9

In the movie Interstellar, if I remember right, they explain that a group of scientists were sent to the system on the other side of the worm hole, before the ship and crew we witness in the movie. One for every planet that had the potential to host a human colony. While the planet near the event horizon was of course of great scientific interest as they knew about the time dilation problem in advance.

So why did they send a scientist to it in the first place? Even if the planet was habitable (what would be strange enough), it would make no sense to colonize it. To explore it or to prepare it for colonization would take millennia. And if humanity colonized it, they would effectively fast forward through the universe. The remaining lifespan of the star of the system would be mere a few 1000 years I think (still a long time, ok). And shouldn't there be hard radiation? Every infrared photon should be shifted to high gamma rays when hitting the planet surface. And I think there are so much more problems and reasons.

So why wasn't the planet skipped completely in the first place?

  • See scifi.stackexchange.com/q/72502/70236. Doesn't answer your question, imo, but still a few answers there – Gallifreyan Mar 1 '18 at 16:49
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/80245/… and scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/93369/… point how bad idea and incredible stretch was adding such a planet to the movie. Pretty much only to make them go close to BH and show off some extreme gravitational effects. – Mithoron Mar 2 '18 at 0:24
  • I have the impression there was a more involved plot drafted for the planet. There would have been interesting options: Settlers, supplies and help sent there would arrive from the colonists viewpoint rapidly. Or it could be used as time capsule - say if earth or some other planet would be terraformed the settlers could just stay a few days on Miller's planet and then colonise the "new" planet. – bdecaf Mar 2 '18 at 9:15
10

Miller's World isn't actually (on the face of it) that bad an option. It has free water, a breathable atmosphere, organics compounds and hydrocarbons in abundance. You may also wish to note that the "star" that Miller orbits is in fact a gigantic black hole with a lifespan of trillions of years rather than the run-of-the-mill hydrogen/helium stars we're used to so the time dilation is rather less of a problem than you might think.

“Look,” he said. “Dr. Mann’s data looks promising, but we won’t get there for months. Edmunds’ is even further. Miller hasn’t sent much, but what she has sent is promising—water, organics.”

Interstellar - Official Novelisation

and

Look at Miller’s world—hydrocarbons, organics, yes.

Interstellar - Official Novelisation

It has everything, in fact, that's needed for Plan B to go into operation, regardless of the fact that the Earth would be dead and buried before even the first generation is of age.

  • 1
    On the contrary - Earth's population would be long gone by the time the colony produces toddlers. Remember that time passed faster for Romili, not for Cooper and Brand, when the latter landed on the planet, and by the time they came back Murph was already grown up. – Gallifreyan Mar 1 '18 at 16:53
  • 1
    But, remeber that Plan B is really the only plan they ever considered as viable. Plan A was just a placebo to keep everyone hopeful and working back on earth – NKCampbell Mar 1 '18 at 17:51
  • 1
    @NKCampbell - Indeed. So the fact that the outside world has disappeared is really not here or there. Note that Coop shares the same reservations as Hothie - "He could almost feel the clock in his head ticking off the time passing back on Earth. How could humanity hope to live on a world so hopelessly out of synch with the rest of the universe?" – Valorum Mar 1 '18 at 17:58
  • The real question is why didn't they see the wave coming at them out the back of the ship, but the one moving away from them was clearly "not a mountain" from a much greater distance. – Edlothiad Mar 2 '18 at 6:28
  • 1
    @Edlothiad - Because mountains, those cheeky little scamps, don't usually move. You look at them once, then a few hours later you look again and they've rarely gone far. – Valorum Mar 2 '18 at 7:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.