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SummaryEdit

SummaryEdit

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Summary Edit

Template:Film cover fur DVD cover for the film First Man into Space (Criterion #367). Artwork by Darwyn Cooke.

Licensing Edit

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First Man into Space (also known as Satellite of Blood) is a 1959 science fiction horror film directed by Robert Day and distributed by Amalgamated films.

The StoryEdit

Commander Charles "Chuck" Prescott [Marshall Thompson] is not so sure that his brother, Lieutenant Dan Prescott [Bill Edwards], is the correct choice for piloting the Y-13 into outer space. Although Captain Ben Richards [Robert Ayres] of the Air Force Space Command says that Dan is the best pilot they have, he bucked the rules when flying Y-12, went into the ionosphere, had problems landing his ship, and then promptly ran to see his girlfriend, Tia Francesca [Marla Landi], before bothering to even make out his report. Still, Capt Richards wants Dan to pilot the Y-13, after he has been throughly checked out and briefed by Doctor Paul von Essen Carl Jaffe.

Y-13 takes off with Dan at the controls. He climbs and climbs. At 600,000 feet, when he is supposed to level off and begin his descent, he continues to climb, even firing his emergency boost. He climbs to 1,320,000 feet (250 miles) and suddenly loses control of the ship and passes through some meteorite dust, so he is forced to catapult.

The next that is heard about Y-13 is a report to the New Mexico State Police that some Mexican farmer saw a parachute attached to some sort of plane land near his farm on Route 17 about 10 miles south of Alvarado. Chief Wilson [Bill Nagy] has the presence to notify the military in case it has something to do with their recent rocket firing. Wilson meets with Commander Chuck and shows him the wreckage. No way could the pilot have survived the crash. Tests on the recovered aircraft show that the automatic escape mechanism as well as the breaking chute operated perfectly. Tests also reveal some sort of unknown encrustation on the hull, unusual because not x-rays nor infrared photography nor ultraviolet will pass through it.

Later that night, a wheezing creature breaks into the New Mexico State Blood Bank in Alameda and drinks up a lot of the blood. The next day, the headline in the Santa Fe Daily News reads "Terror Roams State" and tells of brutal and inhuman slaughtering of cows on a farm right next door to where the Y-13 fell. Both the cows and the blood bank nurse show similar wounds -- jagged tears across the throat. When Chuck and Chief Wilson examine the body of the nurse, Chuck notices some shiny specks around the wound as well as on the blood bank door. They see the same specks on the necks of the dead cattle. They also find a piece of what looks like a "high-altitude oxygen lead" lying under the dead cow's body. The oxygen lead appears to be the one from Y-13.

Chuck is beginning to suspect that the killings may have something to do with the crashed spaceship and requests that Wilson send samples of the shiny specks to Dr von Essen at Aviation Medicine. The next day, Chuck stops at Aviation Medicine where Tia, who just happens to work there, has the test results sent down to them while they break for coffee. The results show that the shiny specks are particles of meteorite dust "that show no signs of structural damage such as would be expected from passage through atmosphere." Later, Dr von Essen demonstrates for Chuck the results of metallurgical tests on the encrustation. Oddly, wherever the encrustation occurs on the hull of Y-13, the metal is intact, but in places not encrusted, the metal has transformed into a brittle substance, like crumbling carbon, that can easily be reduced to a powder. Chuck theorizes that the encrustation may be some sort of "cosmic protection", like the primeval creatures that crawled out of the sea and grew skin to protect themselves from the sun.

Meanwhile, Capt Richards is paid a visit by Senor Ramon DeGareara Roger Delgado, consul for Mexico at Santa Fe. DeGareara tells them that the tail section of Y-13 fell from the sky into a new bullring in San Pedro. It scared the bull, which jumped from the ring and almost killed His Excellency, the Minister for Social Services. After taking care of formalities and arranging compensation for damages, a crew is sent to San Pedro to salvage the rest of Y-13.

