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Experimental rocket AS1 - Spaceways (Spaceways)

Experimental rocket AS1

Us poster from the movie Spaceways

The Story

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In the Deanfield British secret laboratories, scientists, led by Professor Koepler work untiringly on a top-secret space rocket project. The team is composed of Dr. Stephen Mitchell, American designer, Dr. Philip Crenshaw biologist studying conditions of life in space, Dr. Tobey Andrews, expert in propulsion and the Dr. Lisa Frank, mathematics. If the final objective is to send men in space and to build a space station, led experiences, in a first time, must attempt in launching a rocket in circle around the Earth. That would be a world premiere.

Stephen Mitchell is a scientist who fully gives his best in his fascinating work. But he doesn't notice that his wife Vanessa wishes another kind of life. Fed up with following for so many years her husband from bases to bases she compares to « concentration camps », she is carrying on an affair with Stephen's colleague Philip Crenshaw. Although Mitchell discovers the infidelity of his wife, his its work remains his the main preoccupations.

If the launching of the experimental rocket takes place without problem, AS1 does not nevertheless reaches the desired altitude and its socket is lower than anticipated. The same launching day, Dr. Philip Crenshaw and Vanessa Mitchell both mysteriously disappear.

Scientists learn their colleague disappearance - Spaceways

Scientists learn their colleague disappearance

As it is impossible to leave the base without authorizations, the Dr. Smith, remarkable military inquirer, soon accuses Stephen Mitchell to be the murderer of the couple. Smith also suspects Mitchell, who knew the relationship between his wife and his colleague, to have placed the bodies of the victims in the lockers of the rocket third floor after having jettisoned it from some tons of fuel, explaining thus the semi failure of the mission. Mitchell would have thus realized the perfect murder.

The fact is, Smith equally learns Mitchell that Philip Crenshaw was a Russian spy who was to steal Mitchell's secrets. Lisa Frank, in confessed and unlimited love for the scientist refuses to think that he is the murderer of both desappeared. She exposes Mitchell her alternative scientific theory to the failure of the rocket.

Smith asks Mitchell he thinks to be guilty - Spaceways

Smith asks Mitchell he thinks to be guilty

So as to prove his innocence, Mitchell proposes Smith to access the rocket AS1 from another rocket he would pilot. Koepler is surprised by this suicidal proposal of an exploit that has never been attempted. Player, Smith accepts the proposal.

While Smith continues its inquiry, all the team works now on the new mission that will have to send a man in space to appease enlightenment needs of a murder affair. After days and hours of hard working, rocket AS2 is finally ready...

Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…

Lisa is well decided not to let the man she loves going out without her. Knowing that she would have no chance to participate in the expedition, she gets convince her colleague and friend Toby Andrews to be volunteer to join Mitchell in this perilous travels, then to take his place at the last moment in the space rocket.

As takeoff preparations finishes and the astronauts take place in the rocket, Smith finds the hints about Philipp Crenshaw and Vanessa. Both seems on the point to take a boat to Russia, loaded with Mitchell's secrets. When Smith and his men proceed to the arrestation of the spy, Crenshaw kills the scientist misused woman.

Lisa annonces their return to the Earth - Spaceways

Lisa annonces their return to the Earth

Mitchell innocence proven, Smith renders as quickly as possible on the base so as to interrupt the launching. But he arrives too late. The rocket has already left and onboard Stephen discovers with stupor the incredible and harmful gesture accomplished by Lisa by love for him. After a small fright that could have finish in a dramatic way, the two first « men » in space are going to return safe and healthy on Earth.

DoctorSF's Words

After the legendary Things to Come, Spaceways is the first film of science fiction produced by the of the legendary British film company Hammer. The story is based on a scenario originally written for the radio by Charles Eric Maine.

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