I had a daughter. She was four. She was at school, playing tag. Slipped, hit her head, and that was it. Stupidest thing. I was driving when I got the call, so ever since then that's what I do. I wake up. I go to work. And I just drive.
Clear skies but with a chance of satellite debris.
[after narrowly escaping the destruction of the ISS] I hate space.
Hey, Matt, since I had to listen to endless hours of your storytelling this week, I need you to do me a favor. You are going to see a little girl with brown hair, very messy, lots of knots. She doesn't like to brush it. That's okay. Her name is Sarah. Can you please tell her that mama found her red shoe? She was so worried about that shoe, Matt. But it was right under the bed. Give her a big hug and a big kiss for me and tell her that mama misses her. You tell her that she is my angel. And she makes me so proud. So, so proud. And you tell her that I'm not quitting. You tell her that I love her, Matt. You tell her that I love her so much. Can you do that for me? Roger that. Here we go.
You're losing altitude, Tiangong. You keep dropping and you're going to kiss the atmosphere. But not without me, because you're my last ride. [disarms hatch] Wait. [grabs fire extinguisher] Five... four.. three... No more just driving. Let's go home.
Houston, Houston in the blind, this is Mission Specialist Ryan Stone reporting from the Shenzhou. I'm about to undock from Tiangong... and I have a bad feeling about this mission. [laughs] Reminds me of a story... [the capsule shudders violently] Ahh! Never mind, Houston, never mind the story! Ahh! It's starting to get hot in here. All right, the way I see it, there are only two possible outcomes: Either I make it down there in one piece and I have one hell of a story to tell, or I burn up in the next ten minutes. Ahh! Either way, whichever way... no harm, no foul! Because either way, it'll be one hell of a ride! I'm ready.
[holding on Dr. Stone] I know, you never realized how devastatingly good-looking I am, but I need you to stop staring and help me with the tether. Okay?
Houston, in the blind, this is Kowalski. Dr. Stone and I have determined to proceed to ISS and use one of their Soyuz for reentry. ISS, if you hear us... we could sure use a rescue mission.
[On how to use a reentry module to get back to Earth] You point the damned thing at Earth. It's not rocket science.
I get it. It's nice up here. You can just shut down all the systems, turn out all the lights, and just close your eyes and tune out everyone. There's nobody up here that can hurt you. It's safe. I mean, what's the point of going on? What's the point of living? Your kid died. Doesn't get any rougher than that. But still, it's a matter of what you do now. If you decide to go, then you gotta just get on with it. Sit back, enjoy the ride. You gotta plant both your feet on the ground and start livin' life. Hey, Ryan? It's time to go home.
Kowalski: Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission.
Mission Control: Please expand.
Kowalski: Okay, let me tell you a story. It was '96, I'd been up here 42 days. Every time I passed over Texas, I'd look down, knowing that Mrs. Kowalski, was looking up, thinking of me. Six weeks I'm blowing kisses to that woman. Then we land at Edwards and I find out she's run off with some lawyer, so I packed my car and I headed to...
Mission Control: Tijuana. You've told this story, Kowalski. As Houston recalls, she took off in your '74 GTO. Engineering requests a fuel status on the jetpack prototype.
Kowalski: Five hours off the reservation, and I show 30% drain. My compliments to Engineering. Except for a slight malfunction in the nulling of the roll axis, this jetpack is one prime piece of thrust.
Mission Control: Engineering says thank you.
Kowalski: Tell them I still prefer my '67 Corvette, though. Speaking of which, did I ever tell you...
Mission Control: We know the Corvette story, Matt.
Kowalski: Even Engineering?
Mission Control: Especially Engineering. We're going to miss you, Matt.
Mission Control: Shariff, what's your status?
Shariff: Nearly there. Replacing battery module A1 and C.
Mission Control: Could you be a little more specific? Indeterminate estimates make Houston anxious.
Shariff: No, no, no, Houston, don't be anxious. Anxiety's not good for the heart. System is ready to reactivate.
Mission Control: Hubble Telescope engaged, upgrade fully functional. That applause you hear is for you, Shariff. Congratulations. Kick back, take the rest of the day off.
[Shariff cheers and begins singing a pop tune in Hindi]
Mission Control: Matt, do you have visual on just what Mission Specialist Shariff is doing up there?
Kowalski: He appears to be doing some form of the Macarena, but that would be just a best guess scenario on my part.
Kowalski: So, doc, now that you work for NASA, how do like us?
Shariff: Kind of like winning the lottery, isn't it?
