In 1961, the Ark, a Cybertronian spacecraft carrying an invention capable of ending the war between the Autobots and Decepticons, lands on the far side of the Earth's Moon. The crash is detected on Earth by NASA, and President John F. Kennedy authorizes a mission to put a man on the Moon as a cover for investigating the craft. In 1969, the crew of Apollo 11 lands on the Moon to explore the craft.
Gru, a supervillain, has his pride injured when an unknown supervillain steals the Great Pyramid of Giza, an action that is described by his colleague Dr. Nefario as "making all other villains look lame." Gru decides to do better, with the assistance of Dr. Nefario, by shrinking and stealing the Moon, an idea based on his childhood dream of being an astronaut, which was always disparaged by his mother Marlena. The plan is expensive and Gru seeks a loan from the Bank of Evil, where the president Mr. Perkins is impressed by the plan, but will only provide the money if Gru can obtain the necessary shrink ray first.
Prior to the destruction of Krypton, the criminals General Zod (Terence Stamp), Ursa (Sarah Douglas) and Non (Jack O'Halloran) are sentenced to banishment into the Phantom Zone for insurrection and murder, amongst other crimes.
In an African desert millions of years ago, a tribe of man-apes is driven from their water hole by a rival tribe. They wake to find a featureless black monolith has appeared before them. One man-ape realizes how to use a bone as a tool and weapon; the tribe kills the leader of their rivals and reclaims the water hole.
After the mysterious failure of the Discovery One mission to Jupiter in 2001, which resulted in the deaths of four astronauts and the disappearance of David Bowman, the fiasco was blamed on Dr. Heywood Floyd, who resigned his position as head of the National Council for Astronautics. While an international dispute causes tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, both nations prepare space missions to determine what happened to the Discovery. Although the Soviet ship, the Leonov, will be ready before the American spacecraft Discovery Two, the Soviets need American astronauts to help board the Discovery and investigate the malfunction of the ship's sentient computer, HAL 9000, which caused the disaster. The US government agrees to a joint mission when it is determined that Discovery will crash into Jupiter's moon Io before Discovery Two is ready. Floyd, along with Discovery designer Walter Curnow and HAL 9000's creator Dr. Chandra, joins the Soviet mission.
In December 1974, the crew of the cancelled Apollo 18 mission is informed that it will now proceed as a top secret Department of Defense (DoD) mission disguised as a satellite launch. Commander Nathan Walker, Lieutenant Colonel John Grey, and Captain Ben Anderson are launched toward the Moon to place detectors to alert the United States of any impending ICBM attacks from the USSR.
Superman saves a spaceship of cosmonauts whose ship was thrown off course by debris, then visits his home-town of Smallville as Clark. Now that his adoptive parents have died, Clark has inherited their now-unattended farm. In an empty barn, he uncovers the capsule that brought him to Earth, and removes a luminescent green Kryptonian energy module. A recording left by his mother Lara (voiced by Susannah York) states that its power can be used only once. Unwilling to sell the farm to a mall developer, Superman returns to Metropolis.
In 2035, Lunar Industries has made a fortune after an oil crisis by building Sarang, an automated lunar facility to mine the alternative fuel helium-3. Helium-3 is used primarily to power fusion reactors and other things that run on fusion energy.
The film opens in 2018 with an American manned landing mission to the Moon. The lander carries two astronauts, one of them an African American male model, James Washington, specifically chosen to aid the U.S. President in her re-election (various "Black to the Moon" word-play posters are seen in the film, extolling the new Moon landing).
The film begins in an unnamed war-torn European city in the late 18th century (dubbed "The Age of Reason" in an opening caption), where, amid explosions and gunfire from a large Turkish army outside the city gates, a fanciful touring stage production of Baron Munchausen's life and adventures is taking place. Backstage, city official "The Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson" reinforces the city's commitment to reason (here meaning uniformity) by ordering the execution of a soldier (Sting in a cameo) who had just accomplished a near-superhuman feat of bravery, claiming that his bravery is demoralizing to other soldiers.
In 2079, there is a colony on the Moon called Little America. A retired smuggler called Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy), who just left prison, buys a nightclub, in an attempt to fulfil a long-time wish of his. Additionally, this prevents the murder by ingestion of battery acid of the club's previous owner, Anthony Frankowski (Jay Mohr), a Polish polka dancer, by mobsters Gino (Burt Young) and Larry (Lillo Brancato) whom Anthony owed money to. Pluto rebuilds the club and establishes it as "Club Pluto." In the next seven years, Club Pluto becomes a very popular Little America nightclub. Its staff consists of Pluto himself, a Hispanic assistant, and an android named Bruno (Randy Quaid), an inferior 63 plus model.
When their latest rocket test fails and government funding collapses, rocket scientist Dr. Charles Cargraves (Warner Anderson) and space enthusiast General Thayer (Tom Powers) enlist the aid of aircraft magnate Jim Barnes (John Archer). With the necessary millions raised privately from a group of patriotic U. S. industrialists, Cargraves, Warner, and Barnes build an advanced single-stage-to-orbit atomic powered spaceship, named Luna, at their desert manufacturing and launch facility; the project is soon threatened by a ginned-up public uproar over "radiation safety". The three idealists circumvent legal efforts to stop their expedition by simply launching the world's first Moon mission well ahead of schedule; as a result, they must quickly substitute Joe Sweeney (Dick Wesson) as their expedition's radar and radio operator.
In 1964, the United Nations (UN) has launched a rocket flight to the Moon. A multi-national group of astronauts in the UN spacecraft land on the Moon, believing themselves to be the first lunar explorers. They discover a British Union Jack on the surface and a note naming Katherine Callender, claiming the Moon for Queen Victoria. Attempting to trace Callender, UN authorities find she has died, but find her husband Arnold Bedford now an old man in an old people's home. The nursing home staff do not let him watch television reports of the expedition because, according to the matron, it "excites him", dismissing his claims to have been on the Moon as insane delusion. The UN representatives question him about the Moon and he tells them his story. The rest of the film, as a flashback, shows what Bedford and Professor Cavor did in the 1890s.
At a meeting of the Astronomic Club, its president, Professor Barbenfouillis, proposes a trip to the Moon. After addressing some dissent, five other brave astronomers—Nostradamus, Alcofrisbas, Omega, Micromegas, and Parafaragaramus—agree to the plan. They build a space capsule in the shape of a bullet, and a huge cannon to shoot it into space. The astronomers embark and their capsule is fired from the cannon with the help of "marines", most of whom are played by a bevy of young women in sailors' outfits. The Man in the Moon watches the capsule as it approaches, and it hits him in the eye.
In the British city of "Everytown", businessman John Cabal (Raymond Massey) cannot enjoy Christmas Day, 1940, with the news everywhere of possible war. His guest, Harding (Maurice Braddell), shares his worries, while his other friend, the over-optimistic Pippa Passworthy (Edward Chapman), believes it will not come to pass, but if it does, it will accelerate technological progress. An aerial bombing raid on the city that night results in general mobilisation and then global war.