The author seems to be a Pink Floyd fan – it is a title from 1968, but the story doesn’t resemble the orientalistic style of the song at all.
A genius student leaving his MIT life behind entering a sect believing in aliens. They hijack a space-ship, changing direction from Jupiter towards the Sun. It ends as it was told in the first sentence.
Characters act without motivation. Plot is paper thin. Science is nearly absent.
Just a pointless story.