INT. SPACECRAFT CONSTRUCTION AREA- DAY
Valentin and the rest of the new recruits stand around with the older recruits chatting behind them. There are about fifteen new recruits and ten old recruits. They wear their neat air force uniforms, and the new recruits glance nervously to one another without speaking. Valentin notices that two of the recruits, Lidiya and Konkordiya, are female. The construction are is otherwise empty of people, with half-completed crafts being built in the background, and a large complete-looking craft in front of the recruits. Kosarev enters. He is a slightly-built man with a slender build, greying hair, and sharp, intelligent eyes that glean with inner charisma. He wears a tweed suit instead of a uniform. He looks at the recruits and laughs.
Finally! I get to see your faces in person! You may not know me, but I know each one of you, as I have selected you to be The Soviet Union’s future cosmonauts. My name is Mstislav Kosarev, and I will be directing your lives during your time in my program. You may not have realized it yet, but this program is special and separate from the program that you are all familiar with. You will see other cosmonauts here, but do not think that you are not one of them, rather, they are not one of you. I have not chosen you to be the next smiling, propaganda-spouting spokesperson for the Soviet government; I have chosen you to be men and women of science and progress. What you will be doing is top secret, but it will be greater than anything mankind had ever dreamed of before.
The recruits all quietly react to Kosarev’s words. Some smile with excitement, others look amazed. Valentin’s face remains inscrutable.
Sir, do you mean that, perhaps, one of us will be going to the moon?
Well, one country has to land a man there first, right? I’d greatly prefer it to be the Soviet Union.
Dima can barely contain his excitement. The others look excitedly to one another.
Of course, we can’ just send you into space right away. We have to make sure you know what you’re doing. You are all in for a very long, strenuous period of training. You will be educated as well as any of our engineers and technicians about the intricacies of space flight: how to leave the atmosphere, hot to settle into orbit, how to breathe where there is no air, and of course, how to return.
(gesturing to the older recruits)
Doubtless, you will have met out initial group of trainees. They will act as your guides and mentors during your first week here. That is, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their training. If we are lucky, one of them will be going on a mission soon.