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Several years ago, my wife and I were flipping through channels and came across the end of a movie that looked somewhat interesting, and I've always wanted to watch the rest of it. The only scene I saw was this: A man is piloting some sort of small cargo ship (I'm guessing) in space, and he has found a young woman stow-away. He is trying to land the ship (or something) and, for some reason, the woman being on the ship is throwing off the mass just enough so as to cause a catastrophic failure. Knowing that the only way for the ship to survive is for her to not be on it, she puts herself into some sort of ejection chamber and shoots herself into the oblivion of space. If I remember correctly, the ship is rather dark and somewhat "cluttered" inside.

Unfortunately, that's about all I can remember from the movie. If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate it.

Can anyone tell me the name of this movie?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

It sounds like you're describing "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin.

Barton explains that her presence dooms the mission by exceeding the weight limit, and the subsequent crash would kill both of them and doom the colonists awaiting the medical supplies. After contacting her brother for the last moments of her life, Marilyn willingly walks into the airlock and is ejected into space.

The story has been adapted repeatedly but you're probably describing the 1996 made-for-TV version;

or the Twilight Zone version which has a more "cluttered" feel to it;

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@Richard Wow. Thanks for all the references. This looks like it might be it. I'll have to do some more looking at it when I get home. – G_Hosa_Phat Jun 27 '14 at 22:13
Might be a nice story, but the premise has a fatal flaw: no spaceship that big (i.e. large enough to walk around in) will be so mass-critical that a 50kg imbalance will crash it. Maneuvering engines will burn the girl's mass in fuel in a fraction of a second. Toss a couple of those CRT monitors out the hatch instead. – paul Jun 28 '14 at 11:20
@paul - Or a chair. – Valorum Jun 28 '14 at 11:29
@paul - The text makes it clear that he spaces her because 1) It's the law ("Any stowaway discovered in an EDS shall be jettisoned immediately following discovery") and 2) because the fuel calculations are "very precise and accurate and omitted nothing" – Valorum Jun 28 '14 at 11:36
@Richard - #2 is my complaint. If you really are that precise, you have left zero margin for, say, leaks. In that case, you jettison the idiot engineers who designed the thing. – paul Jun 29 '14 at 2:10

The 1954 short story The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin has been adapted for television several times. Among those are an episode of The Twilight Zone and a full length version in 1996 for the Sci-Fi Channel.

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@SQB Thanks for the links. I'm going to take a look at trying to find the full length version I can stream somewhere when I get home. – G_Hosa_Phat Jun 27 '14 at 22:15

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