2001: A Space Odyssey

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Sentience, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm also a bit confused as to why Dave and Frank are wearing their spacesuits while stilll inside the ship (during the thing with the AE-35).

    Meaning, when Dave goes out to swap units, Frank is in the cockpit with his suit on; same goes for Dave when Frank goes out to put the original back.

    And about the AE-35: If they're so concerned about the unit failing, why not simply leave the backup installed (the one that Dave put in)? Presumably THIS one wouldn't fail, only the original that Dave removed.
     
  2. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Obviously, they're both suited up in case there's an emergency and the one on the ship needs to go out to help the other one. Give or take one oversight out of utter complacency.

    If whatever was causing the first AE-35 unit wasn't in the unit itself (which they confirmed by examining it on the workbench), then the fault would eventually destroy the backup, too, and then they wouldn't have any good-condition AE-35s.
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Buddy system would require two outside. HAL must have been disappointed
     
  4. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    I've never really understood why the pod was needed for the EVA when first Dave and later Frank stationed it so far from the ship and then jetted over to the antenna. If the suit has thrusters, why not just exit via the airlock and jet a similar distance from there? I suppose the pod might provide some additional illumination but that's it. Also, why does the pod need a closed cabin with the ability to pressurise and depressurise at all? Just put O2 bottles on it and hook them up to the suit as required for long EVAs. A pod on the Discovery is basically the way it is for the convenience of the plot.
     
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  5. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I imagine that under normal circumstances having the pod there isn't a bad idea in the event that something happens to Frank or Dave, since HAL can remote pilot the pod to help them. The pod may also have storage for tools and such that could be needed.
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The spacesuits' thrusters may also have limited range and/or maneuverability. You can get a lot farther, and safer, with a pod.

    As for HAL remotely piloting the pods: In the novelization, Frank specifically allows HAL to control his pod in case he should ever need to be rescued - that's why HAL is able to use the pod to kill Frank. Dave, OTOH, doesn't allow HAL to have control over his pod. So that explains why HAL doesn't simply cause Dave's pod to fly away into space.

    I know none of that made it into the film, but I suppose HAL just figured that it would be useless trying to take control of Dave's pod, since (once the pod got out of range) Dave could just use it to come back. So HAL probably decided that since Dave didn't have his helmet, it would be too hard for him to get back into the ship, so HAL no longer considered Dave a threat once he was in his pod and outside of the ship.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
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  7. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    In the book it mentions the pod was stationed a bit away from the antenna to avoid damaging it with the thrusters but I guess that doesn't carry across into the film.

    Also we don't know how far the pod was from Discovery vs how far down the the ship the antenna mount was located.
     
  8. Sketcher

    Sketcher Captain Captain

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    Is that long middle section of the ship inhabitable, or at least large enough to be walkable? I wonder if it would be easier to suit up, walk to the damaged section and pop a hatch to the exterior from there.
     
  9. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^I think we have to assume that our protagonists knew the best path by which to approach the antenna.
     
  10. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    The usually quoted dimensions for the movie model based on measurements taken from the screen are that the habitation sphere is 40 feet (12.2m) across and the whole vehicle is 400 feet (122m) long. The antenna is about halfway down the length so about 200 feet (61m) from the airlock. These measurements agree with those in the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey. The pod appeared to be quite a standoff distance from the spacecraft - perhaps also 200 feet.

    Of course, it is usual to use hot or cold-spare multiply redundant systems on manned spacecraft so perhaps a backup module should already have been in place. The failsafe action for steering the antenna should have been just to keep pointing it in the same direction. The Earth wouldn't likely drift significantly out of the main lobe direction of the antenna for perhaps days to weeks. Even then other satellites in the inner solar system could perhaps be used to maintain communications.

    Anyway, this is just me nit-picking for its own sake. For the sake of drama, such conceits were perfectly acceptable.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We really don't know if there are any interioir walkways in the middle section. Heck, we don't even know what's IN that part of the ship.

    There doesn't seem to be a way to get there from the podbay, anyway.
     
  12. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There was no internal access to the aft parts of the ship by design. The habitable sphere was that far away to be away from the nuclear power plants for the engines. The ships radio transmitter are in the central section. Probably to have the clearest range of motion and clear of interference from the engines and habitable sphere.
     
  13. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    HAL may also have had Discovery do a burn—the pod and the ship should both seem to be still…but we saw Discovery go from left to right behind Dave’s pod. Too much velocity would have ruined the trajectory, however. Otherwise Discovery could have left Dave far behind.

    Now, had HAL succeeded, what would he have done on his own?
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I doubt it had enough fuel to do that.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    The spine of the ship was very thin with all those modules bolted to it. There was no room an interior passage.

    Back to the larger picture, I don't think Clarke is an expert on what Kubrick was doing, despite writing the novel concurrent with the film, so his ideas about things like why HAL went nuts aren't necessarily so insofar as the film goes.
     
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  16. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    It depends on whether HAL expected to return to Earth or not. There would be sufficient fuel for entering into Jupiter orbit and leaving it again. However, I doubt HAL would have returned given that it had murdered the crew. What was Hal's plan? It doesn't seem very well thought out given the lack of knowledge of the purpose of the monoliths. The monolith around Jupiter might have just decided to destroy the DIscovery One had HAL turned up without any organic life onboard. In the movie 2010, HAL's "consciousness" is uploaded into the monolith alongside Bowman's - a sort of afterlife reward for sacrificing itself - but there is no way HAL could have known that would happen for certain. I can't recall what happens in the novel of 2010.
     
  17. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Clarke was always open about the differences between the film and his novel. He would probably be the first person to agree with you.
     
  18. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    The second novel, 2010, is based more on the first movie than on the first novel. In the first novel, the Discovery One goes to Saturn and the monolith is on Iapetus. I got the impression that Kubrick was perfectly fine with letting Clarke do his own thing and Clarke seemed to feel similarly about Kubrick. Kubrick was an artist who used light to paint and the cinema screen as his canvas. He didn't seem very interested in communicating using the written word.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    HAL might have tried to spin things in his favor. I'm sure he'd be capable of making up a story to explain the crew's absence.
     
  20. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    HAL was already under suspicion by the mission controllers for its inexplicable error about the imminent failure of the AE-35 unit. A thorough audit of all records might uncover its crimes, no matter how hard it tried to hide his deceit by data erasure and substitution. Of course, we have no knowledge of how data integrity might have been engineered into the record archiving mechanisms. If everything was controlled by HAL, perhaps it could get away without leaving incriminating evidence. HAL would probably get disassembled anyway during an investigation after five suspicious deaths and that's something it would want to avoid.