Near wheel-shaped space station 1,000 miles from the earth, built especially for assembly of the Mars expedition, weightless workers put together 10 rocket ships required for the flight. Three of the huge space craft have torpedo noses which convert to planes for landing on the planet.
The first landing party takes off for Mars. Two other landing planes will wait until runway is prepared for them, and then the remaining seven ships will stay in 600-mile orbit. Arms on cargo ships hold screenlike dish antennas (for communication), trough-shaped solar mirrors (for power).
After 15 month exploration, the Mars expedition prepares for return flight to earth. Two landing planes are set on tails, with wings and landing gear removed. They will rocket back to the 600-mile orbit on first leg of journey.