I'm a selfish prick. That's okay, selfish pricks change the world.Molly Cobb, in Season 3, Episode 10, "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Molly Cobb is an astronaut candidate for NASA after President Nixon looks to send a woman to the Moon. She finished among top of her class and became one of the first four American women to pass the astronaut training for NASA. Deke Slayton replaced Gordo Stevens with Molly as Lunar Module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission, making her the first American woman in space and on the Moon.
She is the commander of Apollo 25, and was left temporarily stranded in space after the rescue attempt of Apollo 24 which was sparked by the early unscheduled firing of the S-IVB of Apollo 24 by its J-2 engine. She was eventually recovered by Apollo 25 and returned safely to the surface of Earth.
On January 6, 1970, Molly was joined by Patty Doyle, whom she told she was glad would be behind her like in the old days, which made Doyle smile. 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.
The women talked while they waited to see Janice fly. Cobb mentioned the jet she was flying had too much speed, which was shown to be true when Janice did not land correctly.
On day 55 of the course, 15 candidates were left, and Margo Madison was giving a class in which she explained how to safely return the crew. Since Molly was not paying attention, Margo helped her with her crossword puzzle in order to get her attention back. Molly defended herself by saying she understood the reentry equations, prompting Margo to give them a pop quiz. During the quiz, Molly got up and turned hers in, which Margo checked and found Cobb had gotten full marks on.
Later, while checking the list, Janice found out she was cut, while both Cobb and Doyle got in.
At Outpost Tavern, Cobbs and Doyle played pool, while Doyle noticed all the men were pretending not to hate their presence. However, Molly was more worried about the other women who were participating in the program, since they have no idea how bad it will get when the program is inevitably closed.
During a simulator, Tracy Stevens was assigned with Danielle Poole and Molly. 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.
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.
At one point, Tracy dropped her water while Molly made it to the finish line in ten hours and twelve minutes. She was happy with being first, until she found out Patty had come first.
Later, when results were posted, Cobb was angry that 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 Baldwin 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. During this test, Patty Doyle crashed.
Getting selected as an astronaut
After the death of Patty Doyle, Molly sits at the bar in Outpost, where she is joined by Ellen Wilson, Tracy Stevens, and Danielle Poole, who tell her she missed the service. They try comforting her, as Pam Horton serves drinks for the women, but Molly does not say a word until she mentions that Patty should have ejected, and that the program would probably be canceled.
On October 27, 1970, Thomas Paine is confused as to who called a press conference. At the conference, Deke announces that Danielle, Ellen, Molly, and Tracy were the first women to complete all of NASA's required astronaut training. He introduces each of them, and shakes their hand, while the press claps in celebration. Deke goes to Thomas, who tells him he had not authorized what he had done. Deke was aware of this, and reminded him that he was the one who decided who goes up, and when. Thomas congratulated him on making Nixon's shitlist.
At dinner, Ed told Molly that there would be a lot of expectations on her, but that she should not worry about it. Ed told her it would be her first time in space, but she pointed out it would be Frank Sedgewick's first time as well. Ed told her that Ed used to fly Phantoms in Vietnam, and had been flying jets ever since the Air Force Academy. Getting to the point, Ed tells Molly that both he and Sedge have a lot of experience, so if she followed their lead, she would have nothing to worry about. Molly tells him she is not worried and tells them she had been flying longer than both of them, mentioning she had gotten into Mercury 13 before Ed got into Gemini.
Later, at a tub, Molly told her husband Wayne that Ed did not respect women and probably thought she was a lesbian. Her husband mentioned that he probably did not know who she was, and Molly confirmed this and told him that the women were invisible to the "real astronauts". Molly pondered if she was made to fly solo, but concluded that Patty would think she was being an idiot, and her husband assured her she could be part of a team.
110 days before the Apollo 15 launch, Ed, Molly, and Sedge got their picture taken with their spacesuits on. However, they did not smile for the photo. Shorty Powers asked for one with Molly alone, and tried to get her hair fixed, much to her annoyance. Shorty then told her that Americans want to see a free woman on the Moon, not some Soviet puppet, and told her she should smile more. He asked her to smile, but after seeing her smile, he regretted it, and told her not to.
