Capricorn One

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Capricorn One is a 1978 film Inspired By the moon landing conspiracy theories. Astronauts Charles Brubaker, Peter Willis and John Walker are the crew for the first manned mission to Mars, Capricorn One. Except they're not. A poorly-made life-support system that would have killed the astronauts three weeks into their trip means they'll have to fake it, as Congress can't afford another screw up. The crew are taken to a remote Air Force base where they are forced to act out the Mars landing in a studio for the benefit of television cameras.

Elliot Whitter, one of the technicians at mission control notices something strange, that the television signals are being transmitted ahead of the telemetry and tells his reporter friend Robert Caulfield. But Elliot is killed and he's been made an Unperson. Then when Caulfield interviews Brubaker's wife, her reaction to something strange Brubaker said helps him realize there's some sort of Government Conspiracy at work.

Then, when the space craft burns up on re-entry due to a defective heat shield -- so NASA says -- the astronauts realise they know too much and decide to make a run for it.

Tropes used in Capricorn One include:

Oh, the marvels of American science. Here we are millions of miles from Earth, and we can still send out for pizza.