For All Mankind Wiki

Danielle Poole is a character featured on For All Mankind. Poole was first selected for Apollo 18.

She was one of the crew members of Apollo 22 which was a stay at the Jamestown Moon base. She is the first African American astronaut of NASA.

She was commander of Apollo 22 during the return leg of the mission.


Astronaut training[]

Tracy joined the other 19 candidates in order to start her training

On January 6, 1970, Danielle joined another 19 astronaut candidates. Deke Slayton walked in and introduced himself, telling them this would be a vigorous training, during which he expected a lot less than the 20 candidates to stay. He explained they would be graded as they went along, which included pilot performance, academics, character, and motivation. He would be posting results every so often; if their names were not on the list, they were cut from the program.

During a simulator, Tracy Stevens was assigned with Danielle and Molly Cobb. There, Tracy yawned while Danielle responded to a question. Molly snapped her fingers at Tracy, and told her to be ready; when it was Tracy's turn, she was told to open all four helium iso valves, which she could not find until told by Molly.

As another exercise, Margo Madison told the engineers to fail the guidance computer and have them come in manually, which the lead engineer mentioned they were too inexperienced to do. Margo, however, countered by saying they could not wait for them to be ready. While the engineer was doing that, he made a voice, which incited a discussion about a movie with a candidate, but Margo told them to flirt later.

Inside the simulator, Molly understood when there was a master caution alarm since primary guidance had failed, recognizing they needed to do it manually. Tracy was confused, but Molly told her to take manual control, guiding her on what to do. However, Tracy did not want to listen to Molly and ended up "killing" them in the simulation. Molly was annoyed at this, and reminded her that a lot of exceptions had been made for her, so she did not see a reason to complain about anything, especially since she did not see why she had still made the cut up until then.

At desert survival training, Deke told them it was not a teamwork-building assignment, and they would each be timed and graded on their individual performances. They each had a walkie-talkie, but if they used it, they would immediately fail the must-pass test.

Later, when results were posted, Molly was angry that Patty Doyle had passed her, while Danielle pointed out that there were letters written to them by fans all over the world.

On day 200 of the program, Ed introduced the five remaining candidates to the LEM simulator, which would emulate the flight dynamics of the lunar module spacecraft. He told them it was sort of like a helicopter, with a few distinctions. He told them that the activity for that day would be to perform basic takeoff and landing maneuvers with each of them flying an altitude of 300 feet, hover 30 seconds, execute a 360 clockwise spin, hover for another 30 seconds, and land on a target. However, Patty lost control of the simulator and crashed.

Once selected as an astronaut, Danielle greeted her husband, who had returned from Vietnam. She told him all she had really done was go to PR events as the token black girl for NASA. However, she also told him they wanted her to fly to the moon and she had been assigned to Apollo 18.

Gordo had lunch with Danielle and Clayton in order to welcome Danielle to Apollo 18.

Danielle and her husband Clayton went to have lunch with Gordo Stevens who welcomed her to the crew of Apollo 18, and told her they would get together with Deke to go over the mission plan. Clayton noticed how fast Gordo drank while Danielle mentioned she was surprised she had been assigned so quickly, but Gordo told her that Molly was kicking ass on the moon and had really put to bed the notion that women could not go to the moon.

Gordo, Danielle, and Clayton take shots at Outpost Tavern. Gordo asked Clayton where he was posted in Vietnam, and Clayton told him that in Da Nang. Gordo told him he knew some chopper pilots in Da Nang, and added that he was too young to serve in Korea, and space had kept him out of Vietnam. Clayton told him he played it well, and Gordo told him that his father had been a marine in the South Pacific and he had read of his experience, which he qualified as horrendous and was curious to see how he would handle it. However, Clayton told him that he had never been curious enough to give up his astronaut pin and try it himself. Gordo asked him what he meant, but Clayton told him he was better off not knowing. The conversation started getting heated, and both men stood up to fight one another, but Danielle told Clayton to leave. Once he did, Danielle told Gordo he had been out of line since the point of going to Outpost was for Clayton to get his mind off what he had been through.

