Here are some unanswered questions from Interstellar:
- Why build a rocket silo inside an office building? Wouldn’t the exhaust make an awful mess?
- If a big rocket is required to lift one Ranger shuttle from Earth into space, how can the same shuttle lift off unaided from a planet whose gravity is 1.3x greater than Earth’s? Moreover, how can the ungainly Landers even land, much less lift off?
- Brand and Cooper speculate that Miller’s beacon was repeating the same message over and over. However, the message would have been extremely time-dilated. It would have taken months to receive a message that took seconds to send. Why is the time dilation ignored here?
- Moreover, it should have been immediately apparent that this was the most dangerous planet. How did the crew of the Endurance fail to notice the giant waves when they were a safe distance from the planet? Seen from a safe distance outside of Gargantua’s intense gravity well, the waves would have appeared to be standing still, but they would still have been unmistakable. Why risk landing on Miller’s planet anyway? Time dilation would cause incredible logistical problems.
- Supermassive black holes and stellar-mass black holes are entirely different beasts. The story mixes incompatible characteristics of both.
- If TARS can roll across the water like a paddlewheel, why didn’t the human crew remain safely inside the Ranger, and let TARS do the work? This would have been safer and would have spared precious time.
- The Rangers’s airlocks are slanted at an angle, and are not perpendicular to the body of the craft. How do they even dock when they’re not spinning?
- The Endurance has two docking airlocks for Ranger shuttles. Each one is offset from the central axis by a few meters, meaning neither is coaxial with Endurance’s axis of rotation. When Endurance was damaged, even if it’s spin axis was not altered (highly unlikely), the axis would not have been centered on one of the airlocks. Is there a third airlock at the central axis?
- Why did Mann try to kill Cooper? Why did he sabotage and booby-trap KIPP? These were pointless, needless acts. Despite his treachery in sending a misleading message, he must have known his best chances of survival were to enlist the help of Cooper, Brand, and Romilly.
- At the end, why would Brand be alone on Edmund’s planet? Wouldn’t NASA have sent many more people immediately, as soon as they received word that Brand had successfully established a base there? And wouldn’t Brand be much older by then?
I found answers to questions 7 and 8. There are actually seven airlocks around Endurance’s central hub — only two of which are suited to Rangers. The Landers have docking points on both their dorsal and ventral sides. Cooper piloted the Lander so as to mate its dorsal docking port with the Endurance’s aft airlock.
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