Ryan: I was just happy that they didn't cut the funding to my research.
Kowalski: How long was your training?
Ryan: Six months.
Shariff: Including holidays?
Kowalski: So, what is this scanning system?
Shariff: Oh, nothing, Matt, it's just a new set of eyes to scan the edge of the universe.
Ryan: It's designed for hospital use, but this one's a prototype.
Kowalski: Listen, they don't bankroll prototypes, even for your pretty blue eyes.
Ryan: Well, my eyes are brown.
Kowalski: Right now your eyes are bloodshot.
Shariff: Kowalski! Is this great or what?
[Shariff jumps and floats away from the Shuttle, laughing and flapping his arms. A safety tether attached to his waist tenses and brings Shariff to an abrupt stop, snapping him back like a bungee cord.]
Kowalski: And to think he went to Harvard. Gotta admit one thing. Can't beat the view. So, what do you like about being up here?
Ryan: The silence. I could get used to it.
Kowalski: Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission.
Mission Control: Please elaborate.
Kowalski: It's the same feeling I had about Mardi Gras in 1987.
Mission Control: That is affirmative. Surprisingly, Control hasn't heard the Mardi Gras story. Please proceed.
Kowalski: Well, it's day one and I'm bumping my way down Bourbon Street looking for a sister of a friend of mine. The streets are full of people, I'm thinking there's no way I'm gonna find this girl...
Ryan: Proceeding to override.
Kowalski: Then all of a sudden, I look up, and there she is, and I'm about to yell out and I see she's holding hands with a short hairy guy in board shorts and a Margaritaville shirt. And then I realize that this guy is not a guy, that my girl is holding hands with a—
Mission Control: ISS, this is Houston. Explorer, this is Houston.
Explorer Captain: Go ahead, Houston.
Mission Control: Mission abort. Repeat, mission abort. Initiate emergency disconnect from Hubble. Begin re-entry procedure. ISS, initiate emergency evacuation.
Explorer Captain: Copy all, Houston, and in work. Matt, immediate return to Explorer. Repeat, immediate return to Explorer.
Kowalski: Copy, Explorer, prep airlock.
Explorer Captain: Airlock engaged. Ready to receive.
Kowalski: Houston, elaborate.
Mission Control: Debris from the missile strike has caused a chain reaction, hitting other satellites and creating new debris. Travelling faster than a high-speed bullet up towards your altitude. How copy?
Kowalski: Copy all. [to Ryan] Put a bow on it, Dr. Stone.
Ryan: I can't. The board is still initializing.
Kowalski: I'm not gonna ask you again.
Ryan: One second.
Kowalski: Not one second, now. Shut it down. That's an order!
Ryan: Explorer, Dr. Stone requesting faster transport to bay area. Explorer, do you copy?
Kowalski: Explorer, permission to retrieve Dr. Stone.
Explorer Captain: You are a go, Kowalski. Houston, this is Explorer, copy? We've lost Houston. We've lost Houston.
[Kowalski thrusts himself over to Ryan]
Kowalski: Unstrap. Look, we need to get the hell out of here.
Shariff: Need some help there, Matt?
Kowalski: No, don't wait for us.
[A piece of debris strikes Shariff in the head, killing him instantly]
Ryan: It's stuck!
Kowalski: Man down! Man down!
Explorer Captain: Houston, this is Explorer, copy? Houston, this is Explorer, copy? Kowalski, report—
[A large piece of debris pierces strikes the right wing of Explorer, shattering it, and the shuttle begins to roll, carrying Ryan with it]
Kowalski: Explorer has been hit! Explorer, do you read? Explorer, over? Explorer!
[Another piece of debris hits the robotic arm and detaches it from the shuttle. The broken piece of the arm spins away with Ryan attached to it]
Kowalski: Astronaut is off structure, Dr. Stone is off structure! Dr. Stone, detach!
Dr. Stone: No!
Kowalski: You must detach. If you don't detach, that arm's gonna carry you too far. Listen to my voice! You need to focus!
Ryan: I can't!
Kowalski: I'm losing visual of you. In a few seconds I won't be able to track you. You need to detach. I can't see you anymore! Do it now!
Ryan: I'm trying, I'm trying...
[Ryan detaches herself from the arm and is sent hurtling into the void of space]
Kowalski: Houston, I've lost visual of Dr. Stone. Houston, I've lost visual of Dr. Stone.
Kowalski: Dr. Stone, do you copy? Repeat, do you copy?
Ryan: Yes! Yes! I copy, I'm here.
Kowalski: Flash your light so I can see you.
