A crypto-Nazi East German cosmonaut hijacks the first Soviet-American joint space-shuttle expedition. Senator Garn, who is from Utah, has ridden the shuttle. Co-author Cohen has not, but he did write Heartless (1986) and Island of Steel (1988). Alex Vonberger is the token Warsaw Pact citizen on the three-person Soviet cosmonaut team assembled to join three Americans for the Peace Flight Program—a public-relations effort dear to the heart of the new American President. Vonberger's fellow Marxists are Russians, a cosmonaut and a lovely cosmonette. They're to fly with a gutsy black American mission commander, a hell-raisin' hotshot pilot, and a token NATO person from England in order to promote world understanding and cooperation. But Alex has been understanding and cooperating with Das Syndikat, a gang of Neo-Nazis—so while the Americans and Russians think he's making whoopee every night with Laura Gold, a cute little food-service gal, he's actually getting secret hijacking lessons in the basement of her apartment complex and then making whoopee. Well, the rocket goes up; but after a week of weightless understanding and cooperation, Alex puts a bullet in the Englishman and handcuffs on everybody else and proceeds with his plan to land the shuttle in Iran as soon as his Nazi pals are sprung. Fortunately, the Americans have a shuttle they can gas up and launch, carrying a very angry Peace Flight Program director armed with a pistol, a knife, and a daring plan. Lots of very real-sounding NASA background details can't disguise an awfully silly plot.
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