At Jamestown[]

Deke Slayton was with mission control, contacting Jamestown Base, where Edward Baldwin, Gordo, and Danielle were currently at. Administrator Weisner gave them a speech where he announced on behalf of President Kennedy, a new flight director, Irene Hedricks.

60 days after the explosion, Ed, Danielle, and Gordo were still on the moon conducting experiments, while receiving supplies via unmanned Titan rockets as they waited for NASA's board of inquiry to identify the cause of explosion.

On Jamestown, Ed, Gordo, and Danielle are being told a new contractor was being used for the LH2 valve, but there was a mishap when the rocket was being built and were told that it would take time, so Apollo 24 would be delayed yet another two weeks. They were told that President Kennedy was doing everything he could, and wanted to apologize for the delays.

When they hang up, the three of them watch a show they had watched many times, while Danielle watched her ant farm and Ed tried getting signal. Danielle asked if they had ever seen a shrink when applying to the program, and Ed told her they needed to see about five, which was more than the women had to. Danielle told him that her shrink had asked her if she had ever dreamed of having sex with her father, and they told her that it happened to them as well. All of a sudden, Danielle's ant farm fell and she cleaned it up.

On November 9, 1974, Danielle asks her husband how his interview went, but he mentions that he had a bad day and did not get the job. He tells her that he is not supposed to live off her since he can do more than just bag groceries and mentions that the man interviewing him was not even listening to what he was saying and mentions that a hole opened up for him, and he wanted to go in. Danielle comforted him, but he left and said that he would talk to her later, as he was all out of cigarettes.

The crew of the Apollo 22 call [[Johnson Space Center|Houston}} to tell them they were going back to the base. Once they got there, Danielle told Ed that even though they had gone 30km out, they had not seen anything. Ed told Danielle that the Soviets were crafty and they were still on their part of the crater, which was theirs since they had planted the flag first. Gordo took a walk in the meantime and saw nothing in the distance.

When Gordo got back, he said "Hi Bob" which angered Ed. He asked him what he was doing since they had already discussed that he could not leave the base without his authorization, since if Houston found out, they would punish him. Gordo argued that they first had to bring him back to Earth and tried to make a joke about it since he thought it was bullshit. The argument escalates since they start questioning whether or not Gordo had actually seen blinking lights. Ed tells Gordo to stand down, but the latter challenges him, so Ed throws him against the base. They are separated by Danielle, and Ed tells Gordo that he could not leave the base until further notice. Gordo just laughs and Danielle tells him that everything is getting out of control.

Ed, Gordo, and Danielle start getting desperate over a phone call with Buzz Aldrin and were told that they were being told that they needed two more weeks and were being sent a surprise this time. A new plumbing assembly for the shower; Ed tells them that Gordo is feeling better after his cold. After the conversation with Houston, it appears that their "Hi Bob" tape was fixed, but the tape is ruined after a while. After a while, they all start reciting the tape since they know it by heart, even reciting the laughs.

Ed tells Houston that Gordo is still sick while they ascended from the mining site with new samples. Danielle asks him when Gordo would finally be allowed to go back outside, since she had been getting a bad vibe from him lately, but Ed told her that his friend would be fine. She looks out and is able to spot the Soviet base in the distance, so Ed immediately informs Weisner, who tells him that he would inform the White House and they were told to keep doing business as usual.

Gordo wakes Ed and Dani up so they could do the "Hi Bob" routine, but Ed tells him to quit horsing around since they had a busy day the following day and it was the middle of the night. He moved forward and did the routine himself which surprised Ed, but Gordo got mad whenever he was interrupted. Danielle told him that maybe it was time to call Houston, but Ed refused saying that Gordo needed to go outside. Ed approached him and told him that they should go for a walk.

