Gordon "Gordo" Stevens is a character featured on For All Mankind. Stevens was part of Apollo 10 and came close to landing on the moon but had not as that wasn't part of their mission. When the Soviets landed on the Moon shortly after, Gordo and Edward Baldwin faced criticism for not doing so.
He was selected for Apollo 15 but was replaced by Molly Cobb. He was then selected for Apollo 18 and later on for Apollo 22. During Apollo 22 he spent 146 days in space but had to be brought back to Earth due to episodes of psychosis on board Jamestown.
History[edit | edit source]
Meeting Tracy[edit | edit source]
Gordo gets off a plane and greets his coworkers, bumping into Tracy Stevens, who he had met earlier. He asks her why she is there, and she tells him she wanted to learn how to fly. She asks him for instructors, and he takes her flying with him in order to teach her, but she quickly shows a lot of talent for flying, later revealing she had been flying for 745 hours. After landing, both of them kiss.
Working at NASA[edit | edit source]
Gordo went to a meeting with Deke Slayton, who mentions Apollo 11 is scheduled to fly in 2.5 weeks, and Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins would continue to train as had been planned. He also said training for Apollo's 12 - 20 would also continue, as there had been no instructions from the top. However, Deke told them that the training would not be continued that day, since it was time to be pissed about the events, suggesting they take the weekend off to get drunk and blow off steam.
The men raced to Outpost Tavern, declaring the last one to get there would buy the drinks. At the tavern, they sang and played darts while nailing a newspaper to the target. The men all called Pam Horton to throw a beer at the newspaper, and they all followed.
A man walks into Outpost, and asks the crew of Apollo 10 what they thought about the event, but they said they did not want to talk about it. The man tries to get them talking by telling them what happened to them must sting. They mention it wasn't true that the spacecraft was too heavy and had too little fuel, but it was not on their mission plan. The man stays with Ed, and wonders why NASA didn't have the guts to let him land, and he starts remembering his mission. He concludes NASA does not have guts anymore since the Apollo 1 fire. What Ed does not agree with is changing the culture of test flights just because men died since they all know the risk they are taking when they take test flights.
As Apollo 11 took off, Aleida, along with her father went to the Mexico - USA border. Karen and Shane went to a dinner party while Ed was at Outpost. A friend of his asks him what he would have said if he had been the first to land on the moon, and Ed mentions he never thought about it. Gordo says that the moon landing could have brought people hope since there was a lot of hate in the world. When asked what he would have said, he mentions "I'm Gordo Stevens and I come in peace. Three times a night," which makes Ed and Pam laugh.
When Apollo 11 managed to contact NASA again, Gordo celebrated with Pam and Ed.
At Cocoa Beach, Florida, Gordo gets a call from his wife. As a girl leaves his bed, he tells Tracy he misses her and is tired. During the phone call, Tracy starts yelling at her son Danny, and as Gordo is about to tell her to tell Danny to pay attention to her, the girl he was with flushes the toilet, which provokes an awkward silence.
Later, Gordo is flying a jet, and flies over his house. When Tracy feels the house shake, she tells her children their father is home. When Gordo walks in, he finds his watch on the front lawn. When he kisses Tracy, they both say it is good to see one another, and get ready for the barbecue Karen organized.
At Outpost, Gordo storms in angry because Ed did not say anything to him about landing Apollo 10, since it was not only his decision and he had not ask him what he had thought. Ed told Gordo everything was a joke to him, but he owned what he did and told him he resigned from NASA and would go back to the navy. Gordo could not believe it and asked Pam for two whiskeys.
When Deke told Gordo and Tracy that Nixon wanted Tracy flying as an astronaut with Gordo, Gordo said they would need to discuss it in private, but Tracy did not wait and accepted, and shook Deke's hand. Gordo got excited for Tracy, but she only asked if he really was okay with it, which Gordo confirmed, revealing that Deke had also given him a spot on Apollo 15.
Later, Tracy realized Molly was right and told Gordo it was a joke for her to still be in the program. However, Gordo supported her by saying she had a real chance, and had been told that her jet scores had been among the highest in the class. Gordo told her to see the test program through, but Tracy said she should have been cut weeks ago, but Shorty wanted a space couple. When the argument started heating up, Gordo told Tracy to have guts, but Tracy retaliated by asking if he really thought she was the one with no guts. She told him to get out of the house while throwing things at him.
