When Cooper and co goes to the first planet to explore, it is revolving around the black hole. Why didn't the space ship get sucked into the black hole?

As we know that the gravity of a black hole is enormous - how were they able to land on the planet?

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    "Why didn't the space ship get sucked into the black hole? " - Uh, disregarding any less accurate scifi movies or any cartoons, this is not really how a black hole works. It's just a highly massive thing, you can orbit around it like every other massive object, just don't get too near to it. We don't all get sucked into the sun either, and that's already a pretty heavy thing.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 11:22
  • @ Napoleon Wilson As much as I know Black holes have high gravitational pull that even light cannot escape and also the black holes are invisible, only big stars which are much much bigger than sun and have huge gravitational pull can revolve around the black hole that too with enormous amount of speed. Now If u have noticed Mr cooper and co lands on a planet having 130% gravity of earth ... that's impossible.... that tiny planet should get sucked into the black hole first .... then where will mr cooper land?? on hot star like sun?? Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 12:02
  • Why should that planet get sucked in, it's orbiting around the balck hole like our planet orbits around the sun. That's aboslutely not impossible. The problem arises when the planet crosses the black hole's event horizon. Then it won't get out of its pull.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 12:04
  • earth revolves around the sun ... sun revolves around something .... In our Milky way Galaxy there are lots of stars revolving around the center of the galaxy ... and at the extreme center of the galaxy huge stars revolve at very great speeds ... now this is possible only if there is a black hole in the center if the galaxy. Now my point is at such a close distance from the Black hole you need super fast speed and huge mass and gravity to revolve around it. Its possible for Huge stars only ... this small planet cant stay into revolving orbit for much time.. Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 12:16
  • Down vote because the dialog very plainly explains why the crew went to it first, and why it isn't sucked into the black hole.
    – cde
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


The Telegraph explored some of the science of Interstellar:

Miller’s planet is as close to the huge black hole Gargantua as it can be without getting sucked in.


The crew of Interstellar’s Endurance spaceship faced a headache when trying to get to Miller’s planet because it is trapped within the control of the huge black hole Gargantua.

To avoid being sucked into the black hole, the spaceship had to be travelling at high speed to escape the huge gravitational and centrifugal forces.

In Interstellar, Cooper gets round his speed dilemma by slingshotting around a the black hole.


However the speed needed to escape something as massive as Gargantua is huge. The Endurance would need to be travelling at close to the speed of light to escape the huge pull of the black hole, and then quickly slow down so it could land on the planet. The sudden change in momentum would almost certainly tear the ship apart.

There's a similar question on Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange. It got closed down for being off-topic but it has an answer about black holes in general.

There is another question on the SF&F SE where the answer contains some relevant information. It cites information from The Science of Interstellar by physicist Kip Thorne (who was a consultant on the movie, and co-wrote the original script treatment):

As for how they manage to navigate from one orbit to another, Thorne discusses this in chapter 7. Basically his answer is that although their rockets alone wouldn't be sufficient, they use gravitational slingshots past other massive objects in orbit around Gargantua, including smaller black holes and neutron stars.

There's a long excerpt that explains a lot of this in detail.


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