The space agency is a military affair commanded by Generals.
It is simply assumed that we will colonize the stars.
By way of providing something of a backstory, we begin with the fate of probe ship Faith I, which has had the bad luck to land on a planet with not only a caustic atmosphere, but radiation "beyond roentgens! Luckily, the scriptwriter is on our heroes' side, and a planet immediately presents itself, which, remarkably enough, is three-quarters water sound familiar? On one level, SPT is the usual liberationist story of an equally capable professional woman clashing with an old-world chauvinist man-in-charge.