is For All Mankind based on a true story?

For All Mankind takes us back to the Space Race. Is this story based on truth? Get the details about this historical fiction series.
For All Mankind Season 2, Episode 3 - Courtesy of Apple TV+
For All Mankind Season 2, Episode 3 - Courtesy of Apple TV+ /

For four seasons (potentially so far), we’ve been taken back to the Space Race. Just how much truth is there in For All Mankind?

This Apple TV+ series is alternate historical fiction. That means it’s a “what if” story. However, while there is a “what if” element to it, there are also some true events sprinkled in. So, there are some loose connections to real history in the story.

For All Mankind is alternate history

The lead up to the beginning of the series is based on a true story. We follow the lead up to the Americans landing on the moon, all the way up to Apollo 10. It’s after that when the story takes a turn. Instead of Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, we see what would have happened had the Soviet Union got to the moon first.

The Soviets then landed the first woman on the moon. What would NASA have done after that? After all, it seemed like landing on the moon brought an end to all the space races and space exploration in real life. That’s not the case as the Americans feel like they have something to prove after that.

Elements of truth sprinkled in

After that, there are a lot of events that haven’t happened in real life. We get the first female president, the military coup in the Soviet Union doesn’t happen for a little longer than it did in real life, and we see space hotels and a race to Mars.

There are some true events in the story, though. There are mentions of various presidents who were real presidents leading up to Bill Clinton missing out to the first female president. There is still the use of an affair scandal, but it opens the door for legalizing same sex marriage earlier.

Of course, we also see how some events changing could lead to other events not happening. For example, John Lennon is still alive in this world. I’m curious about how the assassination attempt would have been different just because of the Soviets getting to the moon first.

But, this isn’t based on a true story. This is very much a look at what could have been.

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For All Mankind is available to stream on Apple TV+.