At Glenn Field, the wellknown rocket base, the tension mounts. Generally, the men on this base have nerves of steel but today is a special day. Mankind is going to try to make a soft landing on the planet Mars. That is why the Zero-X was build.
Inside the Control Center, space pilot Captain Paul Travers, co-pilot Greg Martin and space navigator Brad Newman wait for instructions from the Zero-X launch director.
"Everything checks out A OK!"
"Roger. Bring her out."
The launch director closes a switch and tensely watches his video screen. Some distance away, the heavy concrete Zero-X hangar door starts to sink into the ground.
Heavy atomic motors start rumbling and slowly the hangar rolls backwards.
Inch by inch, the enormous plane moves to the launching strip. The roar of the engines dies down to a whisper. Then the plane is slowly but surely lifted off the ground by hydraulic rams.
But there is another enormous hangar. Again a huge door sinks into the ground and slowly the hangar with the rear lifting body with its eight jet engines moves to the Zero-X fuselage. The same procedure is followed for the forward lifting body.
Telescopic arms move the forward lifting body into position. With an audible click they settle into place.
"The Martian Exploration Vehicle can now be attached to the main ship. May I remind Captain Travers that the crew's safety is paramount!"
The crew is already inside the Exploration Vehicle, the machine is parked in front of the Control Tower. At the push of a button, it is moved underground to surface again in front of the Zero-X.
The machine turns and slowly moves backwards. Contact!