Well, you know what they say...a bad day biking beats a great day at the office! Or something like that :-)
I was taking a design class that was partially offered/sponsored by NASA at the time. We were on our way to tour a plant for that class when we heard over the radio of the accident. It was a very sobering and subduing experience. When that movie came out, it was almost mandatory viewing...and it did a lot to restore spirits. The orbital shots simply take one's breath away, and the opening sequence will really get your attention. Go see it!!! Even if you have to bike there :-)
I highly recommend "The Dream Is Alive." It was made in 1985, shortly after the Challenger explosion. It was great for morale. Walter Cronkite's narration was great, the shots are spectacular. See it in IMAX. The ride down the escape system is great - folks in the theater all surged forward and went, "Oof!" when the basket hit the net at the bottom :-)
It wasn't my intention to be so negative; it just turned out that way. I wanted to like this movie and even paid a premium price to see it in 3D and IMAX in order to maximize the experience but the 'techie' in me couldn't stop counting the obvious technical errors which were distracting to the experience.
"They could have made it more interesting by showing it as a joint rescue effort , if they would have shown that Sandra Bullock somehow manages to locate George Cloony and get him on board again."
I was sort of expecting that, actually. And by the way, same applies to the other movies, Captain Phillips and After Earth. In the former, it would have been far more interesting if there had been more about the Navy operation and less focus on Captain Phillips getting hot in that cramped lifeboat. Pirates yelling at Phillips took up a huge chunk of time, I thought. Kind of got old.
What happens, I believe, is that the artists in Hollywood want to spend time "developing the character," which may not always translate to the most engrossing story. Although that depends on personal tastes, of course. Me, I prefer to get beyond just developing that single character, in stories.
I'm grateful to have had my kids home for Thanksgiving dinner, and grateful for so many things in my personal & work life. With year-end deadlines approaching, the new few weeks will be very busy, but I'm anxiously looking forward to getting in some time on the slopes. Arizona ski season started yesterday -- earlier than usual, thanks to a couple feet of new snow last weekend :)
Thanks for your thoughtful articles & blogs, and for the review of Gravity. I will be sure to catch that movie soon. Enjoy your holidays Rick!
They could have made it more interesting by showing it as a joint rescue effort , if they would have shown that Sandra Bullock somehow manages to locate George Cloony and get him on board again. The formula of SPEED was better where there was a joint effort by the police officer and the naive passenger Sandra,
You'll note, however, that the main TECHNICAL objection is the one on multiple satellites close together, in the same orbit. Your other objections have to do with creating a story line that can keep a movie audience engaged.
Imagine trying to make a movie of an engineer's day at work. Unless you can read his mind, and the minds of the other engineers he's conferring with (almost exclusively) electronically, such a movie would be a crashing bore. If Sandra Bullock and George Clooney already knew everything about each other's lives, having no reason to divulge all this dramatic content to the audience, we would just be twiddling our thumbs watching people floating around. And if the space debris got everyone on its first or even second pass, I suppose we'd have been going home after the first 30 minutes or so!
As to maneuvering to get close to a satellite, the space shuttles and Soyuz have such small rockets, used for rendezvous as well as to change the attitude of the ship while in orbit.
I did wonder about the one-person show, though. Then again, I wondered about that even in the two other movies I mentioned (After Earth, Captain Phillips). Not sure why Hollywood finds that one-person formula so alluring, of late.
I found the movie to be unbelievable and technically wrong on so many levels so I can't give it two, or even one thumbs up
I recently listened to an interview on Science Friday with two real astronauts on their opinion of Gravity. They did pick up on the issues that you mention, but still seemed quite positive about the movie.
One other flub mentioned- apparently (I have not seen the movie yet) a Chinese astronaut is seen with a table-tennis paddle!
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.