Three more killings are reported, and Chuck is beginning to put the pieces together. He suspects that the same encrustation that formed to protect the hull of Y-13 also coated everything inside the cockpit, including Dan, and that the creature doing the killing is Dan himself, killing because he needs blood for some reason. Chuck further theorizes that, when the canopy burst, Dan's blood absorbed a high content of nitrogen while the protective encrustation quickly formed on his body, allowing him to survive in the rarified atmosphere of space. In addition, Dan's metabolism could have altered to a state that starved his body and brain of oxygen so that he now needs to replace that oxygen by drinking blood. That's Chuck's guess anyway.

When Dan's encrusted helmut is found in a car with his latest victim, Chuck's theory is proven right. But how are they to go about stopping him, since bullets cannot penetrate the crust? Capt Richards and Chief Wilson put in a call to Washington while Chuck and Tia stay behind to chat about the wisdom of sending a person into space. Suddenly, Tia screams. The hulking, wheezing, encrusted creature that is now Dan enters the room by crashing through a sliding window.

Chuck realizes by the wheezing that Dan is finding it difficult to breathe. He instructs Tia to get Dr von Essen to open a high-altitude chamber and then goes after his brother, who is running, wheezing and grunting, down the hall. Chuck taps into the P.A. system and warns everyone in the building to stay out of the corridors. Chuck then instructs Dr von Essen to get on the P.A. and relay to Dan, who appears to have intelligence under the encrustation, the directions to the high-altitude chamber. Dan follows the directions while Chuck follows behind him.

Into the chamber Dan goes, but Chuck realizes that Dan won't be able to operate the controls with his encrusted fingers, so he hops into the chamber with Dan. While Dan lumbers around, taking potshots at Chuck, the chamber technician quickly increases the simulated altitude to 38,000 feet, enabling Dan to feel more comfortable. While Chuck breathes oxygen through a mask, Dan sits down and tries to describe what happened. Unfortunately, he has no memory of the events. All he can remember is darkness, feeling suffocated, and trying to stay alive until he could find Dr von Essen. As Tia takes metabolism and blood pressure readings on Dan, he apologizes to Tia for the way things ended. I just had to be the first man into space, he says, then keels over dead. ` Capt Richards and Dr von Essen open the door into the high-altitude chamber and let Chuck out. While they concern themselves with the risks of space travel ("There will always be men willing to take the risk"), Chuck walks down the hall with Tia following him.

Plot Analysis and SynosisEdit

Filmed not long after the launch of Russia's Sputnik satellite, First Man Into Space benefited from a surface realism made possible by enhanced public knowledge of space-travel jargon and paraphernalia. Dashing ,but arrogant,headstrong astronaut Lt. Dan Prescott (Bill Edwards) disappears from view when his experimental spacecraft vanishes in a mysterious cloud of cosmic dust. The space capsule returns to Earth, covered in a bizarre extraterrestrial coating. Shortly thereafter, a hulking, half-human creature raids a blood bank, killing the nurse on duty and gulping down the supplies. More bizarre, unexplained events occur before Prescott's older brother Cmdr. C.E. Prescott,who like too much (Marshall Thompson) concludes that the monster is actually his missing brother, transformed by his experiences in space into a mutant, vampiric beast.

This is a cautionary tale astronuate,accidently travel to far beyond the earth's upper atmosphere,in an experimental rocket and covered by cosmic dust like substance.He crashed to earth,with head and spacesuite encased in outerspace armor,not being able to breath or think,goes a killing spree,until he find his brother Capt Richards and the other scientist Dr von Essen of the project to help him breath against normally and remember who he really is.A weak premise to explain why Prescott's turned a monster and needs blood to survive by ripping victums throat with meteor dust cover glove.In the end he dies,uttering to his brother,I was the first man in space.This is supposed to give a poinient ending about mankinds sacrifices and atchivements has a high cost,but it seems tacked to give the movie and ending ,plus a title.Clearly inspired Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to create the Thing of theFantastic Four a year or so later in 1961.

