Nearly a decade later, technology and lunar exploration have taken huge strides—but a solar storm threatens the astronauts on Jamestown.
On May 21, 1983, at what is now known as Jamestown Colony, Ellen asks Larry for no more parties, but he tells her it was not his idea. She accepts and tells him that she does not want a birthday party, but would be fine with a welcome home party since she did not want to be reminded she was 40 now. She told him that she was handing the base off to the new commander, who was outside with the rest of the crew, so she had the base to herself for probably the last time, which she wanted to enjoy. After they said goodbye, Ellen moved through the base and looked around.
Meanwhile, astronauts walked outside with flashlights. Wubbo tells Molly his team that he was positioning the rover so that they could see the sunrise. They all turned off their flashlights and were soon iluminated by the sun. Molly told Wubbo to stop staring at his screen and look at the sun, which he did. The astronauts started singing, joined by Ellen at the base.
Margo wakes up at her office, which has a sofa bed and puts her glasses on. She takes a shower and gets ready for work. She calls Emma and asks her for messages; her assistant tells her that she had sent flowers and food to her aunt, who was expected to make a full recovery from her surgery. She gave her more messages and handed her an envelope and they leave, while Emma still gives her updates. She is told that there was possibly lithium near Jamestown, and she asks if the Soviets had been informed, which Emma confirms.
Margo enters a room, where she tells a worker that she can get him a new printer. She asks how the tests had gone and he responds that thirty pages of data told them they missed. She mentions that is bad luck, but hands him the envelope, which excites him since it contained Army-Air Force tickets at the 50-yard line. He thanks her and asks what they would cost him. She tells him they are a gift, but also tells him that now he might consider allowing the Kon-Tiki to land at Edwards and also freeing up space for a couple of polar launches form Vandenberg. He tells her the former is possible, but the pentagon did not like the latter, especially after Berlin. He tries handing the tickets back, but she tells him to keep them; as she left, he told her that he now owed her a favor.
Margo asks Emma to keep going and is told that a general wanted to keep pressuring her into the Pathfinder idea, which makes her sigh. She greets Gary and Helena, who discuss whether or not Margo hates him. Helena tells him that if administration hated him, he would not be in the program, but he mentions that he knows when people were out to get him. Helena told him that that would change on that day since he would achieve his goal and would not take no for an answer. She tells him that he needed to into the admiral's office, which he does nervously.
Gary greets Ed, who is putting in his office. Ed asks Piscotty what he can do for him and Gary says he wanted to talk about his career, which he realized was a big deal. Ed knew he wanted a prime crew slot on Pathfinder, which made Ed laugh since it was ambitious wanting to be prime crew on the vehicle which would take them to Mars and beyond. Ed tells Gary that he likes ambition and would be one hell of an astronaut, but would let him know when he was ready. Gary tells Ed that he had been there for three years and had many achievements, but no space time. Ed tells him that he does not like redheads and tells him to trust him. He tells Gary to take his foot off the golf ball, and asks for the door to be closed when he leaves. Ed laughs after the encounter.
Gordo is giving a conference as a guest speaker for the Rotary Club and says that new technologies were approaching. He was drinking while answering questions such as how to go to the bathroom in space. He is asked how he saved Danielle when she broke her arm on the moon; Gordo smiles and tells them that sometimes equipment and people fail and it all falls apart.
Ed is visited by Thomas, who tells him that the president had some concerns about Pathfinder, and Ed tells him that he does not need his approval since he only works with crew members. Thomas tells him that the White House wanted it to be a unanimous decision, but Ed realizes that all they wanted was for the press not to say that they had decided to do a little saber-rattling over the objections people at JSC had. Thomas asks him to work with him since they needed to send a message to the Soviets since they were already testing their own shuttle. He also tells him that Margo was protecting her turf when Ed mentioned they had tested second generation shuttles and was worried that they would put weapons on the shuttle and it would become a military asset. Ed tells him that Margo is not wrong, since he had needed to go to the Pentagon more than he would have liked to and knew that they would love to add Pathfinder to their fleet. Thomas asks if he turned Margo over to his side if Ed would join and Ed tells him that if he is able to do so, he would not stand in his way.
Ed makes it to Outpost and goes directly to Karen's office, who tells him that thanks to her work, she would be able to pay off the second mortgage on the house the following month a full year ahead of schedule. He congratulates her and they are brought spaghetti by their adopted daughter, who mentions that she had not been able to look at the college catalogue Karen had given her. Karen mentions that one of the colleges had a great theater program, but Ed tells her that engineering, physics, computer science or any of those careers, which were "the future." However, Karen reminds him that they would not push her into studying something she did not want, and Ed agreed.
Karen worked the bar at Outpost, while Ed mentioned that that Tracy would be on television. On the program, Tracy greets the host and tells him that she had returned from being in Rio and Aruba, also stopping at Vegas before returning. The host asks her if she has a new ring and she tells him that it is a ring Sam Cleveland had given her when they got married in Vegas.
