'Gravity' film brings to light the growing problems of space debris

10/06/2013 - 00:00

In the film Gravity, which opened in theaters today, a missile strike on a Russian satellite sets off a cascading space debris disaster that unfolds with shocking speed. The science fiction tale plays out in exaggerated fashion to heighten the human drama of two space-walking astronauts, but its premise is based on a real-life scenario first described by a NASA scientist in 1978.