The Manuals of the Soyuz Capsule
are a key plot device in Gravity

Role in GravityEdit

After Dr. Ryan Stone travels through the Zvezda Module to get to the Soyuz Capsule in an attempt to undock and pilot away from the International Space Station, she realizes that she is unable to undock the craft, having never properly learned to pilot the Soyuz. Therefore she is forced to grab the manuals nearby to learn how to undock the capsule. 

After the Soyuz runs out of fuel and is adrift in orbit, unable to head to the nearby Chinese station, the Tiangong, Stone remembers the landing rockets operate from a seperate fuel tank and will operate the same way as the boosters do. Stone gets out the manuals and learns how to recalibrate the altitude to three meters above the ground so the rockets will activate and send her to the Tiangong on its momentum. 


Former astronaut Leroy Chiao says this is fairly accurate: "There are definitely paper procedures and books, certainly in the Soyuz and, I imagine, the Chinese spacecraft as well," Chiao says. "On the shuttle we had paper books. The problem would be, having not been trained, she may not know how to follow the instructions. She might not even know the language. But the books are there, and they're definitely used." Chiao, by the way, would be prepared in such a situation: He speaks both Chinese and Russian.

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