Ryan: [waving her flashlight] Here. Here.
Kowalski: There you are. Hang tight. Report your status.
Ryan: I'm fine.
Kowalski: Your status. Give me your readings
Ryan: 3.5 psi, I think.
Kowalski: Give me your O2.
Ryan: It's going down fast, 9... no, 8%.
Kowalski: All right, you're breathing too fast. You're burning oxygen, and we don't want to do that. We want to relax. Copy?
Ryan: Sorry, yes. Copy.
Kowalski: I'm nearly there.
Ryan: Please hurry.
Kowalski: You can holster that torch, Dr. Stone.
Ryan: Right, sorry.
[Ryan slips the light back into her side pouch just as Kowalski appears as if from nowhere and grabs her]
Kowalski: Gotcha. All right, now I'm going to tether you to me. I know you never realized how devastatingly good looking I am. But I need you to stop staring and help me with the tether. Okay?
Ryan: Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay, I got it.
Kowalski: [clips his tether to Ryan] All right, here we go. Now to clear you from the jets, I'm gonna give you a little push.
Ryan: No, no, no, no--!
Kowalski: A nudge.
Ryan: No, no, no, no, no, damn it, no!
[The tether tenses and she stops nine feet away from Kowalski]
Kowalski: See? Where you go, I go. Better. Let's get out of here.
[Using his thrusters, Kowalski jets away, dragging Ryan with him]
Ryan: Ahh! Damn it!
Kowalski: I know what you mean.
Ryan: Damn it!
Kowalski: You're burning oxygen. We're going back to the shuttle, how's that for a plan, copy?
Kowalski: Right, copy that.
Kowalski: Houston, in the blind, to confirm: Mission Specialist Dr. Stone and Mission Commander Matthew Kowalski, are the sole survivors of STS-157.
Ryan: I apologize for not complying. I should've stopped working as soon as you instructed me to.
Kowalski: We were going to get hit no matter what. There was nothing you could do to change that. Hey.
Kowalski: All right. We need to make our way to the Space Station. Over there. [Kowalski points to a bright dot in the distance] It's a bit of a hike, but we need to use their escape pod, the Soyuz, to get back to Earth. Agreed? Dr. Stone, agreed?
Kowalski: All right. After you. [Kowalski ignites his thrusters and he and Ryan push forward, leaving behind the remains of Explorer] Houston in the blind, this is Kowalski. Dr. Stone and I have determined to proceed to ISS and use one of their Soyuz for re-entry. ISS, if you hear us, we could sure use a rescue mission.
Kowalski: Beautiful, don't you think?
Kowalski: The sunrise. That's what I'm gonna miss most. So, where's home, Dr. Stone? Ryan, where's home?
Kowalski: Mm-hm. Down there. Mother Earth. Where do you pitch your tent?
Ryan: Lake Zurich.
Kowalski: Where the hell is that?
Kowalski: Illinois. Central Time Zone. That would make it roughly... 8PM. What are the good people of Lake Zurich doing at 8:00?
Ryan: I don't know. I'm not going to make it, I'm slowing you down.
Kowalski: What would you be doing? Come on, Ryan. It's 8:00. You've just left the hospital after a 18-hour shift.
Ryan: The radio. I listen to the radio.
Kowalski: There we go. Let me guess. NPR? Classical? Top forty?
Ryan: Anything. I don't care, as long as they don't talk, I just drive.
Kowalski: And where are you driving to?
Ryan: I just drive.
Kowalski: What do you miss down there? Is there a Mr. Stone?
Kowalski: Nobody special? Somebody down there looking up? Thinking about you? Ryan?
Ryan: I had a daughter.
[Kowalski switches off his music and watches Ryan in his wrist-mirror]
Ryan: She was four. She was at school, playing tag. Slipped, hit her head, and that was it. Stupidest thing. I was driving when I got the call, so ever since then that's what I do. I wake up. I go to work. And I just drive.
Kowalski: Ryan, do you hear me? Do you copy?
Ryan: My CO2 alarm went off. My CO2 alarm went off.
Kowalski: Look, you need to board the station. Do you see the airlock? Hey, Ryan. You copy? Look for the airlock. It's above you, next to the Zvezda module. You see it?
Ryan: Yes, I see it. I see it.
Kowalski: All right, good. That's where you want to go. Now, you're getting lightheaded, right?
Ryan: Yeah. Yes.
Kowalski: That's because you're breathing CO2. You're losing consciousness. You need to board the station.