At night, Margo played the piano with a band at a bar. Molly watched her play, and Margo caught her eye. After her performance, Molly went up to her, and told her she finally saw a side of her that she liked. Wayne told her she did a good job, and Molly introduced him as her husband, which she scoffed at. Molly told Margo that she had to invite the other girls to the bar, but Margo asked her not to since it was her alone time, telling the astronaut not to mess with her.
During training, Molly was hitting a rock, which Ed told her she needed to use her full arm with. When she dropped her hammer, Ed also told her she could not just pick it up, since if she bent in her suit, she could not get further than 20 inches off the ground. He told her to focus on sample bags, which Molly did not like.
On a rocket simulator, Molly got into her spacesuit, while Ed helped her. She celebrated not having to wear a bra in space since there would be no gravity, but Sedge asked her to please wear it on behalf of their marriages. Engineers started talking, and Sedge asked what was going on. The engineers told him that the release tube in spacesuits was made for a man’s penis, which Molly would not be able to use lest she would make a "big bad mess". Molly told them that would not work, since the trip was a week long. The engineers suggested a diaper. As Molly began to object, Ed said he would handle it, and he aggressively asserted to the NASA engineers that they'd better figure out a better solution because none of his crew were going into space in a diaper.
Later, they both got on a rover in which Ed explained that once she figured out how to use it, they would move onto the 1/6th G-rig which would better simulate its movements on the Moon. He told her to just keep her eyes on the road, to which she responded that she had learned that in driver's ed. Ed clarified, telling her she was a pilot, and all pilots had tendencies, like Gordo, to look at an instrument panel, then check his surroundings like he is in a plane. Ed also mentions that even at 8 kilometers per hour, accidents can happen quickly and the Moon's terrain would be very irregular.
At another training routine, 18 days before the launch, Margo tells Molly that she went into the final trim 30 seconds late. She tells the other engineers that Molly still does not know the standard procedures. They asked both Ed and Molly to repeat, and Molly complained that Margo was a "pain in [her] ass." Molly told Ed that all she was doing was adjusting the locking harness out of the way, but she was ready. Molly started humming the jazz riff that Margo had played on piano at the club, subtlely reminding Margo that Molly knows her "secret" life as a jazz musician. That rattled Margo. Cobb started entering numbers, but made a mistake, which Ed dryly confirmed was wrong. After that, Ed asked to have more under his control, which an engineer said was too late to be doing. Molly told him she had it under control, but he was firm. Margo asked Ed if he remembered why they had laid it out that way to start with, but Ed reminded her he was the commander of the mission.
After training, Margo asked Cobb what was going on. Molly told her to fuck off, since she was just messing with her. However, Margo told her that she was too busy joking to see that Ed does not trust her. Molly was confused, but Margo told her she was not good enough and she had to be in order to be the first American woman in space. Molly told her that she was who she was, and if people did not like it, then screw them, but Margo reminded her it was not about her, and that she was not just a pilot, but an astronaut.
Sedge, Ed, and Molly got ready for takeoff, putting on their spacesuits. They were celebrated on their way to the Apollo 15, and Aleida Rosales made her way through a crowd gathered to watch the takeoff.
The three were strapped in, and Sedge mentioned that the send-off was big. Molly mentioned they were celebrating for nothing, since she had not done anything yet, but Ed countered by saying that she had strapped herself on top of a quarter million tons of high explosive for government pay, which was not smart but it was something. His joke made them all laugh. Moments later, the launch began, and was successful.
At Mission Control, Deke was called by the president, who congratulated him on what he was seeing on the news. As Deke thanked him, Nixon told him that if Molly screwed up, he was fired.
As the rocket began rising, Molly looked out the window, which was getting darker, and excitedly said "I'm going to the Moon!"
Apollo 15 reaches the Moon after 4 days, 3 hours, and 46 minutes, while Deke and Margo work at Mission Control. Molly is told she is live on all networks. Shane Baldwin asks his mother Karen why everything is about her, and Karen tells him that she is the first woman astronaut, but Shane reminds her that Ed is her boss.
