Frank is initially hostile as he still despises Bob, but agrees to put aside his differences to help with the current situation. Of course, because of the old technology, only the original team can save the day. It turns out that the satellite's guidance system is, mysteriously, none other than the very guidance system set up by former hot dog Frank Corvin Clint Eastwood. Scenes were filmed on location at the in , and the and in Florida. Hawk quickly volunteers to sacrifice himself, hoping that he will be able to land himself on the moon to fulfill his life's dream. Frank, Tank, and Jerry now work to bring the shuttle back to Earth, with the plan to achieve a low enough altitude to allow the shuttle to be evacuated over water since landing it would be difficult. A love interest develops between Jones and , as a space agency functionary.
The crew is welcomed back as heroes. Their former boss is now a mission leader in Nasa and still as despicable as in his younger days. The Daedalus successfully launches into orbit. After helping Hawk to rig the satellite for launch, Frank takes Ethan back to the shuttle to be tended to. The team retired, but the dream of going into space never died.
As they see to Ethan, the two realize that there is no way to restablize the orbit of the satellite without power, and the only option is to have someone ride on the satellite as they fire the missiles' engines so that it falls into deep space. Tank Sullivan James Garner is a preacher. The designer is a womanizing roller coaster designer. On the ground, Frank punches Hawk for putting their lives at risk, but their fight is broken up by flight engineer Jerry O'Neill. The actors know where the laughs and thrills are and respect them. Frank, Tank, and Jerry say their goodbyes to Hawk as he engages the rockets, successfully propelling the missiles away from Earth. They all cave in to Eastwood's call--even though one of them, of course, is an old rival who still bears a grudge.
Advertisement The gathering of the crew takes place in an ancient and obligatory way: The leader Eastwood visits each man in the place where life has taken him and yanks him back into the past. Jerry O'Neil Donald Sutherland designs roller coasters. Sutherland's ladies' man has a funny moment on the show--only a line of dialogue, but it has been well set up and gets a big laugh. Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner star as a group of pilots whose time has come to serve their country and fulfill their dream of going to space. The script is weak and saggy and the plot is predictable. However, as they prepare for this maneuver, one of the younger astronauts, Ethan Glance , acting under Bob's original orders, tries to put the satellite into stable orbit himself, which is mistimed and sets off a chain reaction: the satellite collides with the shuttle, damaging most of the shuttle's computer systems and engines, destroying the solar panels on the satellite, and sending it faster into a decay orbit, while Ethan is knocked out and dragged along with the satellite. As the film opens, a satellite from the former Soviet Union is falling toward Earth, and only an emergency mission can steer it back into orbit.
After safely bailing out Ethan and Roger, Tank and Jerry stay with Frank regardless of the risk. The secret of this communication system is known only to Frank Corbin. Frank discovers that the control system for the satellite originated from Bob's own files and was stolen by the , and that the satellite's computers will launch the missiles at predetermined targets if the satellite falls out of orbit. Sutherland's character is portrayed as a perpetual womanizer and this is supposed to be charming and virile, even when he makes a very vulgar comment on Jay Leno's show. In 1958, the members of Team Daedalus, a group of top Air Force test pilots, were ready to serve their country as the first Americans in space.
Flash forward to the present, the foursome are now living a docile life. While Tank and Jerry tend to the other young astronaut Roger Hines , who suffered a concussion on the impact, Frank and Hawk make a space walk and reach the satellite in time to activate a booster rocket and slow down the orbit. After the gathering comes a montage in which the men train and prepare--also obligatory in movies like this. The navigator is a Baptist minister. Characters drink and smoke, punch each other, and engage in other kinds of risky behavior.
We meet the gum-chewing mission director. Bob agrees to this, though discreetly plans to have younger astronauts shadow the four and learn from them so as to replace Frank's team before launch. They find the satellite but all agree it looks nothing like a communication satellite. Frank successfully pilots the shuttle to reenter orbit but with too fast a speed. We leave the theater with grave doubts that the scene depicted in the final feel-good shot is even remotely possible, but what the hell; it makes us smile.
And there's one of those early scenes where a hero does something daring and tricky in practice, and we know with certainly that he will be required to do it again later in an emergency situation. The pilot, who had a penchant for pushing the test planes to their limits, is now a daredevil crop-duster. Get them to ask older relatives about some of their experiences. Families will also want to talk about the decision of one crew member to make a great sacrifice to save many others. But the stuff in outer space is unexpected, the surprise waiting out there is genuine, and meanwhile, there's an abundance of charm and screen presence from the four veteran actors. The mission is quickly put under secrecy. Hawk Hawkins Tommy Lee Jones is a stunt pilot.