Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoilerish

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Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoilerish

Post by Andras »

Gravity- Extended Trailer

In the film Gravity the astronauts are servicing the Hubble when they get lit up by space debris. Eventually the two survivors end up at the ISS.

Aside from the 144 KM altitude difference, the problem is the 23 and a bit degrees difference in orbital inclination. Both together requires 3048m/s delta v to overcome, more then 3x the total fuel load of the OMS system in the Orbiter Vehicle.

Clooney's character appears to be using an old MMU, which were retired in the mid 80s because NASA quit doing untethered EVA. Sandra's character should have been wearing the SAFER emergency jet pack during tethered EVA just in case of an emergency, oh wait, hmm.

The MMU had a total fuel load of 80m/s, which is quite insufficient for the difference in altitude between the orbits of the ISS and Hubble, let alone the orbital inclination change, and SAFER only has 3m/s, but she wasn't wearing it.

Oh, and the OV airlock can only handle 2 people at once so there are never 3 people outside the vehicle at the same time in case of emergency, oh, wait, hmm.

Two gross safety violations right off the bat, and hey, we have a movie!

53 seconds into the trailer a very slow piece of junk hits the OV on the stbd wing from above, and the OV rolls sharply to port instead of with the impact to stbd.

Math:
http://www.braeunig.us/space/orbmech.htm#maneuver
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Vi=7500m/s
Vf=7670m/s
cos23.15=.9195
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Ford Prefect »

Nobody cares. The film is about human drama in circumstances of isolation.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Mr Bean »

Ford Prefect wrote:Nobody cares. The film is about human drama in circumstances of isolation.
Nasa cares, this is not the first place I've heard about this.
Ford understand that NASA is made up of... people who work at NASA IE extreme math nerds. To them a movie like Gravity is as if someone made a NASCAR movie in which the hero wins by shifting in to 10th gear and activating the nitrous....

Need I remind you that this is the type of field that produced someone like Neil deGrasse Tyson. A man who once complained to the makers of Titanic that the stair field under which everyone did their drowning was wrong as they used a modern LA skyfield instead of what was visible a hundred plus years ago near the polar regions.

They will care.

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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Andras »

Ford Prefect wrote:Nobody cares. The film is about human drama in circumstances of isolation.
If that's all I wanted I'd see Open Water.

The director chose to use Hubble (and why is a rookie medical engineer playing surgeon on the Hubble?) instead of another nameless satellite realistically closer to the ISS. He chose those two points so I'll call it as I see it based on that.

In the film the ISS has two Soyuz capsules attached. If delta V is being handwaved, a Soyuz go out to collect the two drifting astronauts?

In the trailer Clooney tells her to detach from the RMS arm because it will carry her too far away, but that won't actually change her velocity, and it makes her a smaller visual and radar target. It would only make sense if she had a SAFER device, but she doesn't.

When the relatively slow moving and not that large debris object impacts the shuttle, it sends the 70+ ton OV into a rapid spin. The object just can't impart that much KE to the shuttle since the wing broke apart and most of the energy was shed.

Here's a link to the NASA guy BTW
link
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Ford Prefect »

This is serious cry me a river territory.

Really, it is. I could make an article for every single episode of Boston Legal and its (sometimes very serious) errors in its depiction of the legal profession, but who gives a shit? It's just a TV show.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by PeZook »

The point is that literally none of these things needed to happen in order to make the movie dramatic. I am told it's still a really good movie and I'm still going to see it, but why not complain about major technical inaccuracies?
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Napoleon the Clown »

Ford, would you say "Who cares?" if the movie had someone's car break down in New Mexico and they ended up having to walk to Melbourne to get to safety?
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Ford Prefect »

Napoleon the Clown wrote:Ford, would you say "Who cares?" if the movie had someone's car break down in New Mexico and they ended up having to walk to Melbourne to get to safety?
Yes.

ps. I bet you liked The Good, The Bad and The Ugly even though it's geographically nonsensical.
PeZook wrote:The point is that literally none of these things needed to happen in order to make the movie dramatic. I am told it's still a really good movie and I'm still going to see it, but why not complain about major technical inaccuracies?
Because it's totally meaningless. Oh no the space station didn't rotate correctly. What a fucking travesty.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by JLTucker »

PeZook wrote:The point is that literally none of these things needed to happen in order to make the movie dramatic. I am told it's still a really good movie and I'm still going to see it, but why not complain about major technical inaccuracies?
Because it's the lowest form of film criticism and likely contrary to what Cuaron and the others want to show.

