science-gravity-got-wrong-and-some-things-it-got-right-science

16 things Gravity got wrong (and some things it got right, too)

6. You can’t hit things at speed in space and expect to survive

Jesus, in the movie those astronauts don’t half like banging into things. The doomed Indian astronaut at the start flings himself to the end of his tether; Clooney smashes into Bullock in his jetpack; both Clooney and Bullock slam into the ISS; Bullock jumps into the Chinese Tiangong-1 space station in what we can only assume was a suicide attempt (more on that later). And what’s the common theme here? All the astronauts are unscathed, healthy and generally loving life (ish). In reality? Those bone crunching impacts would have been literally bone crunching. If you slam your body into a rigid object in Earth orbit, your body is going to be pretty much a goner thanks to the vacuum of space, the weightless environment and the lack of friction. But who wants to see a movie where Bullock’s crippled body is wedged into the ISS for two hours? space science universe and space station alien science

7. Sandra Bullock was a bit too, uh, scantily clad

This scene could have been much, much worse

This scene could have been much, much worse

When our how-old-is-she-again heroine gets out of her spacesuit in the ISS, we are treatedsubjected to an astronaut wearing what we don in the office most days: underwear and a tight fitting shirt. In reality she would have emerged from that suit a sweaty mess from the exertion of spacewalking, sporting a liquid cooling undergarment and an adult-sized nappy (seriously, just ask Chris Hadfield). But did we really want to see a sweaty, nappy-wearing Sandra Bullock emerge from that spacesuit? Uh, probably not. Good job, Hollywood. space science universe and space station alien science

8. Why did Clooney keep talking to Bullock when she was CLEARLY RUNNING OUT OF OXYGEN?

When Clooney and Bullock were drifting towards the ISS from Hubble, which we’ve already told you was ridiculous absolutely totally possible, she told him she had 2% of oxygen left. So, why the hell did he keep making her talk?! Did he want her to die? Perhaps. It’s a good thing she got her own back… space science universe and space station alien science

9. Clooney didn’t need to die (although we’re glad he did)

I heard someone say recently that this scene was an offense against science. A bit drastic, perhaps, but I’ll allow it. Here’s the moment in question: space science universe and space station alien science

Not pictured: science

Not pictured: science space science universe and space station alien science

What’s wrong here? Well, when Bullock is holding onto Clooney, they’re both stationary and have the same angular momentum. But he inexplicably tells her that she has to let go or they’ll both die, at which point he gains momentum from some invisible force and is thrown into space. Even if they weren’t stationary, why didn’t she just pull him towards her? He would have just drifted past, and then could’ve grabbed hold of the rope. Or she could have left him there, turned around, grabbed more of the rope, then turned round and picked him up again. And, even if all this failed, why did Clooney think it was such a stupid idea that she go get the Soyuz and come pick him up? Didn’t he do exactly the same thing but in his jetpack earlier on? Gah! Oh well, at least we got rid of the worst astronaut ever. space science universe and space station alien science

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