When asked what she thought about being near the Moon, Molly mentions it is humbling and Deke reads a letter from a fan to her. After they were off air, the Apollo 15 crew was told that ice had been located on the Moon, but the data would be used for later missions, since the ice was nowhere near their landing site at Mare FrigorisW. Ed told them to land them at Shackleton Crater, but Gene Kranz refused since it was too big a risk, and they did not have the gear for that kind of exploration.
Ed turned off their comms, and Molly reminded him that he always told them to stick to the mission, and Ed told her the mission was to find ice. Asking Frank Sedgewick for his opinion, Sedge mentioned he was on-board.
Thomas called Deke and Gene and told them the CIA was worried that the Soviets would place military assets on the Moon, and told them that if they could get Apollo 15 to Shackleton, they should do it. Deke told Thomas that the crew would decide and left.
Molly argued that landing at Shackleton would be half-baked and last minute, which Ed compared to her training. She acknowledged that if the mission went badly it would be interpreted as "women can't hack it in space." The men told her it was important because if they did not do it, then the mission would just interpreted as a publicity stunt. Mission Control told them that it was up to them. Ed pressured Molly to agree to land at Shackleton, and eventually Molly agreed.
Ed mentioned that the altitude at which they were, was as low as he had gotten during Apollo 10, and Molly told him to stick with her. They neared Shackleton, which was dark, but it was time for them to find a landing spot. They found a good spot, and were able to land successfully on the Moon's surface. Molly mentioned she had never wanted a cigarette more, and Ed told her she had come a long way.[TA 1] Mission Control, Karen, and Wayne celebrated the successful landing.
On the Moon's surface, Molly got her picture taken by Ed after they planted the Moon, and was later told the president wanted to speak to her, which she could not believe. Nixon told her he was very proud of what she had done for the country and for women everywhere, and wished her a safe journey home.
The next day, Ed and Molly broadcast to Mission Control live, and drove a rover on the Moon's surface.
On the Moon, Molly wished they could find ice, not just rocks. They radioed Mission Control and told them that if there was ice, it is either down deep, or in the crater. Mission Control told them that now the mission was to pack their things up and go home.
On the Moon, Molly thanks Ed for vouching for her not to have a diaper as they clean their spacesuits. They get ready to go to bed, and Ed lets Mission Control know. He talks to Shane, who he tells he did something special for that day. He tells Shane he wrote his name on the Moon’s surface, which would now remain there for millions of years.
Molly tells Ed what he did for his kid had been great, and Ed tells her that it was bullshit, since he was good for gestures, but on everyday things he was not so great. Molly told him that she never had a kid since it seemed like a lot of work. Ed told her he was not a good father, since he could not teach Shane how to ride a bike, which was different from teaching Molly. He told her about how he left Shane alone when Deke had come around, which led Molly to call him a selfish prick, which she also called herself due to her ignoring Wayne being afraid of her going to the Moon. Ed told him Karen had been going through the same, but Molly concluded it was necessary to move the ball forward for mankind.
Molly and Ed looked down and said it was very steep, meaning they could go down, but they did not know if they would be able to go back up. They thought of using the rover in order to make a winch out of it, and did so with NASA's collaboration. Disabling the rover to make the winch meant they would have to walk back to the Jamestown habitat. Ed told Molly to always keep both hands on the rope in case anything happened, but Molly mentioned she weighed half as much as he did, and asked him to trust her.
Molly was in place for descent, and started going down, now out of Ed’s sight and inside the crater. Her transmission was cutting out, but managed to tell Ed she would be slowing down, as she was now heading into the dark. She turned on a light and told Ed to go lower. She started hitting when she was thirty meters from the baseline, but did not land a good blow. Ed asked her if she was okay and she told them she needed to adjust, but had just found bedrock. She went down another 20 feet. However, in Mission Control they mentioned Molly’s oxygen consumption was greater than expected and would only be able to keep that rhythm up for another two minutes.
