Forty years after their original space mission was scrapped, a retired Air Force "space cowboy" leads a group of former astronauts on a dangerous mission.
In 1958, the members of Team Daedalus, a group of top Air Force test pilots (Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner), were ready to serve their country as the first Americans in space but were pushed aside. Now, as a Russian satellite fails and is about to crash into earth, Team Daedalus is back in action in a rescue mission.
The four pilots, now retired, are brought back into service to assist NASA during the major satellite crisis. Although their cocky, nonconformist attitudes kept the quartet out of the space program in the Sixties, their specialized knowledge about the workings of a damaged satellite unexpectedly enables them, late in their lives, to get another chance to go into space--if they can pass the same physical and skill tests as the younger astronauts.