Gripping, yet starkly realistic, portrayal of three astronauts (Crenna, Hackman, and Franciscus) on an extended special mission who find themselves unable to reenter the Earth's atmosphere. Peck plays the commander at the Houston base who tries to call the right shots from the ground. As
the oxygen supply diminishes, the stranded astronauts must face the inevitability of death. Hackman breaks down in a fit of tears while talking to his wife over intercommunications television. When Peck suggests that one of the men commit suicide to allow enough oxygen for the remaining two,
nobody takes him up on it. But soon after, commander Crenna, on the pretext of going outsid...