They reached the end of the line, but Molly was only able to find basalt. Mission Control told her her oxygen consumption was too high, so she needed to head back up. She refused, but Ed told her he would be bringing her back up. Ed warned her not to make him drag her up, and Mission Control started getting worried. Molly was able to hit a rock and told Houston to look at what she had got, which appeared to be ice, also showing them a lot more where it had come from.
Deke told Ed to bring Molly up, which he did, and they managed to safely return to the LEM. When they were inside, the public was told, and Karen hugged Wayne, who was relieved they were fine.
On the LEM, Ed felt relieved to be able to breathe, and Molly told Mission Control that they did not know how lucky they were. Mission Control told them that they did, since even Margo was smiling, which Cobb asked someone to take a picture of. They were instructed to rehydrate and breathe for fifteen minutes. During this time, Ed took pictures of Molly with the ice, which she mentioned was melting. They lifted off, and left.
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.
Molly tells a crew about what they would be doing in order to help Apollo 25. Margo tells Harold Weisner that they were the best people to do it. Weisner agrees and they decide to launch in two days.
Apollo 24 and 25 started working together to fix 24. They installed the FCC they needed and then started a test, which Margo directed. Ellen mentions that the tank pressure had gone up. Margo realized what was happening and told them to get the remaining astronauts to get away from the booster since it was still armed. It was too late the booster ignited, making Deke slam into a steering nozzle, and Harry slid down the booster into the exhaust plume of the engine dissolving in the heat of the exhaust. Molly disconnected the tether holding 25 to 24 and then lost her grip and let go. Molly mentioned that she had almost no oxygen left and they tried to find her since they could not see her. Tracy managed to see her, but Apollo 24 was still uncommunicative.
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.
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.
Molly and other astronauts walked outside Jamestown colony with flashlights. Wubbo Ockels 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 illuminated 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.
When a serious solar flare was headed their way, 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.
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.
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.
Molly tells Ellen that she took shelter in the lava tube, trying to reach Wubbo, but when the two finally reached Jamestown, she was not feeling very well herself. Ellen tells her that she made the right call and a doctor says that it is uncertain how bad Wubbo would be, but would likely develop cancer in the next few years. Ellen tells Molly that she would be returning to Houston with her, but Molly complains since her dosimeter was green. Ellen tells her that her decision was final.
Ellen looks around Jamestown and remembers how long she had been up there in total, preparing to leave and assigned Alex Rossi as commander of Jamestown. She got into the LSAM with Molly and more people who were ready to go back to Earth.
Molly and Ellen make it to Earth, where the former is not feeling so good. They are received by many people, and Ellen thanks the crew. Wayne greets Molly and hugs her; he gets her out of there and tells her nobody would notice.
Ed greets new NASA recruits, welcoming them as astronaut candidates or ASCANS. He tells them that everything would be graded and he would be in charge of doing so. As he gives the introduction, Molly is reciting it as well, word for word.
Later, Ed plays golf with Karen, Molly, and Wayne. None of them do a very good job, except for Wayne, who hits a perfect drive. Molly makes fun of Ed for having to use reading glasses and says that she sometimes felt that being on Earth felt like being in outer space. Ed tells her that he read the incident report and knew that there was no way she had waited in the lava tube for the storm to pass and asks if she is okay. She tells him that she is fine and asks if he misses being on the Moon. He says he does, but not as much as he thought he would. Molly asks him if he was okay with someone taking "his baby," the Pathfinder to space, and he says that he had had all the time he needed up in space. She says that when she first met him, she never expected to see him happy behind a desk, and he agrees. He says that he found himself happy, even though he did not expect to find himself where he was before. He smells marijuana, and Molly says that Wayne and Karen would deny having smoked it.
Molly makes it to Mission Control, where Wubbo greets her and tells her that he would be heading back to the Netherlands since he was leaving the program voluntarily. Molly told him that he was taking the easy way out, but he said that if he only had a couple of years left, he wanted to spend it with his family, but Molly tells him to not give up. He thanks her for everything and leaves. Molly is smoking a cigarette outside, joined by Gordo who asks her for one.
