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This is a sequel to 2001 A Space Odyssey. It is now 2010 and both the Americans and the Russians are racing to get to Jupiter to investigate the black monolith (similar to the one found in Lunar Crater Clavius) which was found by the U.S.S. Discovery in orbit around Jupiter's moons. The U.S.S. Discovery's orbit is rapidly decaying and it will crash into IO but the Americans cannot get there in time to save U.S.S. Discovery. The Russians can get to Jupiter in time but only the Americans have the knowledge to access and awaken the U.S.S. Discovery's H.A.L.9000 sentient computer. This forces a joint American-Soviet space expedition against a backdrop of growing global tensions. The combined expedition is seeking answers to several mysteries. What is the significance of the black monolith? Why did H.A.L.9000 act so bizarrely and terminate 4 of 5 of the U.S.S. Discovery's crew? What happened to David Bowman? Along the way, curious data is detected ...