NASA Vending Machine

We came to podcast “For All Mankind!” Dan Moren and Jason Snell have the right stuff… to watch Apple TV+’s space drama and talk about it every week. Dramatic things are always happening around the vending machine, if you didn’t notice.

Podcast art by Thom Zahler.

All Episodes

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    January 17, 2024
    31 S4 Exit Interview with Ben Nedivi & Matt Wolpert

    With season 4 of “For All Mankind” in the books, we got a chance to spend a little time asking co-creators and showrunners Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert about the show in general, season four in particular, where the show might go if it’s renewed for future seasons, and (of course) why there are so many vending machines.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    January 11, 2024
    30 “Perestroika” (S4E10)

    We say goodbye to season four by detailing the exciting and eventful finale, in which the counter-countermeasures are foiled by counter-counter-countermeasures… or are they? The tension between the crew and the authorities on Mars reaches a breaking point! Frantic typing occurs—but without typos! And Jason gets some strong “Babylon 5” vibes—in the best way. Comrades, there’s been a Martian vending machine right behind you all along!

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    January 4, 2024
    39 “Brazil” (S4E9)

    Everything gets tense as we rush toward the season finale. How many Star Trek shows are there in this universe? Was that a modem sound? Would it be better if the KGB and CIA worked together? And what’s more American than eating a McDonald’s burger in a motel?

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    December 28, 2023
    28 “Legacy” (S4E8)

    Listeners, thanks for reminding us what happened to that one character we thought was dead, because he’s very much not dead and in this episode. The Henry Hill of space shucks off his robe and turns right to warn Aleida about the peril Margo may be in! Meanwhile, on Mars, it’s time to plan a heist! Kelly may be about to make history, but Ed is absolutely a Bad Grandpa. We talk through all the permutations as “For All Mankind” rockets on toward its season finale.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    December 21, 2023
    27 “Crossing the Line” (S4E7)

    So many lines being crossed! Ed’s rebellion encourages a worker revolt just as Kelly and Alex arrive on Mars. Meanwhile, Margo gets a new assignment, Aleida’s news appearance goes viral. And Dev spills some sugar and shows his true colors. If you were wondering if this season was in the truest bananas spirit “For All Mankind,” did the last line not clinch it for you?

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    December 14, 2023
    26 “Leningrad” (S4E6)

    It all comes to a head in St. Petersburg—er, Leningrad. Chekhov’s hotel accommodations are placed on the mantel. Margo is reminded who her employers are. And on mars, Ed continues to rebel. And what is an asteroid, if not a giant vending machine?

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    December 7, 2023
    25 “Goldilocks” (S4E5)

    It’s a gold rush in space! Okay, maybe an iridium rush, as everyone on Earth wants to grab Goldilocks, the $20 trillion asteroid. But things are more complicated than that, of course. Danielle is stuck in an episode of “Lost,” having flashbacks to dark times. Kelly and Aleida have to deal with a rash decision made by Dev. And is Ed Baldwin this season’s… villain?

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    November 30, 2023
    24 “A House Divided” (S4E4)

    It’s splitsville! “For All Mankind” explores rifts between supports of the old and new Soviet regimes, but there’s also an Earth-Mars dichotomy, the re-emergence of Cold War fault lines, the downstairs grunts versus the upstairs astronaut heroes on Mars, and even the Helios workers versus their billionare boss. Meanwhile, things are bad for Comrade Semonov, but Margo has finally found late-night coffee thanks to the washer from a cafeteria chair and—most importantly by far—a Soviet vending machine.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    November 22, 2023
    23 “The Bear Hug” (S4E3)

    Our season storylines begin to come into focus this week, as Kelly and Aleida encourage Dev to have his Steve Jobs moment, Margo learns about the calm atmosphere found at Soviet Union police stations, Ed finds calm in hydroponics, and Miles discovers that black market shenanigans can really snowball.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    November 16, 2023
    22 “Have a Nice Sol” (S4E2)

    This week we’ve got an upstairs/downstairs thing going on at Happy Valley, where newbie Miles is learning about black market speakeasies and base commander Danielle is enjoying some fresh pasta. Back on Earth, Kelly and Aleida join forces to TP things and build a business, and they’re all out of toilet paper. But the most important, earth-shaking thing in this episode is undoubtedly the triumphant Martian reappearance of a fateful vending machine!

