Moonbase 3 is having a reception in honor of some Russian VIPs. Included in the list is Russia’s number one cosmonaut, Colonel Dimitri Gararov (Milos Kirek). Dimitri is a big fan of Moonbase 3’s director of operations and base maintenance, Tom Hill (Barry Lowe). Dimitri is scheduled to be part of a crew that will be going to Mars and would love to have Tom join the crew but Tom, although honored, feels he is far too old for that kind of journey. The cosmonaut’s hero worship of Tom is obvious.
During the reception Tom is given a message that one of Moonbase 3’s weather satellites, Omicron 4, is not working. Director Caulder (Donald Houston) blames the problems on budget cuts. Tom investigates the situation and decides that he needs to take a space shuttle to the satellite and fix it.
Also on hand is the head of the Russian Moonbase, General Alexis Trenkin (George Pravda). Caulder would love to have a joint project with Russia. He believes it would bring in some needed respect from Earth, followed by funds to keep the base going. Trenkin invites Caulder to dinner the next night. He tells Caulder that the mission to Mars is the first step in a voyage that will then advance to Jupiter and beyond. He inquires if Moonbase 3 might be interested in participating in the Mars to Jupiter portion of the venture. It would cost the European group 350 million. He also mentions that it would be an excellent use of Tom’s and Dimitri’s talents. He refers to them as Castor and Pollux.
When Tom reaches the malfunctioning satellite his normal docking maneuver turns into a dire situation when his ship becomes lodged at an angle with the satellite. The two joined objects are now tumbling into space. When Dimitri finds out about Tom’s plight he volunteers to come to his aide. With the Mars voyage only a couple weeks away, Trenkin forbids to allow the cosmonaut to help.
Castor and Pollux refer to a Greek and Roman myth. According to the story they were twin brothers who had the same mother, Queen Leda, but different fathers. Castor was mortal and the son of King Tyndarus, Queen Leda’s husband. Pollux was the son of Zeus. Zeus was notorious for having affairs with beautiful mortals. He transformed himself into a beautiful swan and had sex with Leda making her pregnant. It appears that Tyndarus made her pregnant as well. The brothers were identical twins and inseparable. Castor was a great horseman and Pollux a great fighter. When Castor was killed in battle Pollux pleaded with his father, Zeus, to bring Castor back. Zeus immortalized the twins by creating the constellation of Gemini. The twins would spend half their time on Earth and the other half in the heavens.