"The Cloud Minders" is a third season episode of the original science fiction television series, Star Trek, broadcast on February 28, 1969. It is episode #76, production #74, written by Margaret Armen, based on a story by David Gerrold and Oliver Crawford, and directed by Jud Taylor. In this episode, Captain Kirk races against time to acquire plague-fighting minerals from a world in the midst of a civil uprising against a grievous social class disparity. On stardate 5818.4, the Federation starship Enterprise arrives at the planet Ardana on a mission to retrieve a mineral called zenite, which is needed to halt a vegetation plague on the planet Merak II. Captain Kirk wishes to speed along the negotiations for the mineral and beams down directly to the zenite mines with First Officer Spock, despite Ardanas leader High Advisor Plasuss request to beam to the floating city of Stratos.