Kowalski: Now, that second Soyuz is too damaged for re-entry but it's perfectly fine for a little Sunday drive. Look to the West. You see that dot in the distance? That's the Chinese station. You're gonna take the Soyuz and you're gonna cruise over there. The Chinese lifeboat is a Shenzhou.
Ryan: I've never flown a Shenzhou.
Kowalski: It doesn't matter. It's reentry protocol is identical to the Soyuz.
Kowalski: You never flown the Soyuz either?
Ryan: Only a simulator.
Kowalski: Well, then you know.
Ryan: But I crashed it.
Kowalski: It's a simulator. That's what it's designed for.
Ryan: Every time. I crashed it every time.
Kowalski: You point the damned thing at Earth. It's not rocket science. And by this time tomorrow, you're gonna back in Lake Zurich with a hell of a story to tell. You copy? Ryan, you copy?
Ryan: I'm gonna take the Soyuz and come get you.
Kowalski: No, you're not.
Ryan: I'm coming to get you.
Kowalski: I've got to much of a head start on you.
Ryan: I'm coming to get you.
Kowalski: I'm afraid that ship already sailed. Ryan, you're gonna have to learn to let go.
Ryan: But I--
Kowalski: I want to hear you say you're gonna make it. Come on, Ryan. Say it.
Ryan: I'm gonna make it.
Kowalski: All right. Keep going. What kind of name is Ryan for a girl?
Ryan: Dad wanted a boy.
Kowalski: Are you close to the airlock?
Ryan: Not yet.
Kowalski: Keep going. So now that we have some distance between us, you're attracted to me, right?
Kowalski: Well, people say I have beautiful blue eyes.
Ryan: You have beautiful blue eyes.
Kowalski: I have brown eyes. Hey, you want to know the good news?
Kowalski: I'm gonna break Anatoly's record, and I think mine's gonna stand for a long, long time.
Ryan: Oh, no. I'm coming to get you.
Kowalski: Oh, my God...
Kowalski: Wow. Hey, Ryan?
Kowalski: You should see the sun on the Ganges. It's amazing.
Kowalski: Check your watch - 13 hours and 11 minutes; call Anatoly and tell him he's been bumped. It's a little gloomy in here, isn't it?
Ryan: How did you...?
Kowalski: Trust me, it's a hell of a story.
Ryan: But I...
[Kowalski switches the lights on]
Kowalski: That's better. Found a little extra... little extra battery power; it helps I didn't have you around to distract me. I have to say, I'm glad to see you, I didn't think you were gonna make it. You find the vodka?
Ryan: You never told me where it was, so...
Kowalski: Well... [Kowalski pulls out a small flask from under his seat] To Anatoly. Na zdorovje. [He takes a sip and offers the flask to Ryan, who shakes her head] No? All right, let's get outta here. The Chinese station's about 100 miles; just a little Sunday drive.
Ryan: We can't.
Kowalski: Sure we can.
Ryan: There's no fuel, I tried everything.
Kowalski: Well, there's always something we can do.
Ryan: I tried everything.
Kowalski: Did you try the soft landing jets?
Ryan: They're for landing, so...
Kowalski: Well, landing is launching, it's the same thing, didn't you learn about that in training?
Ryan: I never got to land the simulator, I told you that...
Kowalski: But you know about it.
Ryan: And I crashed it every time, I just-
Kowalski: Listen, do you wanna go back, or do you wanna stay here? [Ryan says nothing] I get it, it's nice up here. You can just... [turns off the lights] shut down all the systems... Turn out all the lights... Just close your eyes and tune out everybody. There's nobody up here that can hurt you. It's safe. I mean what's the point of going on, what's the point of living? Your kid died. Doesn't get any rougher than that. But still, it's a matter of what you do now. If you decide to go, then you gotta just get on with it. Sit back, enjoy the ride. You gotta plant both your feet on the ground and start living life.
Ryan: How did you get here?
Kowalski: I'm telling you, it's a hell of a story. Hey, Ryan?
It’s a movie about space. There’s no sound, there’s no light. There are only two actors. They have full-face helmets for a big part of the movie. The other part of the movie is they just get lost. That’s something that would be really, really tough to pass here in our company. I’m sure it was a similar situation in Hollywood. Despite that, Alfonso Cuarón got into that project, convinced everyone to move along with it, wrote the story with his son, and made a huge commercial success out of it. That’s something as a creator really impacted me. Making something out of the ordinary, that you wouldn’t think of or be able to do, and making that happen while making it a success. That’s something that I can empathize with and I’m also very jealous of it as a creator. It stirred something in me.