At home, Gordo asks himself why she had gotten married without even a phone call, but Jimmy tells his father that she had left a message on the machine the day before, but had not mentioned she was getting married since she sounded "loopy," which was typical of Tracy. As Jimmy left, Gordo asks him how he felt about his mother getting married again, but he mentions he does not know. The phone rings, and Ed asks Gordo if he was watching, which he mentions he was. Gordo asks his friend if he knew about it, but Ed mentions he did not and asks if Gordo is okay and if he needed some company, but Gordo says he would be fine.
At Skylab, an Irish astronaut named Doreen communicated with Houston. She mentioned she was at the ATM panel starting a run. She observed that the emissions were rising and a big solar flare had begun. At mission control, a woman mentions that they would have interference across the broadcast spectrum. At that moment, a worker mentions that JPI had lost contact with the Mariner 14 probe, having gotten fried by proton radiation. However, they mentioned that it could not be related to the flare since the plasma clouds never moved that quickly, but Bill says that maybe they had never seen them move that fast.
On the moon, the astronauts still sang while watching the sunrise.
Margo, Ed and Thomas got to mission control, where Margo told them that life on Earth was safe, but everything outside of the Earth's atmosphere was in danger, so they told different orbiting satellites to get closer to Earth, also ordering the Jamestown astronauts to get back to the base as soon as possible.
Ellen told all the astronauts to head back to the base, so they headed to the rover. However, Molly and Wubbo were too far out to make it back to the base, so Molly told Ellen that they would find shelter in place. Molly told Wubbo that there was a lava tube next to base camp where they would meet inside. Wubbo agreed and they started moving.
Margo is called by the general she talked to earlier (General Bradford). He tells her that nobody knew how the satellites would react to the solar flare and asked if they could shield them. Margo, however, told him that for now the best plan was to wait, but that they would lose sight of the Russians. Margo mentions that the Russians would also lose use of their own satellites, but this only increases Bradford's concern, as Russians that were unable to monitor potential American nuclear launches would be just as jumpy as the Americans are on account of being unable to monitor potential Russian launches. Bradford calls his people and recommends DEFCON 3. Margo exposits that DEFCON 3 was only two steps from nuclear war, and reminds Bradford that this is just a solar storm.
Ellen instructed everybody to lock everything down and headed to an underground bunker, where they would stay for at least three hours. Meanwhile, Molly reached the lava tube, but did not hear back from Wubbo when she talked to him. She looked through a powerful camera lens and found that Wubbo's rover had flipped and the astronaut was not moving.
Earth was hit by the solar flare, and they lost all forms of communication. Margo asked Ed what the last headcount was, and he mentioned that ten minutes ago 14 were in the shelter and three were within visual sight of the base. He told her that Molly was a survivor and that they would be okay. Thomas told them that the White House would be explaining the storm and revealed that Raegan was on Air Force One since they were worried that the Soviets would make a move during the satellite blackout.
Thomas asked Margo how much radiation a human could take, and she mentioned that it varied and people could even develop cancer over time. She also said that each astronaut had a dosimeter badge which measured their radiation while on the moon.
As the storm reached the moon, Molly went inside the lava tube and was told by Ellen to stay inside at all times. She looked out as the sand on the moon's surface started moving and took off her dosimeter watch. After that, she headed outside in order to reach Wubbo and ran across the storm. When she reached Wubbo, she found he was injured and unconscious, and carried him back to the lava tube, which was not an task for her. She looked at Wubbo's dosimeter and found it was red; when she held hers, she was still green.
- Joel Kinnaman - Edward Baldwin
- Michael Dorman - Gordo Stevens
- Sarah Jones - Tracy Stevens
- Shantel VanSanten - Karen Baldwin
- Jodi Balfour - Ellen Wilson
- Sonya Walger - Molly Cobb
- Krys Marshall - Danielle Poole
- Cynthy Wu - Kelly Baldwin
- Wrenn Schmidt - Margo Madison
- Nate Corddry - Larry Wilson
- Dan Donohue - Thomas Paine
- John Marshall Jones - Nelson Bradford
- Noah Harpster - Bill Strausser
- Michael Benz - Gary Piscotty
- Michaela Conlin - Helena Webster
- Leonora Pitts - Irene Hendricks
- Teya Patt - Emma Jorgens
- Bjørn Alexander - Wubbo Ockels
- Brad Beyer - Carl Cartwright
- Tim Jo - Steve Pomeranz
- Charlie Schlatter - Paul Michaels
- Linda Park - Amy Chang
- Spencer Garrett - Roger Scott
- Megan Dodds - Andrea Walters
- David Chandler - Jimmy Stevens
- Penny O'Brien - Doreen Campbell
- Steve Olson - Astronaut #1
- Marianne Lu - Astronaut #2
- Jay Liu - Adam
- Don Brunner II - Rotary Member 1
- Robbie Troy - Rotary Member 2
- Fred Cross - CAPCOM
- Anand Mahalingam - ASCAN #1