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[Movies / TV]

How do they keep their atmosphere on Elysium?

Just watched Elysium with my best friend, the movie written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. And I was wondering how they manage to keep an atmosphere on the Elysium station? There is no dome, or field of some kind, so how does their atmosphere stay and not dissipate into Space?


by: SDot


January 08, 2015 (5 years ago)

13 Replies & Comments


by: G-102

Message #1

January 12, 2015 (5 years ago)


by: G-103

Message #2

January 12, 2015 (5 years ago)

Who tells you their oxygen is being "kept"? May be the just permanently produce oxygen and let it evaporate in space. They are rich, and like in real-life, rich can waste things as much as they want, since they are rich!

by: G-108

Message #3

January 12, 2015 (5 years ago)

They aren't letting it leak out to space. It wouldn't leak--it would explode out all at once. You have to have an artificial gravity which they don't bother to explain in the movie, since they were more concerned with stealing Larry Niven's concept of the Ring World, which uses a "spin" to give a "gravity" and keep in the atmosphere.

In this movie, it seems they generate a gravity effect, since I don't seen the ring spinning. Or maybe I just didn't notice. But, if they were generating an artificial gravity, then when the computers booted, and the power went off for a second, the atmosphere would have blown out into space right then. I dunno.

by: G-110

Message #4

January 12, 2015 (5 years ago)

Elysium is spinning, creating gravity, look again.


by: SDot

Message #5

January 15, 2015 (5 years ago)

The spinning ring in space would not create gravity it would cause centrifugal force, pushing you into the ring. I think that the speed it would need to spin at to hold air in would have to be so fast ,due to air having very low mass ,that people would be significantly squished into the ring.If the density and pressure of the atmosphere increased enough it might interfere with breathing too.Or maybe you would only need very small breaths. 😉

by: G-162

Message #6

January 28, 2015 (4 years ago)

The idea of it spinning is valid, both Centripetal force and Centrifugal Force are why the air is still there. If you notice during the arrival at Elysium, there are walls on both sides. Also, while it is not as large, by many factors as Larry Niven's Ring World, it is pretty large, and there could be force fields or something that are above the actuall walls. All in all, I enjoyed the movie! Air or no air!!

by: G-182

Message #7

February 02, 2015 (4 years ago)

A spinning ring of Elysium would not be enough to support an atmosphere, yes I'm sure a ring with walls could theoretically keep an air pocket pinned against the inner surface but there would not be enough air to create the minimum pressure for life to exist namely about 5 psi with pure oxygen.

by: G-965

Message #8

June 14, 2016 (3 years ago)

I agree with the gravity issue. If you look around, there's several websites with the physics of keeping a breathable atmosphere in a torus (donut) environment like Elysium and Ringworld. It is not *conceptually* difficult. Holding in the atmosphere is one thing, but getting the habitat built is another!

by: G-977

Message #9

July 02, 2016 (3 years ago)

The height of the sides of the ring holding in the atmosphere will have to be at least 10km tall to create 100,000 pascals of atmospheric pressure similar to the sea level on Earth. So yeah, in theory it could be done, but not economical. The Elysium in the movie wont work, the air would be as thin as Mars. Unless there was force fields which I did not remember seeing any.

by: G-1331

Message #12

May 19, 2017 (2 years ago)

I would like to add another problem, which is how do they keep everyone in side Elysium and not simply flung out in to space. If satellites and the International Space Station had a puncture then the crew would be sucked out and die a few seconds later. How do the designers of Elysium tackle this problem?

by: G-1222

Message #10

March 20, 2017 (2 years ago)

With sections that can be closed off.

by: G-1327

Message #11

May 17, 2017 (2 years ago)

had to be some form of force field, but, it is just a movie!
should have been a sealed closed ring, with entry ports for craft.

by: G-1377

Message #13

July 23, 2017 (2 years ago)

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