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    November 9, 2023
    21 “Glasnost” (S4E1)

    “You know, when I was a child, I liked to go to my father’s factory and enjoy the vending machine…” We’re back! And so is “For All Mankind,” complete with a new opening montage of “historical facts”, another dangerous adventure in outer space, some check-ins with old characters, and some surprising new ones.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    August 11, 2022
    20 “Stranger in a Strange Land” (S3E10)

    So it all comes down to this. It’s the mega-length season finale of “For All Mankind,” in which many plot threads and characters will be explosively resolved! (But what of the vending machine? Won’t anyone think of the vending machine?) We get information about our surprising new character, Dev and Margo offer final(?) pep talks, Jimmy struggles to do the right thing, Molly talks Ed through trying not to crash, and we count references to “Watchmen”, “Apollo 13”, and even “Goodfellas.” Finally, there’s the needle drop for the 21st century, but it’s showing us a rather unexpected location. See you next season!

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    August 4, 2022
    19 “Coming Home” (S3E9)

    Digging out on Mars, reinventing Watergate at home, and investigating a Soviet asset. There’s a lot going on in this episode of “For All Mankind” even before the last five minutes happen!

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    July 28, 2022
    18 “The Sands of Ares” (S3E8)

    In the aftermath of last week’s landslide, this week is all about picking up the pieces. The physical pieces, but also the emotional ones. Karen gets confronted, finally, about her behavior last season—and from an unexpected source. And Danny, this year’s Karen, reveals a lot more about his own problems.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    July 21, 2022
    17 “Bring It Down” (S3E7)

    On Mars, it’s drill, baby, drill. On Earth, a scandal and some dirty tricks are threatened, and a betrayal is revealed. Much to Margo’s consternation, Aleida’s still on the case of the leaked nuclear secrets. And Ed is… well, he’s the most Ed that Ed’s ever been.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    July 14, 2022
    16 “New Eden” (S3E6)

    Tension is building on Mars—and there’s a surprising twist back on Earth, too. There’s even a spy-style dead drop. Also, Kelly thinks that an air vent is louder than it really is! Most importantly, an astronaut makes an important personal decision that adds complications into the lives of both Danielle and Ellen.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    July 7, 2022
    15 “Seven Minutes of Terror” (S3E5)

    To the surface we go! Who will touch down on Mars first? This episode has the answers, and after last week, this week’s ending is… a change of pace? Romance is in the recycled air, the walls are closing in on Margo, and Karen get an important cooking lesson from Wayne.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    June 30, 2022
    14 “Happy Valley” (S3E4)

    This is one of the less happy episodes of “For All Mankind,” but we’re here to break it down, especially the shocking ending! Nobody said going to Mars would be easy. That wouldn’t be much of a show. Also: Dev uses democracy to hide from responsibility, Ellen reminds Margo what NASA is good at, and DJ Kelly is dropping tunes from space on her 1990s iPod.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    June 23, 2022
    13 “All In” (S3E3)

    Somehow this week’s episode feels like a season finale. The moves of Helios have upended the plans of the U.S. and USSR and the result is a lot of action, both in terms of job offers and people switching sides, and in terms of the urgency of the people knocking at that hotel-room door. Is Ed the best person to be recruiting damaged astronauts? Is Aleida’s too loyal to Margo? And is Margo a tragic figure, or is she breaking bad? Black Hole Sun, won’t you come, won’t you come?

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    June 16, 2022
    12 “Game Changer” (S3E2)

    This episode is all about cultures, from the increasingly top-down management at NASA to whatever you’d call fusion billionaire Dev Ayasa’s management style at independent space startup Helios. Molly and Margo clash, Dani shows grace while Ed does not, and will anyone buy Karen’s lightly-used space hotel?

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    June 9, 2022
    11 “Polaris” (S3E1)

    “For All Mankind” is back and so are we! After the obligatory alt-history montage, the third season kicks off with some pulse-pounding space action, a disastrous wedding toast, and a surprising appearance by a Newton. Also, Dan and Jason speculate about when we’ll see that vending machine at Johnson Space Center again. Maybe the lady with the Newton knows.