ReferencesEdit

External links Edit

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LicensingEdit

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LicensingEdit

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A doomsday device is a hypothetical construction — usually a weapon — which could destroy all life on the Earth, or destroy the Earth itself (bringing "doomsday", a term used for the end of planet Earth).

Doomsday devices have been present in literature and art especially in the 20th century, when advances in science and technology made world destruction (or at least the eradication of all human life) a credible scenario. Many classics in the genre of science fiction take up the theme in this respect.

After the advent of nuclear weapons, especially hydrogen bombs, they have usually been the dominant components of doomsday devices. RAND strategist Herman Kahn, collaborating with risk analyst Ian Harold Brown, proposed a "Doomsday Machine" in the 1950s which would consist of a computer linked to a stockpile of hydrogen bombs, programmed to detonate them all and bathe the planet in nuclear fallout at the signal of an impending nuclear attack from another nation. Such a scheme, fictional as it was, epitomized for many the extremes of the suicidal logic behind the strategy of mutually assured destruction, and it was famously parodied in the Stanley Kubrick film from 1963, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. It is also a main topic of the 1970 movie Beneath the Planet of the Apes, in parallel with the species extermination theme. Most such models either rely on the fact that hydrogen bombs can be made arbitrarily large assuming there are no concerns about delivering them to a target (see Teller–Ulam design) or that they can be "salted" with materials designed to create long-lasting and hazardous fallout (e.g.; a cobalt bomb).

In the actual situation, where all of humanity lives on a single planet, use of a weapon destroying that single planet would evidently be suicidal for the user. However, Science Fiction posits various scenarios where (human or non-human) creatures have more than a single planet available, and thus the use of a "planet killer" becomes a "logical" means of waging an interplanetary or interstellar war:

  • One fictional devices of this nature is the use made of it by aliens to kill off mankind, or all life on Earth, for various reasons, ranging from 'saving' the Earth from mankind's destructive nature to invasion of the planet to simply them being a genocidal kind.
  • Another kind of scenario is war between competing space empires or galactic empires, a scale of warfare where destruction of a single planet is equivalent to the destruction of a single city in present-day wars.

In fictionEdit

  • The Doomsday Device is an important theme in Dr. Strangelove, a movie by Stanley Kubrick ("When you merely wish to bury bombs, there is no limit to the size").
  • Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth of Futurama has built an extensive collection of doomsday devices. In Bender's Big Score, one of them is used to defeat the scammer aliens.
  • The Doomsday Machine featured in the Star Trek episode of the same name.
  • The Death Star, a weapon/battle station featured in the Star Wars franchise.
  • Obliterators used by Honored Matres in Chapterhouse Dune and Hunters of Dune (and later used by the New Sisterhood in Sandworms of Dune) are capable of combusting entire atmospheres of planets, and ultimately the full surface of a planet.
  • The Motherships in the V franchise were capable of being turned into such weapons.
  • In Doctor Who the Osterhagen Key - a last resort device which would destroy Earth by setting off a chain of nuclear warheads (it is to be used if the human race is in such pain and with no hope of survival that immediate destruction would be the better option) - is entrusted to Martha Jones by UNIT during the Dalek invasion in The Stolen Earth. There is also the reality bomb, a weapon capable of destroying all of reality, a creation of the Daleks in Journey's End.
  • The Talons from Heaven or Tactical Long Range Nuclear Sanitizer from the novel Swan Song. This concept involves firing a massive payload of nuclear weapons at the poles from space, knocking the earth off its axis, causing massive icecap melting and subsequent flooding.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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de:Weltvernichtungsmaschine it:Macchina del giudizio universale pt:Máquina apocalíptica ru:Машина судного дня sv:Domedagsvapen

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