At the base, Gordo apologized, but was told it was fine. Ed told them that he would tell Houston the truth, which was that they had a medical situation, which he should have listened to before, especially with Danielle's warnings. He told them that he would not abandon the base so the Russians would not get it, but would send them both home. Gordo reminded him that if he stayed, then he had to wait for Apollo 24 to get there, and then the next crew, which Dani mentioned NASA would never approve, but Ed mentioned that he was commander. Gordo mentioned that he was too tired to argue and went to bed. Danielle asked what would become of Gordo, and Ed told her that he would be sent to the shrinks, but it was clear that his career was over and would never be allowed to fly anything ever again.

After a while. Danielle screams in pain, saying that she tried to change the battery, and it appeared she had busted her arm. Ed realized that she was doing that in order for Ed to call NASA and tell them that they needed medical attention. She told him that Clayton had left her and that if Gordo was grounded, he would not return either.

The crew of Apollo 22 said goodbye when Danielle broke her arm and was sent home.

Ed told NASA this, and was told that Gordo and Danielle had been approved to go back home, and his new return date was another two weeks from then. He was promoted to Captain of the United States Navy by the president, with a salary increase retroactive to when the mission had started. He thanked his supervisor, and sent Gordo and Danielle on their way. They all said "Bye Bob" and left.

Ed is alone on the moon and wakes up to country music. He greets Danielle, who tells him to hook up to the biosensors and to fix the aux tank coupling. He says goodbye and takes a shower, puts on his spacesuit and goes outside, taking pictures.

At NASA, astronauts including Danielle are watching Gordo being celebrated for having landed them back on Earth, as well as congratulating Ellen Wilson, who was now married to Larry on becoming the new commander for Apollo 24. Deke mentions that he was, in fact, part of Mercury and mentioned that he was able to fly, but assigned Ellen as leader because he knew she was very capable. The interviewer, however, mentions that Danielle's accident at Jamestown had raised the question of having women living on the moon, but Ellen defended her fellow woman. Harry defends the interviewer's obvious attacking of Ellen, saying he was not worried about serving under her.

At Mission Control, Margo told everyone that she knew that everybody was thinking about Ed and Shane, but it was important for them to move forward with their work, so they had decided to not tell Ed so he could focus on Jamestown. This meant they needed to be careful with what they talked about with him especially since the press had gotten ahold of this information. Gordo and Danielle discussed the matter in private and told Margo that since they talked to him, they could not ask them to lie. Margo told them that if they did not lie, then she could find somebody else who would, telling them that this was at the request of Karen, so they would respect that.

Danielle goes to Outpost and finds Gordo, who is drinking Ginger Ale. He tells her that he had good news and told her that he had decided he would not keep secrets anymore and wanted the world to know what had happened. He tells her that people should know that she was the real hero and not the other way around, but she told him that she knew and that was all that mattered. She told him not to reveal the truth or she would be grounded.


Danielle told his old crewmates that she wanted to go back to the moon.

It is revealed that Clayton has killed himself, possibly from PTSD from the war. In the meantime Gordo goes to see Ed who is manning the bar while Danielle is unsure about leaving her car; she reads a passage from the Bible, but still did not get out. Gordo said that he could not imagine what Danielle was going through. As soon as Danielle got to them, they all said "Hi Bob" to each other. They discussed changes made to Outpost like a plant Karen wanted to put there and the removal of the pool table. Ed asked Danielle how she was and she said she was okay, but missed Clayton, who had struggled during his last nine years. She tells them that she wants to go back to Jamestown since none of them had been up there in nine years, but neither of them want to go back. Gordo tells her that there was more to being an astronaut than just going to space, but said she was tired of reminiscing. Ed tells her that he would start the paperwork the next day, and they all celebrate.

Gordo was shocked to find out he would be accompanying Danielle back to space.

