Could the United States lose the space race once more? With its thrilling third season, For All Mankind has shown that this show is not a fluke; it is capable of weaving various narratives into a heart-stopping conclusion in sometimes unpredictable ways. "Coming Home," the penultimate episode of this season, turns the status quo of the astronauts and engineers on its head, introduces another North Korean resident.
The first mention of North Korea in Season 3 is described in the opening montage, which includes the country's attempt to enter the space race, increasing its space capability, and abandoning previous ballistic missile launches (further proving that we indeed are in the worst timeline). This series event is also what allows Helios Aerospace to acquire Polaris and not only compete in the race to Mars, but also accelerate it.
The damage of the drill at Helios Base is what actually includes North Korea in the Mars community. The Mars Surface Access Module (MSAM)'s primary integration card is faulty, and the spare is onboard the Phoenix in space. However, there are probes previously landed on Mars which utilize the same rendezvous radars.
The closest Soviet probe is 1,500 kilometers away, too far to get Kelly Baldwin (Cynthy Wu) to Phoenix, the safest place to give birth to her baby. This probe was launched in 1994, causing us to wonder what the outcome would have been if it had not been for Kelly's condition and preeclampsia.
What a cliffhanger! Not only does this put Kelly and her baby's livelihood in jeopardy, but the discovery that the previously assumed unmanned probe was actually manned might put the world on a large scale off-balance with North Korea realizing its potential in this alternate history's space race. Again, For All Mankind does an excellent job of putting the world on a large scale