Molly smokes in the bathtub and is joined by Ed, who laughs at her appearance. She asks what he was doing there and offers him a beer. He grabs one and tells her that he was there to put her back to work. He tells her that he wanted her to run the astronaut office since he would be commanding Pathfinder, but she tells him that she was missing with him. She tells him that she did not want to run the astronaut office since she wanted to fly, but he tells her to take the office until her medical leave finished, when she could assign herself to any mission she wanted.
Gordo and Ed sit at NASA while listening to their recordings while on their jets. They are joined by Thomas, Margo, and Molly who pauses the recordings and asks them to give her a good reason why she should not pull their tickets. Gordo says that he takes full responsibility, but Molly asks him when he had ever done such a thing. Ed tells her that he cannot take him off Pathfinder, but she reminded him that she could. She tells them that they have one last chance and tells them to leave. Thomas asks Molly if that was it, since he wanted a harsher punishment, but Molly told him that it was not that big a deal since things had gotten out of hand, which happened all the time. Thomas reminded her that the jets were expensive; Margo also told Molly that she should set a certain tone, but Molly reminded them that she would handle them as she saw fit.
At Cape Kennedy, astronauts are preparing guns, which would be brought to the Moon. One of them complained that they did not even know when they were supposed to shoot them, and Molly tells him that it was their lucky day, since she had the rules of engagement for use with her. She tells them that they needed to understand that they should only fire if they were up against a hostile act or intent.
A ceremony is held, and Soviet cosmonauts are received by NASA. Margo tells Thomas 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.
At a meeting, Margo asks what the airliner was doing flying over Sakhalin and Molly says it could have been a navigational error, but Margo thought 400 miles was too much and wondered why a commercial airliner would be shot down. Bradford mentioned they had spy planes flying over Sakhalin all the time, so the Soviets were paranoid. However, he mentioned that it was more likely that they suspected that the plane was being used to spy, but said that it would be ridiculous. Molly was annoyed that she had not been able to reach Danielle Poole or Nathan Morrison, but Nelson Bradford told her that the FBI had shut down access to all Soviet officials in the US including the Apollo-Soyuz engineers. Ellen agreed and told everybody that she had spoken to the White House and until they found a replacement, she would be acting administrator. She mentions that their priority was contacting the astronauts, maybe contacting Sergei Nikulov first.
Margo, Molly and Bradford are called to a meeting along with other people who did not know what the meeting was about. Ellen walks in and greets everybody, telling them that the president had decided to arm Pathfinder. Bradford agrees with it since they were being left with no choice, but Margo mentions it is a defensive measure until it suddenly is not. Ellen ignores her and proceeds to say that they were moving up the retaking of lunar claim site 357 Bravo, which would happen within 48 hours. Molly says that the plan was to use lunar night in order to maintain the element of surprise and reminds Ellen that the astronauts had not finished training, but Ellen tells them that the president was comfortable with moving forward after her recommendations. Margo and Molly were left in shock.
Molly has her eyes checked and is told she has normal tension glaucoma. She asks if radiation causes it, but her doctor tells her she does not know. Her doctor tells her that the treatment to slow down the loss of vision would consist of eyedrops, oral medication and possibly surgery, but would ultimately reach blindness at some point. She also tells Molly that flight surgeons would not miss it.
She gets on a jet and starts testing it, trying to get to a high speed and altitude while cursing. The jet started beeping, so Molly let it fall, but regained control over it.
Molly lays on her couch while drinking a beer, when she is joined by Wayne. She tells him she could use another beer, but when he hands it to her, she does not immediately see his hand until he gets very close. She complains about him creeping up on her, but he explains he had been there a while. He says that she had been acting weird and had not wanted to talk about anything but he now wanted her to tell him the truth. She tells him that she had gone out into the solar storm and had been on the surface for an hour in order to save Wubbo, but now has normal tension glaucoma.
Molly gets visited by Ed, who makes fun of her for having to use glasses, when she had made fun of him before. He teases her about getting old, but she tells him that DOD was taking over his mission and tells him about the Buran situation. She informs him that his new launch date would be in a couple of days and she tells him to be safe.
