powered by AFI
In a remote, underground research laboratory two scientists, engaged in space travel research, are frozen to death in a cold chamber when their instruments come under the control of an unknown power. Soon Dr. David Sheppard from the Office of Scientific Investigation arrives at the station and meets with its director, Dr. Van Ness, who tells him that they are attempting to launch a rocket in which the pilot would be frozen during flight to lessen the danger. A robot would control the flight and, on arrival at the destination, the pilot would be thawed out by radar beams. Van Ness is convinced that there is a saboteur in the lab and his assistant, Joanna Merritt, shows David two miniature radar beacons she has discovered which are emitting coded signals powerful enough to beam a rocket with an atomic warhead directly at the lab. Joanna, a former sweetheart of David's, shows him around the lab's five levels and introduces him to the top scientific personnel who are designing the first space station. Dr. and Mme. Elzevir have constructed a mirror to collect the sun's energy. The mirror, in common with all of the experiments, is controlled by NOVAC, a giant "brain machine" computer designed by Dr. Zeitman. Zeitman then shows David two robots, Gog and Magog, which are programmed by a punched tape fed through the computer. David and Joanna also inspect the atomic pile. After an incident in which monitoring equipment produces a highly dangerous decibel range, another scientist is found dead, the apparent victim of a radioactive isotope placed in her lab. David learns that a plane is circling directly above the site, but Air Defence Command reports that it has no planes in the air. Meanwhile, another scientist, Dr. Carter, is testing the effects of simulated altitude stress on space suits worn by two human subjects when the control jams at top speed on the centrifuge and the people are killed. Later, Mme. Elzevir is almost incinerated when the mirror energy device malfunctions and Major Howard, the head of security, is killed by an intense increase in decibel frequencies in the security control room. Some time later, Zeitman discovers that the robot Magog is missing and that NOVAC was inactive during the time it disappeared. David believes that the plane circling above has been beaming an ultra high frequency ray into the project, causing all the malfunctions and deaths, and has taken control of NOVAC. Suddenly, Gog is activated and attacks Engle, Zeitman's assistant, crushing him to death. Gog then goes after Zeitman and strangles him before David can save him. An alarm sounds and Magog is discovered in the atomic pile. Meanwhile, Van Ness orders Air Defence Command to shoot down the plane controlling the computer. As Magog begins to remove the safety rod from the atomic pile, David and Joanna destroy it with a flame-thrower. Gog is finally disabled when the Air Force fighters destroy the mysterious plane. Later, Van Ness explains to a government official that the computer was being controlled by external high-frequency electronics and that enemy agents had installed a receiver and transmitter in the computer while it was being built. Van Ness also states that the project is still on schedule and that the following day they will launch a small, practical model station into space.