Dr. Ryan Stone attempts to grab onto the solar panels of the Tiangong Station.

A Solar Panel
is a set of solar photovoltaic modules made up of solar cells that are electrically connected and mounted on a commercial or residential location to absorb light energy from the sun and provide electrical power. However, they cannot be recycled.

They have many space applications and are frequently seen in Gravity.

Role in GravityEdit

When the satellite debris strikes the Explorer Space Shuttle and forces astronauts Dr. Ryan Stone and Lieutenant Matt Kowalski to head towards the International Space Station, they run out of fuel in Kowalski's propulsion pack and are unable to brake, so they slam into the station's solar panels hard. One of the panels cuts their tether in two and leaves the astronauts adrift and falling farther from the station. Dr. Stone is able to survive and board the station. 

In one particularly suspenseful scene, the debris circles back around and destroys the International Space Station for good, throwing the Soyuz Capsule into the solar panels of the ISS and shredding them to pieces, as a helpless Dr. Stone attempts to hang on. From then on, the Soyuz capsule has only one solar panel, which could be the reason why the cabin starts malfunctioning and losing heat and oxygen. 

Later on in the film, Dr. Stone is able to head to the Chinese station, Tiangong in the Soyuz by using its landing rockets and is forced to eject herself from the pod by means of explosive decompression. She is able to use a fire extinguisher as a makeshift thruster and get closer to the station, which is plummeting through the upper Troposphere. She is able to get close enough to the station to touch one of the solar panels but she is unable to get an actual grip on them, her fingers just slide along the flat surface. Stone manages to get inside the station as it plunges through the upper atmosphere and the panels are stripped away.

Used byEdit

  • International Space Station
  • Soyuz Capsule
  • Tiangong Station

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