The First Man Into Space
(First Man Into Space)
Dan Prescott, is a stubborn test pilot. His jet plane leaves the bomber to fly straight through the ionosphere and becomes thus the first man sent into space. Despite orders of the Commander Chuck Prescott, his own brother responsible for the project, Dan does not make immediately turn back and disobeys, distancing a bit more from the earth. When he finally decides to return, his plane leaves in spiral. Fortunately, remoted helped by the Doctor Paul von Essen, Dan manages to land somewhere.
When the plane is found, this one is empty. Dan has left to find back his beloved, the scientist Tia Francesca who is angry after him becaus he risks his life. But for him, life is a good thing only if it is risked, and thus he is the first man to enter into space!. Very fast founded by his brother, he is escorted to his base, the "Air-sea Development Center".
Chuck is very angry after Dan. Besides the fact to have disobeyed his orders, he insists on the capital interest of the experience that has to be a priority on the personal exploits of his brother in search of new world records.
Despite his promises, Dan desobeys once more the orders and, during a new test flight, pushes his experimental plane to the limits until reaching 600.000 feet height. He even uses emergency propellers to clim higher. But, having lost the radio contact with the mission control, and alone in the immensity of the cosmos, his plane is bombed by cosmic lethal rays...
Some hours later, the nose of his plane is founded but there is no sign of the pilot. It is covered by an inlaid burned dust layer. For Chuck, it makes no doubt that his brother has not survived. But strange events happen. In a hospital, a blood reserve is looted and a nurse is slaughtered. During the inquiry, Chuck finds a silvery powder on places of the break-in as well as on the throat of the poor victim. Later, a slaughtered cow presents the same indices. It no longer makes doubt that Dan is behind all that, all the more when is found near the body of the beast, a piece of the oxygen mask used by the pilot.
By examining the matter that covers Dan's plane, the Doctor Paul von Essen discovers that the cosmic protection is sharp, opaque to X-rays and infra-red and deposits a meteorite dust identical to the one found on the throat of the victimes...
Click to read the end of the story. Spoiler ahead !
Meanwhile, the monster that feeds with blood makes three new victims and directs to the scientific study center on the health that studies there the effects of the atmospheric pressure on men and their equipments. He surprises there Chuck and Francesca but does not attack them. The monster seems to have great pain to breathe and they guide it in the interior of an altitude crate in which Chuck accompanies it.
To help it to breathe and to maintain it in life, the crate is run. Chuck succed to communicate with Dan whose body is completely covered by the cosmic protection having maintained him in life but that has transformed him into a real monster. Before to die, by stuttering some words, Dan tells the tremendous experience that he lived and that took him 300 miles into space, making a pioneer out of him.