Molly greets Wayne, who tells her that her injecting antioxidants into her eyes seemed a bit extreme, but she tells him that her glaucoma was too. He believed her doctor was only telling her what she wanted to hear, but she tells him that 92% of his patients recovered their sight but he told her that the doctor had no sources, but she defended the doctor, wo was from Guadalajara. He worries about her and says that it is risky, but she tells him that she needs it and they get into the car.
Molly tells Wayne that she was going to go to the Cape in order to help with the launch of Apollo 75, but Wayne knew she was lying. She did not care and he tells her that if she went to Guadalajara, he would not be there when she returned. She tells him that he would finally be free of what she had put him through and asks if he knew how much of a burden he had been and leaves when he questions her guts.
Molly turns back from the airport and heads home, only to find out Wayne had already started picking up his things. She tells him that she hopes he had a thing for old blind ladies, so he tells her that white canes and dark glasses turned him on, and they kiss.
Ellen makes it to Mission Control, where she is told by Margo that the Soviets were asking for more time before docking with no reason given. Margo is optimistic, but Molly tells them it has to do with the lunar blockade. Margo asks about Buran, but Ellen tells her is classified which Margo finds ridiculous since they would not be able to make informed decisions.
Ellen tells Margo and Molly that they could not keep this up, but Margo does not want to give up since they were on the brink of war. She asks Ellen for one more orbit, and she gives Margo 90 minutes. Molly tells Bill Strausser that they had one more orbit before they called it quits, which Aleida protests since people had worked very hard. Molly asks Bill who Aleida is and mentions she likes her when she sees her attitude.
Aleida gets a snack and hears a radio sounding. She walks into a small room and hears Gordo communicating. She reveals herself and Gordo greets her. Aleida walks up to Margo and Molly and tells them about Gordo, so both of them rush with her.
Molly asks Gordo and Tracy if they had been in contact with anyone, but Gordo reveals that the comms had been taken down and they had no suits. Margo tells them that in about 45 minutes there would be a massive nuclear meltdown which would kill everyone on the base and rendering Shackleton uninhabitable for a thousand years. Gordo asks what they can do and is told that they could swap out the cable connectors from the backup computer to the primary loop, but they had no way to reach them with no suits on. Gordo asks how far the cables were and says that he could get to them, but Tracy and Margo tell him it was not possible. Molly defends him, however, and says that if they gave him some sort of protection, he could last longer outside.
Gordo and Tracy start making an impromptu space suit and are told what to do by Molly. He is asked if he wants to change his mind, but he does not and shuts down their communication. Tracy tells him that she would be going with him since they had a shot at making it back together.
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.
By 1992, Molly is still in command of the Astronaut Office, and is engaged commonly in debates with Margo over who will be the commander of the upcoming Mars mission, as well as Molly's selections for the astronaut candidates. For the Mars mission's commander, the pair had narrowed it down to Danielle Poole and Ed Baldwin, although Molly is unready to make a final decision, despite Margo's pushing for Danielle to be selected. At some point prior to this, she has also adopted a guide dog, Ollie. After finding Margo has established an advisory board on the selection of astronaut candidates after the two of them bickered over Molly's continual prioritisation of test pilots for the program, Molly informed Ed that he was selected to command the mission, and assigned Dani to the backup crew without consultation while Margo was away in Huntsville, Alabama. This caused Margo to fire her upon her return, after holding her position as head of the Astronaut Office for nine years.
Return to NASA
On September 4th, 1995, Molly returned to NASA to aid Ed's descent back to the surface of Mars after propelling a pregnant Kelly Baldwin back to Phoenix. Shortly after this, Johnson Space Center was bombed. Molly assisted with aiding those trapped under rubble and helped find means of escape. Her body was found seven days later. Due to her heroic actions, JSC was renamed to "Molly Cobb Space Center" in her honor.
- The expression "you've come a long way, baby" was a women's liberation slogan by Virginia Slims cigarettes around the timeframe of this episode.