[meteorite-list] What Does A Real Astronaut Think Of 'Gravity'?

From: Marc Fries <chief_scientist_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 20:27:11 -0500
Message-ID: <1C8D1C12-EB34-4F5D-A3A2-EEC259B71C20_at_galacticanalytics.com>

Yup! Nicely done. I'll add one sorta-flaw. It's not truly inaccurate given the storyline, but I knew someone was 'amiss' immediately. When Clooney joined Bullock in the Soyuz, at the very least she wouldn't have been able to hear him because her eardrums would have burst when he opened the hatch. And yes, it was a sort of dream-sequence, but that was immediately obvious.


> On Oct 18, 2013, at 1:23 PM, Matson, Robert D. wrote:
>> Hi Paul,
>> I, too, loved the movie for all the reasons that Garrett Reisman gave
>> in the interview. For all the very difficult things that they got
>> right, I was a little surprised by some of the small things they
>> got terribly wrong -- which would have been trivial to get right.
>> Here are a few, some of which were mentioned by Garrett, a few
>> that were caught by Neil deGrasse Tyson (who, like me, loved all
>> the things the movie got right!), and some that are my own. SPOILER
>> ALERT for those that haven't seen Gravity and intend to do so!!
>> I've done my best to only mention enough about the flaws to identify
>> them. No need to discuss the plot, overall storyline or ending. But
>> if you're going to see the movie, stop reading now!!
>> Here we go:
>> 1. As mentioned by Garrett, Sandra Bullock's inability to "hold on"
>> to Clooney in a particular scene. The only way this scene would
>> have made sense is if the end of the tether they were attached to
>> was rotating about the station (generating centripetal force).
>> But it wasn't.
>> 2. Was a first-time astronaut medical doctor the best choice for
>> performing an EVA and doing a Hubble repair?
>> 3. I'm not 100% sure of this next one (I would need to see the
>> movie again), but it appeared that all the satellite debris
>> was orbiting in the opposite direction of ISS -- i.e. east to
>> west. Given the country of origin of the debris, this would be
>> backwards.
>> 4. Communication satellites would have been fine in GEO, though
>> I understand the plot need for a loss of communication with the
>> ground.
>> 5. ISS and the Chinese Space Station are orbiting at different
>> inclinations (ISS at 51.65 degrees, Shenzhou at about 42.8 degrees),
>> so they are rarely anywhere near each other. When they are, they
>> have huge relative velocities, so there is no way to get from
>> one to the other.
>> 6. Set aside #5 and allow for some "future" Chinese Space Station
>> that ~does~ happen to have a very similar orbit to ISS. If you
>> want to "fly" from one station to the other roughly 100 km away,
>> and you can only do a single propulsive burn to force the
>> intercept, the one thing you do NOT do is aim directly at your
>> target! Orbital mechanics is counterintuitive, and to perform
>> such a rendezvous maneuver would actually require you to aim
>> in the opposite direction -- and get the delta-V *exactly*
>> right.
>> 7. If your space station has the misfortune of being in an orbit
>> that intersects the general orbit of an expanding cloud of debris,
>> you will not cross that debris cloud every 90 minutes -- you'll
>> cross it every 45 minutes. Of course, the pace of the movie was
>> already lightning fast, so having only 45-minutes between
>> episodes of terror may not have fit the timeline the writer
>> envisioned.
>> --Rob
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Received on Fri 18 Oct 2013 09:27:11 PM PDT

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