Satellite in the Sky

Synopsis: A crew of astronauts, including a scientist and a reporter, launch from England into outer space on a rocket which can serve as a satellite. Their mission is to test a new tritonium bomb, but after the bomb fails to repel itself from the ship, the crew has only a matter of hours to defuse or destroy the weapon before it explodes.
85 min

- Hello, sir.

- Hello, Bob.


It seems okay, Lefty.

It ought to be.

It's the 23rd test with the new fuel.

No overheating?

- Not anymore. That's all, Bob.

- All finished.

- Any misfiring?

- None at all.

Would you say it was perfect now?

I'd never say anything was perfect.

Anyway, we'll know this afternoon.

- Sounds like Mike's plane.

- Yeah.

- Let's go and tell him.

- All right.


- Tell Larry to pick me up at the locker room.

- Okay.

Will you all please be seated,

ladies and gentlemen?

- Good morning, sir.

Good morning.

Everything's ready now.


We'll answer your questions, providing

they don't violate security regulations.

I hope that doesn't mean

you'll sit in deep official silence.

Not at all. Operation Stardust

is a purely scientific venture.

Mr. Blandford, we have heard a lot

of rumors about Operation Stardust.

What is the main object of this flight?

We hope to show that man

can break away from the Earth's pull.

Get outside the force of gravity.

Oh, then the spaceship will actually...

No, no, the Stardust

is not really a spaceship.

We're not at that stage yet.

But you believe the Stardust

can get outside the field of gravity?

Yes, she should reach a height

of over 1000 miles...

...and a speed of about

5 miles per second.

- For how long?

- Theoretically, forever.

Once the Stardust has passed

the upper stratosphere...

...there will be no frictional

resistance or gravity to stop it.

Oh, here is Commander Hayden,

the chief test pilot.

- Good morning.

Good morning.

Gentlemen, this is Larry Noble,

my chief officer and navigator.

- Morning.

How do you do?

Take over, commander.

Captain Ross will watch the questions,

which are under security.

Commander Hayden, can you tell us

exactly what you intend to do today?

At 1500 hours this afternoon...

...l'm going to take a jet fighter

up 80,000 feet.

Once up there, I'm going to give

the plane all I know.

Is this the test

we've been invited to see?

That's right.

The biggest obstacle in these tests

has been fuel.

Fuel to boost rocket turbines

to the tremendous power output required.

We've already lost two planes

and two good men.

You think you've got it?

We hope the lives of two men

have not been wasted.

What we've learned

gives Hayden a better chance...

...for the plane he takes up.

If it stands up to the tests

he will give it...


- Then?

Operation Stardust

will proceed as scheduled.


What is the schedule?

If the test is a failure,

we start all over again.

But if it succeeds,

the Stardust will take off tomorrow.

- Tomorrow?

- Yes.

Everyone is standing by

and the weather is perfect.

We've prepared releases for you.

- Larry, help me.

- Yes, sir.

They contain all the technical details

for your story.


Can we use these?

Yes, of course,

we put them there for you.

Thank you.

Commander, just what do you

hope to accomplish?

This is the first step, the first attempt

to get beyond the stratosphere.

Away from the Earth's force.

- And then what?

- Come again.

Supposing you get beyond the stratosphere,

what will man have gained?

Well, we'll know a little more.

Be less ignorant about the universe

and our place in it.

Don't you think first we ought to find out

what's wrong with our own world?

Why give the whole universe

the benefit of our ignorance?


Commander Hayden?

This spacecraft, Stardust,

what potential does it have in time of war?

I'm afraid, gentlemen,

that question is out of order.

Commander, how will the human body

react to the acceleration...

...needed to reach the speed

of 5 miles per second?

Eighteen thousand miles per hour.

It sounds like a lot, but the acceleration

should be fairly gradual.

If you want figures, it should be about

128 feet per second per second.

What's that in simple language,


In simple language,

that's 6 miles up in 24 seconds.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you'd

like to see the rest of the building...

You've got it all down pat anyhow.

I have a feeling

you don't approve of this project.

Is that so strange when the whole thing is

completely unnecessary? In fact, suicidal.

You said you'd already lost two men.

They were aware of the danger

and thought it worthwhile.

What if the Stardust blows up,

as she probably will?

Then we'll know... The designers will know

that the fuel or the design was imperfect.

Some people find it impossible

to be quite so impersonal, commander.

If I may be personal,

I'm glad I'm not your wife.

And if I may be personal, so am I.

Control testing. Control testing.

One, two, three...

...four, five, six...

Here's your microphone.

The lead's long enough.

You'll get an excellent view from here.

- Have we got contact with the hangar?

- Yes, sir.

When's it start?

- Takeoff in two minutes.

Blandford to Skytest.

Are you receiving me? Over.

And, please, no more photographs.

MAN [O VER RADIO]: Skytest to Blandford,

receiving loud and clear.

- Can we mention the name of this place?

- Yes.


Thank you. Switching off.

- Who is that girl?

- Kim Hamilton.

Special correspondent

of the World Press Service.

I should've said something to Hayden.

- She represents the opposition.

- Opposition?

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John Mather

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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