Some time later, as Gordo drove home from NASA, he saw a fire at NASA and drove back only to see firefighters swarming the area. Ed intercepted him, and told him Tracy fine. Tracy saw Gordo and hugged him, telling him that Patty had crashed.
Tracy gets home and finds Gordo sleeping with their kids. They discuss whether or not Tracy is doing the right thing, and Gordo tells her that their children think the world of her due to her training to be an astronaut. They both kiss and tell each other they love one another.
Gene Kranz gives a conference to Ed, Gordo, Margo, Thomas, Deke, and others, saying that a man had been buried on the moon, which the Russians were keeping quiet. It seems they were trying to land near water. Looking at some cylinders, Gene says they might be pressurized modules, which makes Ed realize the Russians were ahead of them once again. However, Deke mentions they do not even have a site, which angers Thomas, telling him to "just pick one." Margo tells him that the base have been predicated on proximity to water ice, and they had yet to identify where they could find water ice. She was interrupted by Thomas, who did not know who she was, soon realizing she was "Wernher's girl." Gene corrected him, telling Thomas Margo was a flight dynamics officer and was making a good point. Thomas was angered by how they were always losing to the Russians, and reminded them the election was coming up, which would probably be against Ted Kennedy.
At home, Gordo saw a gift baskets sent to Tracy, and opened a bottle. Tracy told him that dinner was in half an hour, and that Fred and Susie would be there soon. Gordo apologized, and told her that a few things had come up, and Tracy realized he was drunk, realizing he was not going to let her enjoy her accomplishments. Gordo, once again apologized, and told her that Deke had taken him off 15, replacing him with Molly Cobb. Tracy comforted him, and told him she could tell Sheila to go home, but Gordo told her that they were going to celebrate her for becoming an astronaut. He also told her they were going to be getting her a new corvette, but she told him that they would be sending her away the next week for maybe a week or more. Gordo did not like that, feeling they should discuss that first, but Tracy told him that he knew that she needed to go where they sent her.
Some time before the day of the takeoff, Gordo greeted Ed, telling him he would be going to Ellington. He apologized to Gordo for having not talked to him sooner, but Gordo told him it was okay. Gordo asked him how Karen felt about him spending a week in a little capsule with another woman, and Ed told him that his wife would be happier if his friend had been going with him instead and he would too. They shook hands, and said goodbye.
On the day of the launch, Gordo asked Tracy where she had been the past night, but Tracy told him she had unplugged the phone in order to sleep right, but Gordo asked what would have happened if there had been an emergency with their kids and she told him that BASEOPs can get to her at any time. He asked her when she would return, and she mentioned that maybe a few days, and she might go out to celebrate in the night. Gordo replied by saying that he thought she might be worried about being a bad mother. She flushed the toilet, and turned on the shower, prompting Gordo to ask what had happened. She pretended nothing had happened, and hung up on him.
Danielle and 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 noticed Clayton had no Vietnam ribbons, and Clayton told him he had thrown them in the sentry's face on his way out, and Gordo told him he might have to do that as well as he downed another drink.
Gordo, Danielle, and Clayton take shots at Outpost. 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[edit | edit source]
On August 24, 1974, Deke Slayton was with mission control, contacting Jamestown Base, where Edward Baldwin, Gordo, and Danielle Poole 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 while they waited for NASA’s board of inquiry to identify the cause of explosion.
At Jamestown, Gordo was talking to Tracy, who mentioned she had put down a deposit on an apartment, but had not told their children anything. Gordo asked Tracy why she would not move in to the apartment, but Tracy refused, because she did not want Gordo and Sheila to keep the house to themselves.
As Gordo walked on the moon, he saw unrecognized lights from the distance.
Later, 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. The three astronauts discover a frequency which they find strange and cannot figure out. Gordo sees an ant and talks about seeing yet another one. Ed discusses spying on the Russians but mentioned that they would not tell Houston. Gordo loses his temper over the ants, since he is told to drop it, but Ed calms him down.
The crew of the Apollo 22 call 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 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.
They walk across the moon's surface and mention taking some pictures, but Gordo mentions he would never do that since no photo could ever really capture what they were seeing. Ed asks Gordo to explain what he was doing back at the base, and Gordo mentions that he was fed up being locked in with the food he hated, and said that he did not sign up for what they were going through. As they were talking, Gordo feels something strange, which he mentions is an ant; he soon tells Ed that there were many ants and they were getting all over him, but was calmed down by Ed.
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.
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.
