I was willing and ready to accept pretty much all of the science in Interstellar. But I have one big problem: rocket fuel.
There’s just no way that they could’ve launched the Endurance mission with enough fuel to accomplish what we saw in the film.
I would be willing to accept, given that the movie is set far in the future, that maybe humanity had developed some crazy new engine technology which circumvents the rocket equation.
But they began the mission with an (awesome) Apollo-style launch sequence; a three-stage launch vehicle pushed their lander into Earth orbit atop a quite literally massive (hey, a physics joke!) tower of flame.
And we’re supposed to believe that the same lander…
- could just flip on the engines and escape a planet with 130% of Earth’s gravity with all the ease of a 747 taking off, and
- could’ve had enough fuel aboard — even on Endurance — to hit escape velocity for several other planets?
No. That's just not how physics works.
As always, I welcome discussion and feedback; I’m @cdzombak on Twitter.