The year is 1965, the Americans just got involved in the Vietnam war, and the spy game between the Soviets and Americans was being played vigorously by both sides. Today is another routine aerial spying mission, being flown by Captains Jack Nimitz and Harold Geoffreys. Their SR-71 Blackbird high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft flies so high in the atmosphere that they must wear orange space suits with their own supply of oxygen in order to withstand the vigors of flying at 100,000 feet. Their mission commander warns them of the SAM (Surface-to-air missile) batteries waiting for them along the icy coast of northern Russia nearing the Bering Sea, and insists they complete their mission as quickly as possible to return to base safely. Their launch point is at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, and it is a windy, sandy day.