Three American astronauts (Gene Hackman, Richard Crenna, and James Franciscus) returning from a long space station mission suddenly face imminent death when their spacecraft malfunctions and they are stuck in orbit with a very limited oxygen supply. On the ground, Chief astronaut Ted Dougherty (David Janssen) breaks all the rules to implement a mission to rescue the seemingly doomed adventurers. Charles Keith (Gregory Peck) is the ground commander in Houston who must decide whether or not to approve the dangerous rescue mission.
For the trope related to characters being marooned, see Robinsonade
For the Mystery Science Theater 3000
version (shown under the title Space Travellers
), please go to the episode recap page