The bird in this title is a rocket set to carry the first U.S. astronaut around the moon on Operation Moonview. The rocket is propelled by a new secret fuel called dioflom and the Red Chinese are after it. Test after test at Cape Kennedy has inexplicably failed as a whole series of rockets blew to pieces. What's been happening, NASA knows, is that Cuban based saboteurs have been radioing a destruction signal that fouled up each space test. Nonetheless, our team is ready to go. Because he grew up in Cuba, a Yankee space scientist named Steve Hatchett is sent as a secret agent to Cuba to learn what he can. He discovers that someone on the space project is being blackmailed to give the Reds the secret destruction signal. Back in the States his trail of investigation becomes more and more confused, and then the astronaut set for the moon shot loses his daughter to kidnappers. So it's back to Cuba after the missing kid, where the puzzle is solved (with the help of some James Bond lethal gadgetry). A straightforward adventure yarn, not bad but not special.