If Dr. Brand knew Cooper, and knew him well enough to know that he was capable of flying the mission, why didn't he just contact him? It seems like they were pouring a ton of resources into the program, why weren't they also reaching out to and training pilots they already knew? Especially one who lived relatively close to their project base.

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    Asked on SciFi:SE
    – user7812
    Apr 4, 2015 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


The script and novelisation would strongly suggest that NASA were simply unaware that Cooper was still alive, hence their failure to contact him.

With the collapse of the previous NASA structure and the "off the grid" nature of his farming lifestyle it seems likely that they just lost track of him and assumed he was dead.

"We need a pilot. And this is the mission you were trained for.” Cooper thought back to his training. Sure as hell no one had ever mentioned anything like this to him. He’d thought Mars, maybe, or Europa at the outside. “Without ever knowing,” he said. “An hour ago, you didn’t even know I was still alive. And you were going anyway.”

  • Accepted, although the film's internal logic still doesn't hold water for me
    – user30903
    Apr 7, 2015 at 14:37
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    It's a world where the government rewrote textbooks to erase the moon landings to keep people focused on survival on Earth, and society had abandoned many other technologies (like the MRI scanner that could have saved Cooper's wife)... sounds like society was moving technologically backwards -- why is it hard to believe that the government lost track of many citizens?
    – Johnny
    Jun 4, 2015 at 19:34

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