Things are heating up in Houston, literally. As some of the wives scour to find air conditioning, others seek new jobs as female astronauts and newspaper columnists. Life reporter Max already has his next gig lined up: The proud New Yorker plans to head to San Francisco after Gordo’s flight to work for a progressive newspaper. But soon news hits that the astronauts and their wives will be coping with with a more permanent departure — the death of President John F. Kennedy. Here’s how each couple adjusted to the weather, the surprising assassination, and everything in between:
Louise & Alan Shepard
Once Alan doesn’t notice Louise’s haircut, her attention moves to Max, who does recognize her new do. Max reveals Louise sent him a Christmas card (is that the 1960s version of sexting?), and after she learns of his upcoming move, she invites him to lunch because “I thought we were friends.” Like most men today, Max is not happy being in the friend zone and tells Louise he’s down for a rendezvous anywhere, anytime before he heads to California. After listening to the a radio program discuss Alan’s “rocket” and his love of Cape Cookies, it seems like Louise is going to take him up on this offer, but instead the two continue their beyond obvious flirtation through Gordo’s launch party.
When Trudy decides to head to Hawaii for Gordo’s splashdown, Max must make an abrupt exit and leaves Louise with a hasty farewell. “This isn’t the way I wanted to say goodbye,” Max says as his final words. Maybe you should’ve said something else then, Max. With her crush gone, Louise finally confronts Alan. “I know you’re with other women, and I pretend I don’t care,” she says. “People say I’m supposed to ask for what I want. This is what I want. You, all to myself.” (People = Max)
You tell ’em, Lady Louise.
Trudy & Gordo Cooper
Trudy and Gordo also get closer to reuniting in “Flashpoint.” Trudy’s old fly friend Dot (Mercedes Mason) comes to visit and cuts right to the chase. “Are you still faking it with Gordo?” she asks Trudy. At the time, the answer is yes. But after Gordo sticks up for her and female pilots in their quest to become astronauts, Trudy rewards him with a kiss. “You know I gotta come back because I’m not gonna let you off the hook about that kiss,” Gordo tells Trudy before he heads up for a 34-hour space orbit.
When Trudy receives word from John Glenn that Gordo’s rocket is overheating and he’ll have to come down on his own, she rushes to Hawaii to meet her husband for his splashdown. In talking to the media, Gordo credits Trudy for making him a successful pilot and the two share another passionate kiss, and this time, it’s on camera.
Trudy’s mind quickly jumps back to putting a woman in space, though, when she learns Russia has done exactly that.
NEXT: As America loses one politician, they could gain a new one … in the form of an astronaut