie the spacesuit engineer immediately said "the logo's backward. Wonder if that was intentional"
 

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I liked that ejection scene, but so much else about that T-38 scene was weird. The aircraft keep shifting between a reasonably good T-38 model, and then an odd, nonexistent single seat T-38 with an odd canopy design apparently made to conceal that some scenes were filmed with the actors sitting in the back seat. Odd, since they usually are better about that sort of thing.

That, and did someone say “find me an actress that looks kind of like Sally Ride but put an over-the-top Sally Ride-like wig on her”?
 

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There were a few instances when NASA flew F-5s. Maybe that's what they were intending to show. And the canopy reminded me of the F-20 Tigershark, which is doable in this timeline.
Except that you can read "Air Force T-38A" off the side of the plane. Even in the shots with the weird cockpit and single seat (the dogfight CGI shows the correct double cockpit)
 

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One of my earlier comments they actually referenced.... It was weird in the sunrise scene in S2E01 that the astronauts had a mix of Apollo Era A7LB and modern Shuttle-Era EVA suits... but in this episode they commented (perhaps jokingly) that they could give Gordo an A7LB if he wanted...

And they have to have something like the A7LB still around anyways if they are planning an Apollo launch. Although I'm shocked in 1983 that they still have flight-capable hardware.
 

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Hard to do wire work in a practical conventionally lit set. The Expanse does it and it's not altogether convincing. (Alex Kamal and the zero g beer scene)

I'm betting all the lunar surface shots are wire-assisted to simulate the 1/6 G.
Yeah, walking through the Base should actually look a lot like walking on the surface: normal walking is difficult since you tend to "bound" a lot. A lot of the real astronauts, particularly Harrison Schmidt, mentioned that normal walking was really, really hard unless you were carrying something heavy to hold you down, usually it was the bounding hops like they show. But hard to film this.
 

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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?
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)

100nm? Congratulations, you just blew yourself up.
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".
 

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Maybe they added fuel tanks for the OMEs in the payload bay? How much delta-v would be needed for TLI TEI?
They at least showed some extra tankage once, when Contiki was docked with Skylab (in what otherwise seemed like a throwaway scene): the rear half of the payload bay was filled with tanks.

Going by my delta V cheat sheet, from LEO to Moon orbit is around 4 km/s to a decent low lunar orbit, to around 1.5 to get back if you've got a decent reentry system to handle the high speed entry. I have a feeling that's more dV than you could fit in what they showed in Contiki, but at least they showed something

Realistically, if you wanted to a lot of this sort of transfer, I'd expect you'd work on building some sort of fuel depot out of external tanks, or, since they have the Sea Dragon, something big lifted that way. NASA has a lot of concepts for zero-boiloff cryogenic storage and transfer they've kicked around using this model.
 

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Pathfinder: that airborne launch was nice. And the displays labeling it as OV-201 was a nice touch.

Sea Dragon: nice to see another Sea Dragon launch.

Kentucky-Fried Cosmonaut: that bugged me since last week. If the Soviets used pure oxygen (plausible) it wouldn’t be at high pressure. A spark in that suit would be like a spark in Earth air.

Pulling the airlock door closed trope: sigh. Not going to happen. Not even close. Just have someone push a “close” button and have hydraulics do it, since you’d need that in reality.
 

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