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Capricorn One

Capricorn One

Capricorn One is a 1978 thriller film in which a reporter discovers that a supposed Mars landing by a crewed mission to the planet has been faked via a conspiracy involving the government and - under duress - the crew themselves. It was written and directed by Peter Hyams and produced by Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment. It stars Elliott Gould with James Brolin, Sam Waterston, and O.J. Simpson as the astronauts.

Plot

Capricorn One—the first crewed mission to Mars—is on the launch pad. Just before liftoff, the crew of Brubaker, Willis, and Walker are suddenly removed from the spacecraft. Bewildered, they are flown to an abandoned military base in the desert. The launch proceeds on schedule, with the public unaware the spacecraft is empty. At the base, NASA official Kelloway, informs the astronauts that a faulty life-support system would have killed them in-flight. He says they must help counterfeit the televised footage during the flight to and from Mars. Another failed space mission would result in NASA's funding being cut and private contractors losing millions in profits. Kelloway threatens their families to force their cooperation.