Frank Corvin(Clint Eastwood), "Hawk" Hawkins(Tommy Lee Jones), Jerry O'Neill(Donald Sutherland) and Tank Sullivan(James Garner) were hotdog members of Project DAEDALUS, the Air Force's test program for space travel. Their hopes were dashed in 1958 with the formation of NASA and the use of trained chimps. They blackmail their way into orbit when Russia's mysterious Ikon communications satellite's orbit begins to degrade and threatens to crash into Earth. It seems that American technology designed by Frank Corvin has ended up as the guiding system. Of course, because of the old technology, only the original team can save the day.