Edit: Of course, it's unfortunate that there needs to be action at all to placate the brain dead masses.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by cadbrowser »

Even dispite it's apparent lack of correctness where NASA and uber-geeks are concerned; to me it didn't seem any more appealing than the aformentioned Open Water. This will be one of those movies I won't rush out to the big screen to see, much less wet my pants in anticipation for the DVD/Blu-Ray release. Nope, this one will be kept in the back of my mind when I become desperate for a "B" movie with "A" actors in it.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Simon_Jester »

One concern I think people can reasonably have is that promoting fiction with cartoonish physics makes people more likely to assume they understand the realities, then have Dunning-Kruger kick in with a vengeance.

This is already a problem with TV shows involving law (i.e. CSI making jurors believe untrue things about how crime scene evidence is collected and used, and how reliable it is). I suspect it also extends to things like relationships (people assume that things will work out the way they work on TV).

Now, maybe there's nothing we can do about it, but it's hardly out of line to grouse a little about it.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by cadbrowser »

Simon_Jester wrote:Now, maybe there's nothing we can do about it, but it's hardly out of line to grouse a little about it.
Not watch or purchase these types of shows? :D

I think though, that sometimes people lose hope and that these types of shows aid it trying to keep that hope alive. Or in other cases, just provide a mind numbing experience for those that need a happy ending, no matter how unrealistic it is.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by RogueIce »

People are actually whining that people are discussing the scientific errors in a movie on a board where the banner says, among other things, that this is a place to "Get your fill of ... science ..."?

I know it's become a thing to look down your nose at the 'sad nerds' who discuss, complain about and/or analyze the scientific/technical details of a movie rather than focusing on characters, plot, themes and so on, but come the fuck on already. Get over yourselves.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Guardsman Bass »

There's a contingent of posters here who just seem to show up in SFF threads these days to complain about people technically analyzing films and content.

If you don't give a shit, Ford, why the fuck are you even posting in this thread?
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Ford Prefect »

Guardsman Bass wrote:If you don't give a shit, Ford, why the fuck are you even posting in this thread?
I'm critiquing the critique.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Batman »

Ford Prefect wrote:
Guardsman Bass wrote:If you don't give a shit, Ford, why the fuck are you even posting in this thread?
I'm critiquing the critique.
Except you're not. You're blithely declaring that 'nobody cares' when the very fact that this thread exists means that somebody does and then go on to say it's 'cry me a river' territory just because it doesn't really affect the narrative of the movie. So fucking what? Effect on the story or no they got the science wrong, and guess what, over here at SDN people complain about things like that.
Also note that at least so far, nobody said that lapse in adhering to real world physics affected the quality of the movie. ALL people are saying is the lapse a)happened, and b)added exactly nothing to the narrative.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Napoleon the Clown »

Only certain plot holes count against a movie, right?
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Simon_Jester »

When, pray tell, has anyone ever "not counted" someone complaining about literary plot holes or bad characterization?
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Skylon »

Andras wrote:
Ford Prefect wrote:
The director chose to use Hubble (and why is a rookie medical engineer playing surgeon on the Hubble?)


link
Shuttle pilots and commanders of course were test pilots of course, but an astronaut's past professions don't always bear on their flight roles for Mission Specialist Astronauts (those who conducted EVA's on Shuttle flights).

The last HST serivicing mission a Geophysicist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_J._Feustel conducted EVA's on his rookie flight, prior to that a veterinarian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_M._Linnehan and earlier, a medical doctorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._Story_Musgrave - granted the later two were not rookies.

Professional backgrounds help, and some are definitely favored by the Astronaut Office, but Its more about a mindset/technical thinking skill-set that NASA looks for, and then what the individual excels at during training (EVA's, Robot Arm tasks or what have you).

Personally, I really like that the spacecraft look really detailed and authentic, and if nothing else this could be good space-hardware porn.

