When the space shuttle mission is forced to abort three seconds before launch, the fiancee of one of the astronauts suspects sabotage and secretly calls in the FBI. As the shuttle and its crew face one crisis after another, it becomes clear that someone or something wants this mission to fail. But is it the work of a human saboteur, or of an alien presence that would prefer mankind to remain earthbound? The future of the space program is at stake, and Mulder gets to meet a childhood hero - who may not be all that he seems...
- Fighting from the Inside: Even while the alien ghosts inside him sabotage the mission, Col. Belt still tries to save the astronauts under his command. He sends anonymous evidence that leads to Scully and Mulder investigating and makes decisions that, while dangerous, are the best options to save the astronauts and keep NASA running. The stress of fighting against his possessors drives him to suicide.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Maybe the reason they keep having trouble with the shuttles is because their chief scientist is Col. Maybourne.
- Old Shame: Chris Carter has said it's his least favorite episode. Most fans and critics agree.
- Reentry Scare: A la Apollo13.