Search Menu



20 Scientific Errors in Gravity

Blaming the Russians

The movie: Oh my God, can you believe that the Russians blew up their own satellite and caused a massive debris storm that took out every spaceship ever? That is SO embarrassing for them.

Real life: What are we, still in the Cold War? How interesting that the Russians are smeared as the screw-ups in the movie, considering they have never blown up one of their satellites with a missile. You know who has? The United States. Pictured here is the launch of the SM-3 missile that blew up an American spy satellite in 2008. China has also pulled this trick off (indeed, they were the first to do it, in 2007).

The other big problem with blaming the Russians is that most of their satellites orbit at much higher inclinations than the Hubble, in order to maximize the time above their own country. It's possible that the debris would strike spacecraft in different orbits and inclinations, but certainly not right away, and definitely not every 90 minutes.

Tags: movies, science, slideshows, fails, gravity, scientific errors

Write your own comment!

About the Author
Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email