The CIA became suspicious of Hugo Drax when some person or persons unknown literally hijacked a Moonraker space shuttle right off the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft on which it was riding at the time, killing its RAF crew and destroying said aircraft. The problem: not a trace of the Moonraker remained. The British, realizing their own embarrassment, sent an expert operative of their own: Commander James Bond alias Agent 007.
Holly and Bond
Investigating the theft of the Drax Industries Moonraker, Bond proceeds to the Drax Industries shuttle-manufacturing complex where he meets Hugo Drax and his henchman Chang. It is there that James Bond meets Goodhead and survives an assassination to Chang attempt via a centrifuge chamber.
Bond again encounters Goodhead in Venice where he is chased through the canals by Hugo Drax's henchmen. He discovers a secret biological laboratory, and by accidentally poisoning the scientists there, he learns that the glass vials are to hold a nerve gas deadly to humans, but harmless to animals. Bond also finds evidence that Drax is moving his operation to Rio de Janeiro. Rejoining Goodhead, he deduces that she is a CIA agent spying on Drax. They promise to work together, but quickly dispense with the truce. Bond has saved one of the vials he found earlier, as the only evidence of the now-empty laboratory, giving it to M for analysis, who permits him to go to Rio de Janeiro.
In Rio, Bond meets Goodhead at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, where they are attacked by Jaws on a cable car. After dispatching Jaws, Bond and Goodhead are captured by henchmen, but Bond escapes and reports to an MI6 base in Brazil. Bond travels the Amazon River looking for Drax's research facility and after finding it is captured by Jaws again. Bond is taken to Drax and witnesses four Moonrakers lifting off. Drax explains that he stole the Moonraker because another in the fleet had developed a fault during assembly.
Bond is later reunited with Goodhead and Drax announced that she and James would burn to death under the fire from the engines of a Moonraker-marked Moonraker Five, the fifth of six that were taking off that day from that secret base. But of course Drax couldn't hang about to see his work through. That gave Bond, who had some self-defense equipment of his own, time to blow off a ventilation grille and lead her into a ventilation duct before Moonraker Five took off. They then made their way to the service tunnels, where they ambushed two henchmen, knocked them unconscious, and took the places of the pilot and co-pilot of Moonraker Six. Moonraker Six had a pre-programmed flight plan and thus carried Bond and Goodhead all the way to their destination.
Happily, Goodhead knew how to fly a Moonraker shuttle. So it was easy for her to manage the jettisoning of the solid-rocket boosters, and then of the external tank, at the proper time. Bond, however, sat before that part of the pilots' console that included the cargo-bay monitors. He switched one on, and discovered they were carrying no cargo, but only passengers.
Their destination turns out to be a city-sized space station that Goodhead could plainly see but did not register on radar. That could mean only that the station had a radar jammer on board, making the station invisible to the world below.
Eventually they docked with the station and Drax explains his plan. He intends to destroy human life by launching fifty globes containing an orchid-derived nerve gas that would kill people but not animals. Before launching the globes, Drax says that he also transported several dozen genetically perfect young men and women of varying races to the space station. In due time, the gaseous poisons from the orchid would evaporate into the mesosphere, and the attractive couples would return to Earth, most having likely become impregnated while in space, where Drax believes would make a perfect Earth free that is peaceful, pollution-free, and one of income equality. Drax also sees these babies to be as growing up to look to the space god who bestowed on them this perfect world - clearly himself, and also says these attractive couples will breed out medical problems such as Down syndrome or multiple sceloris. In case a baby is born deformed, it will be euthanized, as it is unfit for Drax's utopia. This megalomania, however, causes Jaws to realize the truth, and to defect to Bond and Goodhead.
Bond and Goodhead free themselves from Drax's henchmen and disable Drax's jamming equipment. With the radar jammer disabled, Drax's station becomes visible to Washington. After getting confirmation from General Gogol that Moscow did not authorize that station, the U.S. government deploys a space shuttle full of Unoted States Marines to capture or destroy Drax's station. During the ensuing battle Drax is blown out an airlock and the station begins to tear itself apart. Goodhead pilots Moonraker Five and uses the shuttle's laser to destroy the deadly globes that Drax had already launched.
Their task complete Bond suggested they could land, either at Vandenberg, or White Sands, or Edwards AFB. But Holly begs Bond to "take her around the world one more time." So they do one ninety-minute orbit and celebrate their victory in a most intimate fashion.