The novel is based on one of Britain's 1950s fears, the German V2 Rocket invented by Wernher von Braun during World War II. More of those fears included Soviet communism, the re-emergence of Nazism, and the "threat from within" posed by both ideologies. Fleming examines Englishness, and the novel shows the virtues and strength of England.
The novel was followed by Diamonds Are Forever the following year.
Bond is sent to investigate Hugo Drax, a millionaire who is known as a great British patriot for his heroic actions in World War II. He is also known for being a card cheat at the Blades Club. The Moonraker Project that Drax is conducting is assumed to aid Britain's defense system, but Bond is sent specifically to find anything suspicious about the project. During his mission he meets an undercover policewoman working for Scotland Yard and Bond girl, Gala Brand. As Bond delves deeper into it, he finds out the project is not what it appears to be, but is really a twisted revenge plot hatched by Drax with a few other accomplices.
The book was adapted into the eleventh film in the 007 movie series in 1979, starring Roger Moore as Bond. The plot of the movie differs completely from that of the book. It includes scenes set in outer space, largely because of the commercial success of a film called Star Wars (now known officially as Star Wars: A New Hope) two years prior. Overall, the movie received mixed reception from critics and audiences alike.