Gordo is woken up by a woman at JSC, who tells him that a weekly staff meeting had been moved to that day. She hangs up and Gordo gets up and heads to NASA. He makes it to the meeting room, where he immediately grabs a cup of coffee. Danielle tells him he looks like hell, but Gordo says he feels excellent. He asks Danielle why the meeting had been moved up, but she did not know. Ed enters the room, and wishes everybody a good morning. He tells them that there would be a Jamestown 81 debrief and that he had a new flight assignment to announce. He tells them that Danielle would be joining the crew of STS-83 Romeo. After everybody congratulates her, he says that Gordo would join her as well. When he goes to congratulate him, Gordo tells him that he would not head back up and reminds him that he knew it. However, Ed reminded him that he was the one who decided.

Gordo puts on his NASA suit only to find it does not fit him anymore due to his weight. He gets to NASA, where he apologizes for being late and sits next to Danielle, who points out he is not wearing his uniform. He tells her about the malfunction and has a hard time using his laptop until Danielle helps him.

Ed celebrated going back to space with Gordo and Danielle.

Ed is poured three shots by Danny Stevens at Outpost. He tells him not to let anyone harass his daughter. Ed is joined by Danielle and Gordo; and they all drink their shots. He tells them that he has decided to go back to space and command Pathfinder. When Danielle asks why, he tells her that she inspired him and that they had been doing great on their performance tests. Gordo does not look so good, and says that he had a weird moment in his suit where he felt trapped and mentioned that he had to take his helmet off. Ed mentions that Gordo had changed a lot in 9 years and Danielle says that he had gone to therapy. Danielle says it is good to be back, but mentions that she has to take care of family business in Dallas. Danielle asks who would be taking command of the astronaut office, and Ed laughs.

Danielle visits Clayton’s sister, Rae, with a box of his belongings, which Rae looks at. She thanks Danielle for bringing them, and Danielle tells her that she hoped they could make a fresh start. When Rae asks why, Danielle says that because they both loved Clayton, but she tells her that she knew the truth about what had happened on the moon. Danielle leaves annoyed, but Rae gives her one of Clayton's medals, which he did not throw away. Rae says that Danielle had filled Clayton’s head with patriotic ideas, which turns out he did not like.

As Ed cleaned up his office, Danielle joined him. She closed the door and told him that she appreciated the assignment to Jamestown, but she mentioned it was not good enough since she wanted a command slot since she had risked a lot and was still riding in the back. She said she wanted to be the first African-American woman to command a mission since she did not want to be seen as weak. Ed mentions that skin was not everything, but she tells him that out of the 205 pilots, they only had 11 black pilots, of which only one had commanded a mission. Ed tells her that the pilots just were not ready, but she tells him that that was not good enough. She tells him that the program could change the way people saw the world, but he told her that he had to get to a meeting.

Danielle was proud that she would be commanding a mission.

Danielle walks into a room with a security guard, who takes her to a storage room, where she saw the ship she would be commanding.

A ceremony is held, and Soviet cosmonauts are received by NASA. Margo tells Thomas Paine that she believes if she can pretend to be happy, the Russians could pretend as well. They greet the cosmonauts, and Ellen greets one in Russian, but tells him she is not fluent, which makes Molly laugh. Danielle greets the cosmonauts happily, and they move forward.

Danielle thanks the cosmonauts for the gifts they had brought from Russia, and tells them that she wanted to get to know them. However, since they did not respond, she started talking and told them about why she had started flying. The first cosmonaut tells them that he was in the Soviet Air Force and joined the cosmonaut program when he was selected. The food gets there, and Danielle tells them that they had gotten it from the best Russian restaurant in town, but the cosmonauts tell her that they wanted hamburgers, so she took them to Outpost.

The Apollo-Soyuz crew had lunch in order to get to know one another.

At Outpost, the cosmonauts enjoyed their burgers. Karen walked up to them and asked if they wanted vodka, but the Russian asked her if she had Jack Daniel's, which she agrees to bring. The Soviet looked at the bottle and poured them all a glass. When Danielle said cheers, the Soviet cosmonaut told her that they usually toasted to fallen comrades, which they did, followed by a shot. The other cosmonaut tells Danielle that if they had mixed nitrogen with their oxygen like the Soviets did, then the Apollo 1 might still be alive. She responded by telling him that if the Soyuz 11 crew had worn pressurized suits, then they might still be alive as well. They do the second toast, which they say is to the women of the world.

