Gravity

Factual error: When Ryan enters the space station and removes her spacesuit she is shown wearing only a tank top and boy shorts. In reality, according to NASA's official webpage astronauts wear a liquid cooling and ventilation garment and an absorption garment (space diapers) under their suit. (00:38:45)

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Factual error: The shuttle's original mission was to service Hubble, yet when the shuttle is wrecked, Kowalsky moves with Stone to the ISS, which just happens to be "a short hike away." Hubble orbits at an altitude of 350 miles/560km, while the ISS does so at an altitude of about 250 miles/410km. Furthermore, even if they had been able to see the ISS from Hubble's orbit, they would have only seen it speed ahead, as their orbital velocities are very different: 7.66km per second for the ISS and 7.5km per second for Hubble. (00:23:20)

The Nachoman

Factual error: When Sandra Bullock and George Clooney manage to get to the ISS, she gets entangled with some ropes and manages to grab Clooney's safety rope. Clooney's speed should be very close to Bullocks' and the ISS', hence. The parachute ropes should be able to withhold the forces of deceleration (the mass of two people is very small, compared to Soyus or ISS), so no more pulling or having to sacrifice himself... This is due to the fact that there's no drag in space to constantly change Clooney's velocity (revert to Newton's First Law).

More mistakes in Gravity


Matt Kowalski: Half of North America just lost their Facebook.

Matt Kowalski: You have to learn to let go.

Ryan Stone: It's time to stop driving. It's time to go home.

More quotes from Gravity


Question: During the scene in which Matt detaches himself from Ryan so that he does not pull her away with him, why didn't he bounce back towards her when the rope snapped taut? Was there something that kept pushing/pulling him away that I missed?

Chosen answer: If they had been tightly tethered to the space station, he would have bounced back toward her. But her foot was only tangled in parachute cords, so that when the tether snapped taught all it did was begin to pull her away from the station as the parachute cords gave more and more slack, slipping more and more loose as they drifted further away.

Phixius Premium member

Question: SPOILER: What part of Earth did Dr. Stone land on?

Chosen answer: The scene was shot in Lake Powell, Arizona (as detailed here), but whether it's meant to be that specific location or just somewhere unspecified on Earth has not been made clear.

Casual Person

Question: When Ryan is descending back into the atmosphere in the Shenzhou, two pieces pop off the landing module after the big tracking shot. One appears to be part of the heat shield, and the other looks like an O-ring from the window. 1) If it really was a part of the heat shield, wouldn't she along with the Shenzhou have burnt up in the atmosphere and 2) If that was a part of the window, shouldn't it pop out due to the pressure differential? Or, if I'm wrong about those two parts, what are they?

Friso94

Chosen answer: The heat shield separates before landing. If it didn't the solid fuel engines behind the shield that are designed to give a soft landing wouldn't work. It doesn't separate until the capsule has slowed sufficiently to mean it is no longer needed. I don't know what the other piece that separates is but it is nothing to do with the windows. It comes from under the capsule so was behind the heat shield.

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