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While stationed at a Navy rocket-launching site, seamen Beetle McKay and Ad Jones run across a talking duck named Scuttlebutt. A Navy psychiatrist, Lieutenant Parmell, accuses them of malingering and orders them to get rid of the bird. Then it is discovered that Scuttlebutt once belonged to a pioneer rocket scientist who, before his death, taught his pet the secret of a new rocket-guidance system. Beetle and Ad are instructed to bring back Scuttlebutt, and the Navy Department assigns secretary Nina Lloyd to ingratiate herself with Beetle and make sure he recovers the duck. After a series of misadventures, a huge blunder is made when Scuttlebutt accidentally becomes one of the animals scheduled to be launched into space in a new rocket. Frantic, Beetle and Ad climb aboard the missile to rescue the bird, and all three are sent into orbit.