17

It is stated in Interstellar that each one hour spent on Miller's Planet equals seven years earth time.

Cooper and his colleagues spend some time on the planet, and by the time they return, Romilly says that he has been waiting for 23 years, which means they must have spend three hours on the planet (highly doubted). But that's not the question.

How did Romilly survive 23 years on that Endurance? Did he have unlimited food supplies? What about the generated waste (if you know what I mean)? Did they just throw it all in space?

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    It's been a while since a saw the movie but I remember that Romily told them when they got back that he slept (there is technology that allows them to sleep for many years). You can check the part where they return to the ship. You can also see that when they explore the other planet the initial explorer is found sleeping and it is awaken by them. – Alexandru Cimpanu Jun 15 '15 at 10:01
  • Similar question from another site: How did Romilly's food supplies last 23 years? – Rand al'Thor Jan 28 at 14:19
23

"Hypersleep Pods (a.k.a. "the long nap") are used to slow the ageing process of the human body so that astronauts do not incur excessive senescence and not overly consume limited supplies while on their missions." reference

Romily clearly states that he had slept for a while.

  • Thanks. So, he slept for 23 years, and woke up just in time to meet them? When exactly did he wake up? Was he awokened by the bots prior to the arrival of Cooper? – Ahmad Jun 15 '15 at 11:27
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    I do not remember all the details. From what I remember he tells them when they arrived that he did some researches, slept for a couple of times and that he was preparing for a long sleep. As I recall you can set the time you want to sleep, it just happened that he was awake. – Alexandru Cimpanu Jun 15 '15 at 12:23
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    He said that at first he slept much and long, but then after their return seemed less likely he didn't sleep much more since he thought he couldn't such sleep his life away. So when they arrived back at the Endurance he already was awake for quite some time (years maybe), as also indicated by his beard and his generally slightly older appearance. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 15 '15 at 12:44
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    "Couple of stretches" to be precise @AlexandruCimpanu – Faizan Rabbani Jun 16 '15 at 4:42
15

Here is the conversation after Cooper and Amelia return to Endurance.

Brand: Hello, Rom.
Romilly: I've waited years.
Cooper: How... How many years?
Romilly: By now it must be …
CASE: Twenty-three years, four months, eight days.
Romilly: Doyle?
Brand: I thought I was prepared. I knew the theory. Reality's different.
Romilly: And [Miller's Planet]?
Brand: There's nothing here for us. Why didn't you sleep?
Romilly: Oh, I had a couple of stretches. But I stopped believing you were coming back. And something seemed wrong about dreaming my life away.

Romilly didn't sleep for the whole period, that's why he looked aged compared to Cooper and Amelia when they come back. He was a scientist by heart so after taking a couple of stretches as he said, he started doing research on the black hole (Gargantua) and that's how he spent 23 years.

About the food supplies and all, it is not clearly mentioned anywhere in the movie, but he might be able to stretch the supplies with those couple of stretches he took while Cooper and Amelia were away.

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    This should be accepted answer, he doesn't took the long nap. – Aravindh Gopi May 24 '17 at 10:54
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It was a movie error anyways, they said an hour there was 7 years on earth.. rommily was in orbit, right by the black hole the same as them.. So time would be the same for him as it was for Brand and Cooper. Only on earth would 24 years have gone by. Unless I'm missing something.

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Basically it was poor writing, they wanted to toss something wacky at the audience but did not care about the complications. Perhaps there'd have been enough food were the astronaut "sleeping" but where does the oxygen come from? Knowing the effects of relativity it seems extremely foolish that anyone even landed on that planet, especially since the real reason they went there in the first place was to inspect the black hole.

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