2001: A Space Odyssey

Corrected entry: When the scientists are on the moon and approaching the monolith, the lighting from the floodlights changes from shot to shot.

Correction: I have watched the scene over and over again - the lighting changes are caused by the rising sun and the changing position of the men as they walk down the ramp. The position of the floodlights is totally consistent throughout.

Corrected entry: When Floyd is going to make his call to his home, the image of the Earth or the Moon seen in the window behind him changes the way it circles from clockwise to anticlockwise.

Correction: The rotation of Earth in the windows does change direction between the telephone scene and another previous scene. But it doesn't change during the phone scene. I've checked & double-checked; it runs counter-clockwise the whole time.

Corrected entry: Dave Bowman parks the pod next to the emergency airlock and blows the door off by detonating the explosive bolts. Since the pod was full of air, the door ought to have been ejected into the airlock and become a rather hazardous projectile. But in the scene it's nowhere to be found. What became of it?

Correction: The explosive bolts are along one side of the door. It is blown sideways into the recess in the wall of the pod it is designed to close into during normal use. The fact that there was air inside the air lock makes absolutely no difference to this.

Corrected entry: Dave exited the ship for an EVA to replace the 'flawed' AE35 unit. Unfortunately, Dave would've received five times the lethal dose of radiation during that brief jaunt. This is typical when in that proximity to Jupiter. Even though Dr. Floyd says "they can't be exposed to that radiation for any longer than four minutes", they'd still die from it within a few weeks of that brief exposure.

Nicki

Correction: Despite its attempts at authenticity, 2001 is still a science fiction film, and in its reality, Poole's space suit and helmet are made of some futuristic material that provides protection from radiation.

Corrected entry: The stewardess, in her 360-degree stroll to the control room aboard the spherical Aries lunar shuttle, is most certainly going through the wrong door, if you think about where the control room is relative to the rest of the interior (she should have been stepping through the access on the top of the set).

Correction: We do not know that as she exits the 'hallway' where she gets the meals, that she immediately enters the cockpit. There may have been corridors, or even another elevator or stairs, to get to the cockpit.

Corrected entry: As the Pan-Am shuttle is approaching the spinning space station there as a shot of it from within the hub based dock. The star filled background is spinning as it ought to, but the shuttle, which is not yet centered on the dock, is seen swinging across the sky independent of the background. To do this the craft would be tracing a spiral through space.

Correction: We see it comes from one side, swinging across to the other as it tries to line up directly in front of the target. This is like driving a car from across three lanes of traffic to tailgate a truck - you will likely swerve a little too far and have to correct your position once or twice. In 3 dimensions, plus a 4th dimension of moving space as they orbit the moon, this becomes triply difficult to do. So yes, they'd be tracing a spiral, but take a soda can and spin it while flipping it end-over-end, and visualize how the opening tab moves through space - a 3-D spiral.

The shuttle would be tracing the spiral from the point of view of the station's docking bay, with the eccentricity of the spiral declining as it got closer until it were aligned with the docking bay. The point in the original post is not that the ship wouldn't be in a spiral from the POV of the station, it's that in order to appear flying in a straight line independent of the background from the station POV, the ship would have to be flying in an erratic corkscrew flight path that precisely matched the rotation of the backdrop of the stars. This is unlikely. The shuttle would simply need to rotate along its central axis to match the station's rotation until it docked. In the truck analogy, from the POV of the truck the swerving car would appear to be driving erratically, not in the straight line that would be analogous to the shuttle's approach.

Vader47000

Corrected entry: When Dave is trapped in the pod outside the ship and has to go through the airlock, the solution is impossible (and a real astronaut would have known that). The change in pressure between the pod and the vacuum of space would cause the body to explode without a pressure suit (including the helmet, which was missing). Also, the absolute zero temperature of space would have frozen Dave solid before he ever got the Discovery's door closed.

