I am looking for a movie where an airplane accidentally flies into space and the passengers are saved by a space-shuttle. Specifically by a space tunnel that connects the plane and space shuttle.

It was a live-action movie. I have seen in 1990s, but it might easily be an older movie. (1980s) It was American.

The plane has some sort of failure, where it keeps climbing, Until it reaches orbit, with air running out due to breathing, but no other problem. They send a space shuttle to save them and then try various ways to get the passengers from the plane into the shuttle. One of the attempts is a tunnel, which however breaks apart. I thinks it was a B-class movie, not of high quality. I have been unable to Google it using this information provided.

Its also not listed in Wikipedia list of films related to plane disaster.

  • I remember that they couldn't make coffee 'cause it just globs up and floats. :) and hokey fake zero-g walking using ropes.
    – JDługosz
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


This is Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land, also known as Starflight One, a 1983 TV movie featuring Lee Majors.

From the plot summary on Wikipedia (emphasis is mine):

Starflight, the first hypersonic transport is being prepared for a media-covered inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia, a planned two-hour flight. [...] [R]ocket debris starts hitting the underside of the aircraft. When NASA says they are clear, Cody orders the jets shut off, but they keep firing because debris has severed the engine controls. Waiting until the hydrogen fuel runs out is now their only option, but they risk accelerating out of the atmosphere and into orbit. [...]

The fuel runs out just as Starflight reaches orbital velocity/altitude. NASA believes their orbit is good for 48–60 hours, but they need to conserve power and other consumables. The Columbia space shuttle is sent up to try to help; it brings a supply of hydrogen to refuel Starflight, [...]

Josh goes to work on the problem, and discovers Thornwall’s universal docking tunnel, a flexible conduit that could be attached between Starflight and Columbia. [...]


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