Back on Earth[edit | edit source]
At NASA, astronauts including Danielle are watching Gordo being celebrated for having landed them back on Earth, as well as congratulating Ellen, 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.
Gordo tells a man, his psychologist, that it feels good to be back, keeping in touch with Ed. His shrink asks him if he remembered what he had told him the first time he had been with him. He reminded the astronaut that he needed him to be honest, and Gordo mentions that he is worried about Tracy, who had been acting differently towards him, sending him to a different apartment when she gets mad at him. He tells the shrink that he had been away 145 days and mentioned that Tracy would be going with Molly up into space, going away for 14 days if everything goes as planned. He starts talking about things falling apart in space.
Gordo greets Tracy and tells her that work had been good that day. She tells him he is a son of a bitch, asking where he had really been. She assumes that he had been with a lady, and he tells her that he was seeing a psychiatrist. She tells him that the shit he came up with to save his ass was unbelievable, but he shows her the card, which shocks her. He said he started talking to the doctor because he needed to talk to someone. Tracy asked him what had happened to him on the moon, but he says that nothing had happened. Tracy picks up the phone and tells Karen she would be with her as soon as she could.
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.
While Ed worked out, he got a fax from the Soviets, sending him their condolences for what had happened to Shane. Ed asks Gordo what was going on, so the latter suggests that perhaps something had been lost in translation. Ed wonders if maybe the Soviets were monitoring his conversations since he had talked to Karen about Shane earlier. Gordo mentions that he has no idea what the Russians were up to and Ed starts getting angry, mentioning that what the Russians were doing was low, even for them.
Gordo calls Ed, but he does not answer and turns off communications while drinking a bottle of Chivas and starts banging his head.
Apollo 24 launched in order to bring back Ed, who had been stranded on the moon for 159 days. Deke called Houston, telling them they were ready for trans-lunar injection. Gordo confirmed they had received the message and asked Deke if he liked the view. And so Deke, Ellen and Harry moved forward. However, when they tried to ignite, it failed.
The crew of Apollo 24 tries to look for the problem. Gordo calls them and tells them that the flight control computer had a bad board in the control circuit that could not be repaired. They are told that they would be brought one soon by Molly Cobb.
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.
Margo blind to the possibilities of Apollo 25 saving Molly and safely returning and made the call to leave Molly and come home, Gordo disagreed and refused to do so, so she did so herself. Tracy also disagreed with Margo even though Cobb had agreed and asked for Gordo to be put back in communication. Margo told Gordo to not make her regret letting him attempt saving Molly.
Gordo guided Tracy through the process, while Margo asked about Apollo 24, but was told that they would know in two minutes. Tracy was losing fuel, but Molly was getting closer to them. In the end they managed to get to her and bring her back on board.
Ed was awakened by Mikhail, who was singing. He asked the Soviet if he had done anything and asked him to stop singing. Mikhail told him that Elvis was banned in the USSR, but people found a way to listen to him, and called the singer fantastic. Ed told him that he had wanted Sinatra played at his wedding, but ended up playing "Love Me Tender" at his wedding. He told him that they went to see him a year ago, but that Elvis was a joke now, but Mikhail told him that Elvis would always be king, but Ed mentioned that Sinatra would always be the one. Mikhail noticed that the lights were flickering in a pattern, which they read as morse code. Ed then called NASA and contacted Gordo and Danielle. Ed told them that he needed some alone time, but was back.
Margo told mission control that they would have a 33 minute window during which 24 would be within lunar orbit range. Ed watched the transmission as well. Margo told everyone what to do and told them that if they did not play their cards correctly, Deke and Ellen might be lost in space. Gordo mentioned they might have another problem: the distance that Ed would be flying was pushing the LSAM's range. Ed asked about Apollo 15, since the descent stage still had fuel in it. They started working on it, and Margo told them that they did not have a lot of time.
Tracy and Molly walked back into mission control and were celebrated by everybody. When Gordo saw Tracy he ran up to her and kissed her. Molly told them to get a room, and then told everybody to settle down. She went to Margo, who tried to apologize by saying that she had to consider the safety of two astronauts over just her, but Molly told her that she had done the right thing and was not what she wanted to talk about. She proceeded to tell Margo that she thought that when their ship slammed into the side of 24 it may have knocked their antenna loose, which was the cause of their communication problems, but their short-rage radio might still be working. Margo thanked Molly, and Gordo told Tracy that she was not in uniform since she needed to wear gold. He gave her his pin, and she cried tears of joy.
1983[edit | edit source]
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.
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.