"The Rescue of Athena One"

(Original air date 03/15/74)


When a NASA space capsule gets stranded in orbit, Steve is sent
to bring it safely back to earth


Writer: D.C. Fontana

Director: Lawrence Doheny

At NASA Space Center, Flight Director Calvin Billings (Quinn Redeker) supervises the simulation of an upcoming launch with Steve as instructor to the pilot who will be heading this special expedition designed to find new sources of energy in outer space.

However the teacher is not satisfied with his studentís manoeuvres he considers too hasty. His constant chiding stresses the pilot who storms outside the capsule. She is Major Kelly Wood (Farrah Fawcett-Majors), the first American woman privileged to lead this space mission.

Steve orders her back into the simulation chamber and confesses to Billings his intention of dropping the project.


On the phone with his irate friend, Oscar stresses the importance of keeping him as instructor. Should Major Woodís incompetence be in question she could easily be replaced as the pilot but heís indispensable to the success of this mission.

Later Steve meets with Kelly to propose a truce, one she accepts with some reticence.


Together they appear on an ABC panel to discuss their upcoming space mission where Steve admits being against of the idea of having a woman undertake such a perilous journey. When the cameras are off he assures Kelly that heís not a chauvinist; only that he hates the thought of a woman risking her life.

As they leave the studios, a megaton projector overhead accidentally comes loose. Luckily Steve spots it and pushes out of the way. This incredible feat has Kelly suspicious and impels Steve to reveal the truth about his special nature.


On the day of the launch, Kelly boards the capsule with her co-pilot, Major Paul Osterman (Dean Smith). As Flight Director, Steve oversees the operation at Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. All systems are go and the rocket is launched. Minutes into the flight an explosion occurs aboard, grievously injuring the co-pilot. Kelly is instructed to navigate the capsule to Skylab space station. Unfortunately the blast jammed the hatch, thus trapping both astronauts inside the capsule


On earth Steve suggests flying to their rescue. There he easily breaks open the hatch and helps carry the injured astronaut aboard the space station where the flight surgeon (Paul Kent) works at saving his life. Surgery is needed but will require for the station to be fully operational.


Steve heads outside to repair the solar panel in order to restore the energy. The radiation causes his bionic eye to fail. Soon his arm and legs start failing during the delicate surgery to remove a piece of metal in Ostermanís chest.


Following the successful operation, Kelly seeks out a depressed Steve who is reluctant to believe his a faulty space suit may have been the cause of his failing strength and blames the gravity instead.

He contacts Oscar at Houston Center to let him know about his little problem and to have Rudy on stand by just in case. He informs the Flight Director (John S. Rajin) that they will need to navigate the capsule back to earth manually, a delicate task that he is compelled to relegate to Kelly on account of his failing bionics.


Kelly in doubtful of her skills to assume such a dangerous job but under her instructorís guidance, she manoeuvres the space pod safely back to earth.

Back at NASA, Oscar is happy to inform his dejected friend that Rudy has invented a device that will stabilize his bionics in low gravity and thus enable him to return to space at any given time. This bit of news does lift Steveís sagging spirits to some degree, but itís Kellyís invitation to a romantic dinner that has him cheering up.


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