Mark Bernhard

Correction: The suggestion that a human body would immediately explode in a vacuum is a common fallacy. Nor would they immediately freeze solid - heat does not transfer away from a body particularly quickly, even in a very cold environment. NASA estimates that a human being could survive exposure to space for thirty seconds without suffering any lasting injury, provided that they didn't try to hold their breath - something that Bowman, as an astronaut, would be well aware of. His actions are quite plausible.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: On the moon shuttle after Dr. Floyd, Dr. Halvorsen, and Bill look at pictures and eat their sandwiches, Bill serves coffee with no regard for the weak gravity. Very dangerous.

Nicki

Correction: There's nothing dangerous about it. Under one sixth gravity the coffee would behave almost the same as it would on earth. For someone used to such gravity conditions it would pose no danger at all. It's only in orbit under 'zero-gravity' that liquids are dangerous.

Corrected entry: 2001 is the only space-based film that correctly portrays 'space' as a soundless vacuum. No whooshes, no THX explosions...

Correction: Actually, this is a common misconception. There are at least two other space movies which accurately omit sound effects in the vacuum of space: Destination Moon and Moon Zero Two.

Corrected entry: In the zero-G sequence of the shuttle approaching the moon Dr. Floyd is served a meal in a zero-G tray with straws. While Dr. Floyd sips through the straws to eat from the zero-G food tray, the food puree falls back down the straws into the tray wells (leaving them "clear") after he finishes sipping, an effect of gravity. In zero-G, the food puree should remain visible in the straw, and not fall.

Correction: Current packages designed for consuming liquids in space, have a minor vaccuum in the container and a valve to maintain it in the straw, to keep the liquid from escaping. I see no reason they wouldn't have them in that future.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: How could there be dust clouds when the lunar probes land when there is such a thin atmosphere on the moon? It happens twice when Dr. Floyd is going to check out the monolith.

Correction: There isn't a thin atmosphere on the moon - there is no atmosphere. The dust is stirred up by the exhaust of the landing rockets on the shuttle. True, it doesn't behave exactly as it would on the moon, but this is an accepted film convention, not a mistake. You can't film in a vacuum.

Corrected entry: When David Bowman is travelling through the space portal, many streaks of light can be seen passing him on both sides yet when we see David Bowman himself, the streaks are reflected in his helmet and they don't seem to be moving at all.

Correction: The reflections in the helmet are of the instruments inside the pod, which we see again after the pod has stopped in the room.

Corrected entry: When troubleshooting the AE-35 unit in the pod bay, the unit is resting on a console, unsecured. The unit should float, since the pod bay doesn't possess artificial gravity, only the main living space does.

Correction: Magnets, velcro, Blutac, double sided sticky tape, adhesive coating on the console ... there are a hundred different methods of securing loose equipment in a microgravity environment. Think the designers of The Discovery didn't think of just one of them?

Corrected entry: In the scene where Bowman is attempting to force entry into the Discovery by using the pod's robotic arm to manually open the exterior door, the error is that the force needed to turn the door opener in a weightless environment should have twisted the pod in the opposite direction as it wasn't physically locked to the mother ship anywhere else by the other arm.

Correction: We see the arm opening the hatch in close ups. We don't see the rest of the pod. As the pod is not spinning, there must be something keeping it stable such as the pod's thrusters firing or a powerful gyroscope.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: Poole takes a pod out to replace AE35. We see this pod spinning off into space. Bowman takes pod 2 out to retrieve Poole. He eventually blows the door to get back inside Discovery. There is no indication that he bothers retrieving this pod: He is occupied with HAL. Bowman takes pod 3 to check out Stargate. He and the pod are sucked in. So where did pod 4 come from in the movie 2010?

Correction: Since you refer to the sequel "2010", Let me point out that in that movie they allude to the fact that Dave Bowman Also jettisoned the bodies of the three dead crew members who were in hibernation (which we never saw him do...) They go on to say that he continued on with his mission to Jupiter after he disconnected HAL's higher brain functions. So since we know all this, isn't it plausible that he retrieved the pod after taking care of HAL?