In addition, to the SAFER comment by the original poster - no, Sandra Bullock shouldn't be wearing one. I was ready to cry foul on it, but look at the STS-125 (the final HST servicing mission) EVA photos and NOBODY is wearing a SAFER. SAFER's are only used for ISS EVA's. Shuttle can retrieve a detached spacewalker. ISS can't.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Ford Prefect »

Batman wrote:Except you're not.
You're right, I'm actually just engaging in the 'mockery of stupid people' thing proudly displayed on the SDN logo.

This stuff is meaningless. It's not a documentary. It doesn't market itself on being a highly realistic depiction of orbital mechanics. It's a film, it's a dramatic representation of events used to convey meaning and create emotional resonance. Sometimes the physical events as depicted aren't going to actually conform to reality. The fact that the orbital mechanics aren't correct does not in any way actually change that. The greatest car chase in film has one car lose five hubcaps and has the cars jumping wildly through time, but that doesn't mean it isn't the greatest car chase in film.

Like Andras actually points to the director choosing Hubble over a 'nameless satellite realistically closer to the ISS', as though it's somehow confusing as to why a film director would select an iconic element of the space program. That's the kind of crazy stuff that gets said as a result of this meaningless prattery.

e: Just to be clear, I only responded due to the dismissive attitude displayed towards the film in the first post.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Batman »

Ford Prefect wrote:
Batman wrote:Except you're not.
You're right, I'm actually just engaging in the 'mockery of stupid people' thing proudly displayed on the SDN logo.
And again, you're not. There's nothing 'stupid' about pointing out the holes in the science of a SCIENCE Fiction movie.
This stuff is meaningless.
No it's not.
It's not a documentary. It doesn't market itself on being a highly realistic depiction of orbital mechanics. It's a film, it's a dramatic representation of events used to convey meaning and create emotional resonance. Sometimes the physical events as depicted aren't going to actually conform to reality. The fact that the orbital mechanics aren't correct does not in any way actually change that. The greatest car chase in film has one car lose five hubcaps and has the cars jumping wildly through time, but that doesn't mean it isn't the greatest car chase in film.
It doesn't change the fact that the car does lose five hubcaps during the chase either, though. You don't care because it's essentially irrelevant to the plot (which it is). Guess what? There's people who do care.
Like Andras actually points to the director choosing Hubble over a 'nameless satellite realistically closer to the ISS', as though it's somehow confusing as to why a film director would select an iconic element of the space program. That's the kind of crazy stuff that gets said as a result of this meaningless prattery.
No, it's the crazy stuff that gets said when Hollywood seriously fails at getting the physics right. You might not care, and the general audience might not care (or even notice), but that doesn't change the fact that they blew it.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Simon_Jester »

For how long have people been poking fun at old Wild West movies where the valiant white-hat hero fires seven or more shots from a revolver without being seen to reload?

This isn't very different except for the tone of voice in which the poking of fun occurs.
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Batman »

The million round Hollywood automatic weapon magazine. Yes, it's completely irrelevant to the plot most of the time.Why, exactly, does that mean we can't point out that there's no way in hell a magazine that size can hold that many bullets?
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Napoleon the Clown »

Because it's just a movie, dammit, and we aren't allowed to care about how realistic it is. If you want realistic you should go watch a documentary or something where all the other fatty nerds go to scratch their neckbeards and feel superior. (Am I doing the smug sense of superiority right?) And pointing out a flaw in a movie is the same as saying "The movie sucks." Because liking something means you can't say it has flaws. How can you like that which is flawed, people? How?
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Re: Orbital Inclination? What's that? Gravity (film) spoiler

Post by Ford Prefect »

Batman wrote:No it's not.
Yes, it is. It doesn't actually further our intellectual understanding of and engagement with the film. Films being dramatic products made up of many varied aspects all coinciding due to the work of many people, as opposed to just this one thing about the special effects that takes up about two and a half minutes of screentime.

Like this isn't just a cute observation of something being depicted incorrectly in the film: there's a really obvious dismissive attitude towards the film (which I'm not convinced that Andras has even seen) in the opening post based on its perceived lack of realism.
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