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Destination for "Passenger" ships?

  1. Jan 13, 2017 #1
    Just wondering if anybody had a clue as to candidate stars for the ship, Homestead II, in this movie.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2017 #2


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    I saw the movie and loved it but can't remember if they ever specifically name the star system they're going to. I'm pretty sure they didn't bother. However I did a quick calculation in my head when Chris Pratt sends a message back to earth (and is informed by the console that at the speed of light it will take a few decades to get a reply) and IIRC they were travelling at 0.5C. It was a 120 year journey so where ever they were going was ~60 light years away from Earth.
  4. Jan 13, 2017 #3
    The fuzzy part would be how quickly they got to .5 C?
  5. Jan 13, 2017 #4
    Another question would be "How much do tickets cost?" That's a big ship...
  6. Jan 13, 2017 #5
    I also saw the movie, and while it was interesting, I doubt they seriously thought through all the details. This was definitely "soft" science fiction.

    How the hell can you just gamble on the stasis pods not malfunctioning?

    If each trip takes 100+ years, then how frequently do they send such ships out? I forget how many passengers were being carried - was it ~5000? That seems small for a colony 60 light years away.

    How would you convince anyone to go out there when it takes decades to even get a help message back to Earth? It's like a suicide mission.

    This movie definitely reminded me of Starlost by Harlan Ellison and Ben Bova

  7. Jan 13, 2017 #6
    But it sure were pretty!
  8. Jan 13, 2017 #7
    I missed this when it came out (short half life?). I just read some reviews & apparently a lot of critics were turned off by the man waking up the woman just for company, saying it was a grossly selfish act, akin to violation or stalking. One critic seemed to think it was at least believable, given the guy was going crazy with loneliness on board a huge ship on a very long voyage. I'm a huge fan of spaceship movies; would you recommend renting this when it becomes available? I should add that personally I don't like misogynistic characters as such.
  9. Jan 13, 2017 #8

    Well, the thing is that if the roles had been gender-swapped, then it wouldn't have come across as the creepy male stalker thing.

    Lawrence Fishburne's character put it in perspective, when he said that a drowning man will try to pull another swimmer down with him - it's not ethical, but that's what he'll try to do.
  10. Jan 13, 2017 #9
    Lawrence Fishburne is in this?! Then I have to rent it when it comes time. He is becoming the king of offbeat spaceship movies by now - he was captain of the Nebuchadnezzar in "The Matrix" (well OK that ship was a hovercraft, but it looked like a spaceship); captain of the doomed Lewis & Clarke rescue ship in "Event Horizon"; and now he's, well, he's Chief Deck Officer on the Avalon. Anytime you have a flimsily plotted space movie, just add Fishburne for some badly needed gravitas.
  11. Jan 13, 2017 #10
    We saw it yesterday in the theaters.
  12. Jan 13, 2017 #11
    Thanks. I thought a Dec. release date might have meant it was done already. I see it listed near us, alongside Monster Trucks and the latest Underworld.

    I also see Hidden Figures is showing; and right now that sounds like the most appealing space-related movie out. We'll probably see that first. And hey it's about mathematicians!
  13. Jan 13, 2017 #12


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    I didn't get any sort of misogynist vibe from it. It's much more of a castaway story IMO. I would definitely advise seeing it, one of the best SF films that came out last year. It was tight, very visually impressive and a good all round story. It didn't spend too much time or effort trying to justify things it didn't need to and the acting was spot on.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  14. Jan 13, 2017 #13
    2001, The Shining plus Titanic with a happy ending, done very well.
  15. Jan 14, 2017 #14
    Lonely person becomes obsessed with not being alone. Not so very strange.
  16. Jan 30, 2017 #15


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    Well, not quite. if it is a 120 year long trip by ship time at 0.5c, then relativistic effects become significant and the distance to the star as measured from the Earth would be ~69.3 light years.
    By the plot line, they awake 90 years too soon, so this should place them ~15 light years from Earth (by their measure). If he sends a message to Earth at c, in his frame, Earth is receding at .05 c, and it will take the message 30 years to "catch up" to it, meaning it will be 30 light years away when it gets the message. Plus another 30 years for the return message makes for 60 years for an answer. Used right, this could have set up an interesting situation. Let's say that they had woken up 80 years too early. Then the return message would have taken 80 years to get back to them, the same length of time as the remaining trip. So if they awoke just a bit after 40 years into the trip, any answer wouldn't arrive until after they reached their destination.
  17. Jan 30, 2017 #16
    Except that Passengers is a sleeper ship, while Starlost used the trope of a generation ship, right?
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