A crew of scientists prepare to realize the first space trip to the moon on board of the RXM, "Rocketship eXpedition to the Moon", a two floor rocket ultra-sophisticated. It is composed with the Doctor Carl Eckstrom, Physicist and inventor of the RXM, the Doctor Lisa Van Horn, a chemist that has worked in narrow collaboration on the project, the Colonel Floyd Graham, Pilot, Harry Chamberlain, Astronomer and navigator of the flight and the Major William Corrigan, Engineer.
After a quick press conference, the astronauts embark on board the rocket, then take place in bunks fitted after having made the last preparations of takeoff. The takeoff happens without any problems and the rocket uses the attraction of the earth to power to our small satellite. After a little fright due to the unhooking of the first floor of the rocket, the mission resumes its normal course. Astronauts make the experience of gravity and change cape demonstrating the efficiency of the gyro-control of the rocket that allows astronauts to remain in a stable position.
Suddenly, a frightening noise is heared in the rocket engine compartment. Consequently, they lose power and begin to drift into space where they meet a rain of asteroids. A manœuver of the last chance to correct their cape fails. Now the crew of the RXM directs straight toward... Mars !
Having no other choice, they decide to land there. The rocket operates a rotation so as to put in position for the landing phase. The landing operates well and the crew is welcomed by a rainstorm. On Mars, atmosphere is a bit dense, but it exists. They will not have to use their special suits. Equipped with private oxygen masks, our heroes leave in exploration on the red planet. There, they discover a steep landscape, arid and rich in mineral of all sort.
Later, they discover a building that seems to have been built by a advanced civilization but the place presents a strong radioactivity. It seems that this civilization had been ravaged by war and had destroyed itself. Later, the tired astronauts fall asleep. During their sleep, creatures exit their hide-outs, and, escape when they wake-up...
William Corrigan and the Dr. Carl Eckstrom precipitate to their pursuit by following their steps. It concerns a low advenced civilization, an hostile civilization from the age of stone
that attacks navigators with stone throws. William dies and the Doctor has no other choice to abandon him. In his escape, he'll just have time to warn the others, who stayed back, before being killed in his turn by an archaic weapon...
Click to read the end of the story. Spoiler ahead !
Floyd and Lisa return in hurry to the rocket, sustaining Harry, equally injured, and takeoff in urgence. But there is not enought fuel remaining to undertake a landing on the earth. It is without hope, Dr. Eckstrom worked in vain. Nevertheless they will succeed in communicating news to the Earth, explaining what they've seen. The expected drama arrives. Without anymore fuel, Floyd and Lisa crushes on the Earth. Was the mission vain ? No, it will have at least proven that space travels are now possible. Tomorrow will be built RXM 2.