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?

  • 1
    I recall this too with Clive Owen as the pilot? There was an anthology series with him in it. I recalled though that they DID jettison stuff inside first but because she was on it from the start that the weight was still off and the only way the ship would make it to it's destination was to get rid of all of it they could AND her.
    – Raj usa
    Mar 24, 2019 at 1:42

2 Answers 2


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.

  • @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. Jun 27, 2014 at 22:13
  • 10
    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, 2014 at 11:20
  • @paul - Or a chair.
    – Valorum
    Jun 28, 2014 at 11:29
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    @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, 2014 at 2:10
  • 1
    I want to see the version where the stowaway jettison the pilot.
    – Adamant
    Mar 24, 2019 at 7:21

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.

  • @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. Jun 27, 2014 at 22:15

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