Danielle's crew bonded, and the Soviet cosmonaut asked her if she liked Laika, the first living being to go to space. He tells her that he held her in his arms at the launch when he was still a boy. He mentions that she was very little and spirited, but balanced, and adaptable to new situations, which reminded her of them. However, he did not seem happy about her having to die, since everything she had heard had been a lie. In truth, Laika's rocket did not separate as planned and thermal control failed, causing her to suffer and die a few hours later. However, Danielle told him to give Laika some credit, since she had done it all for the people she loved. They toasted to Laika and drank.

Danielle and the crew of Apollo-Soyuz make it to Star City in USSR, where they were checked for weapons as a man looked at them from a distance.

In Star City, USSR, Danielle tries using the phone, but hangs it up after getting no signal. She asks to be let out of her room, but is not answered.

After a lot of negotiating, Danielle was finally able to talk to NASA.

Danielle looks out her window when a Soviet soldier storms in the room. She stands back while he checks nobody else is inside when another man walks in. He introduces himself as an engineer and she tells him that she had been locked for nearly 48 hours with no explanation, but the man tells her to sit down. She sits after being told she did not have a choice and tells him that she is a pilot and engineer. He tells her that when he was a little boy he dreamed of reaching stars. They take a shot of vodka and toast to Soviet comrades. He asks her if she knows the names on the door. He tells her that they were symbols akin to the Russian flag on the moon. He tells her that the flag on the moon excites him and many others, also mentioning that when he first heard of Soyuz-Apollo he thought Reagan was a smart man since they had no choice but to agree, but hoping it could change the world. She tells him nothing would change if she could not leave the room and the man tells her that she finally went out, she should do it with her head up, and leaves. The phone rings and Danielle picks up, finally talking to Molly and tells her she is fine.

Danielle leaves her room, which now has her name written on the door.

Danielle and her teammate discuss whether or not they would actually be launching Apollo 75. They sit while they wait for Soyuz to launch. At mission control, Margo tells Bill Strausser and Aleida Rosales that they had received no word from Russia yet. As they wait, Margo gets a call from Sergei Nikulov, who happily tells her that Soyuz had launched. Margo thanks him and tells them that they were ready to launch as well.

Danielle is angry on Apollo, saying that they did not go that far just to wave at each other from a window. She tells her partner to raise Soyuz. They copy and Soyuz tells them that Orlov continued to struggle with space adaptation, which makes Danielle laugh since he was still vomiting. Danielle tells him that she felt the handshake would not happen and Stefan says the same.

Danielle told the Soviets she was tired of waiting and told them that they should move forward.

Danielle is not happy about being called home and calls Soyuz, but does not get a response until Stepan Petrovich Alexseev tells her he has heard about the news as well. She tells them that she was tired of being used and being told what to do and tells Stepan that at least Laika got to do their mission. She tells Stepan that they should just go for it.

Bill and Aleida tell Apollo how to get back down, but Danielle refuses and tells him they would proceed with the docking maneuver. Danielle tells him that she would not be going back down. When Margo tells her what her orders were, Danielle told her she was choosing to ignore her orders and told them to begin docking procedures lest they crash. Molly says that she does not care what Danielle had said since she had been given an order, which makes Margo comment that maybe it was due to it being okay that she had not followed orders many times before. Before Molly could react, Ellen tells them that it was okay for them to proceed since at least one good thing should happen on that shitty day. Aleida does not believe it, but Bill lets her talk to the astronauts, which Margo encourages. Apollo begins approaching Soyuz and they ultimately dock.

Danielle opens Apollo's door, and so does Stepan. The two of them face each other and greet one another, shaking hands successfully and smiling at the camera facing them.

Later, at Tracy and Gordo's graves, Ed cries and leaves a deck of cards on top of Gordo's. Molly, Ellen, Danielle, Jimmy, Danny, Karen and Kelly cry as well. Karen leaves Tracy flowers.