World tension has been escalating in the years following the tragic Discovery mission (the focal point of 2001, A Space Odyssey). The Americans and the Russians are both building ships to travel to the derelict Discovery in order to learn the secrets of what truly happened. Ironically, Discovery will fall out of orbit before the American spaceship is ready, but the Russians, whose craft is nearing completion, don’t have the expertise to reactivate H.A.L. (Discovery’s intelligent computer). The Russians reluctantly decide to allow the American scientists to join them on their journey.As the world they leave behind teeters ever closer to the brink of nuclear war, the scientists uncover signs of life on one of Jupiter’s moons. They soon find themselves part of a cosmic drama which will profoundly transform humanity…and let us know that we are not alone in the universe.