1EXT. CONSTELLATION OF ORION - NIGHT
Stars glitter like diamonds on the black velvet backdrop of space.
The Belt of Orion is center screen, but much nearer and larger
than ever seen by an Earth-bound astronomer.
A speck of light appears in the lower left corner of the screen.
No spaceship can be seen, but only a glowworm, a solitary sperma-
tosoan gliding through the womb of the universe. Over this we HEAR
the voice of an astronaut. He is concluding a report.
So ends my last signal until we reach
our destination. We are now on automatic,
a mere hundred and five light years from
our base ... and at the mercy of com-
puters. I've tucked in my crew for the
long sleep. I'll join them presently.
2INT. CABIN OF SPACESHIP - ESTABLISHING SHOT - NIGHT
The cabin is neither cramped nor spacious, but about the size of the
President's cabin in Air Force One. In the immediate f.g. is a console
of dials and switches flanked by four chairs. Only one of the chairs
is occupied. The astronaut's back is to CAMERA. There is a ladder
amidships which leads to an escape hatch. The after Dart of the cabin
is obscured in darkness. We hear the MUSIC of a Mozart sonata emanating
from a phonograph of stereotape. The astronaut is speaking into a
Within the hour we shall complete
the sixth month of our flight from
Cape Kennedy. By our time, that is ...
He pauses, looking up at:
3TWO LARGE CLOCKS - ON CABIN WALL
One clock is marked SELF TIME, but instead of twelve numerals it has
twenty-four. One of the needles is moving very slowly.
The other clock is labeled EARTH TIME, and its units, like those of a
tachometer, are given by hundreds and thousands.
The largest needle of this clock makes one revolution every second.
Over this we hear:
But according to Dr. Hasslein theory of
time in a vehicle traveling at close to
the speed of light, old Mother Earth has
aged a few thousand years since our de-
parture -- while we have scarcely aged
4CLOSE ON ASTRONAUT
This is TAYLOR. He wears simple dungarees (or Churchill suit) and
comfortable boots. He seems calm and pensive. Extracting the butt of
a cigar from the breast pocket of his dungarees, he lights it, then
It may be so. This much is probable: the
men who sent us on this journey have long
since been moldering in forgotten graves;
and those, if any, who read this message
are a different breed. Hopefully, a
He begins to roll up his left sleeve.
I leave the twentieth century without
regret. Who was it? Marshall? ... said
'Modern man is the missin 'a link between
the ape and the human being.'
He removes the cigar from his mouth, turns to look out through one
of the portholes into the astral night.
One final thought -- nothing scientific,
purely personal. Seen from up here,
everything looks different ... Time bends
and space is boundless. It squashes a
man's ego. He begins to feel like no more
than a mote in the eye of eternity. And
he is nagged by a question: ahat if any-
thing, will greet us on the end of man's
first journey to a star? Are we to believe
that throughout these thousands of galaxies,
these millions of stars, only one, that
speck of solar dust we call Earth, has
been graced -- or cursed -- by human life?
I have to doubt it.
He extracts a hypodermic needle from his breast pocket and injects
it into the vein of his forearm. He continues speaking.
That's about all. I wonder if Man, that
marvel of the universe, that glorious
paradox who has sent me to the unknown...
still makes war against his brother., and
lets his neighbor's children starve.