Why would he take the time to retrieve a damaged pod? There would have been no reason for him to repair the pod (assuming that he could) since he was the only remaining crewmember and had one other operational pod.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Dave is going into the room to shut down HAL, he is wearing his space suit and his sleeve becomes unattached from his glove when he is opening the door. This would be lethal, given that HAL messed up the pressure and drained the oxygen.

Correction: I got the impression he was wearing his suit just in case HAL depressurized, not because he already had. If HAL had depressurized the ship, Dave would have been dead by this point because he would not have been able to repressurize the airlock and get a spare helmet. Further, it seems unlikely that HAL would have the ability to depressurize the ship on his own, crazy or not.

Grumpy Scot

The simple fact that Dave is wearing a green helmet implies to me that he quickly grabbed the first helment to protect himself in the event that Hal depressurized the pod bay by opening one of the pod bay doors (something certainly within is control) as Dave goes through the bay to get to the memory logic section. I say this is a true mistake with his glove.

Corrected entry: There is a scene where one of the astronauts is drinking out of a juice box in space (zero gravity). When he is done drinking from the straw the juice falls back down the straw as if there was gravity.

Correction: The juice was sucked up due to the difference in air pressure caused by sucking on the straw. As such, when he stops sucking, the juice is sucked back into the carton.

Corrected entry: When the ship's computer and one of the crew members are playing chess, the computer stated a mate in 2, which is not true. It's mate in 3.

Correction: This actually is an intentional mistake. This error is showing that HAL is starting to fail. If you notice that the whole thing is so complicated that it's hard for the crew member to figure it out so he believes it to be a victory for HAL.

Corrected entry: When they try to hide from HAL, Dave comments that there is a malfunction in the "C" pod. HAL should protest because it doesn’t detect anything wrong, but it doesn’t say anything.

Correction: HAL is already suspicious of the pilots, obvious from the fact that he reads their lips through the window of the pod. Perhaps he ignores this lie in order to learn of their plans.

Other mistake: There is something drastically wrong with the design of the spherical 'Aries' moon shuttle. Some seats and many fixtures are 'upside down' relative to the up-down orientation of the shuttle itself, and we see loose food trays and equipment about the place as if this is routine. But - the shuttle is designed to land on the moon. What happens then? The moon has gravity, remember? There are going to be quite a few very disgruntled people dangling upside down like spiders, and there will be loose gear (and perhaps a stewardess or two) bouncing about all over the place. It is not a matter of stowing loose gear or lying flat on landing - some parts of the shuttle are upside down relative to others, which is why the stewardess has to do that famous 180 degree upside down walk. Whichever way you look at it the shuttle is going to encounter serious problems when it reaches a gravity well, which will occur whenever the engines are fired up, never mind landing on the moon.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The shuttle lands "on its back" with legs extending beyond the engines. As in most traditional sci-fi, and ALL actual, space flights to date, the launch (and landing) orientation for humans is to be on one's back. This minimizes blood being sucked down to your feet if you were sitting upright at launch - you could pass out. So we see this when the shuttle lands on the moon - the cockpit (red window) faces up (pilots on their backs, facing out the window). When we presume that the passenger cabin was 180 degrees spun around from the cockpit seating, they're still on their backs. Any loose objects would have been stowed before landing - the airlines don't lock down your bags, newspapers and coffee cups, right? They're loose in the cabin during flight, but put away on takeoff and landing.

Airliners do not fly upside down. The Orion shuttle cannot possibly operate the way it does if it lands in a gravity environment - some rooms are upside down relative to others - why else would the stewardess do the 180 degree vertical walk? It is an idiotic design flaw, and the posting is 100% correct.

More mistakes in 2001: A Space Odyssey

Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

More quotes from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Trivia: The little girl on the picture phone is director Stanley Kubrick's daughter Vivian. (00:27:50)

Larry Koehn
More trivia for 2001: A Space Odyssey

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