In the 22nd Century, the United Earth Federation has begun colonizing neighboring planets in the solar system. While attempting to extract water from Mars' polar ice caps, a UEF science team uncovers ancient carvings that describe the crash of an alien spacecraft on the planet Jupiter several millennia ago. As a result a spaceship is dispatched to Jupiter to investigate. Complications ensue with the arrival of a renegade hippie cult and a runaway black hole.
When it was announced in the early 1980's that American audiences were returning to Jupiter via 2010, the Peter Hyams sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Toho decided to give Japanese audiences a trip of their own and make this film before 2010 was released.