Thanks for the link. I've been telling people that was my favourite scene in Apollo 13 this whole time.
Frankly, the people posting hate on this book (I'm on the last chapter and have been reading it almost bouncing in my chair the whole time, all week) fill me with laughter and pity.
Guys, you are very, very literally-minded people with dull imaginations and badly need to get laid or otherwise loosen up. Novels are not instruction manuals on how to set up your BBQ. Novels are mostly metaphors. Not just the "moon was a ghostly galleon" kind of direct metaphors you find in a sentence, the whole problem and setting and plot are a larger metaphor. It's like you're critiquing a "Tale of Two Cities" as unbelievable because no two unrelated guys were ever that much of a pair of twins that close associates would be fooled.
The author has created a pulse-pounding drama by having it be One Man Against Nature, a really classic trope, read your Jack London. Yes, he cut a bunch of corners to make it possible for one guy to do just way, way more than the equipment and energy and available potatoes could really do, so that the story could be one man, forseeable tech, near future. The reality is that we'll have all those kinds of difficulties, need all that ingenuity, have all those close shaves, exploring space and Mars...but it'll be spread over many people and many missions and the specific problems will be different (and they'll totally obey every law of nature). The novel distills all that future adventure into one guy in one year, like distilling beer down into Scotch.
No one real-life action hero has 22 life-threatening adventures in one year; no one detective catches dozens of wily, smart, prepared serial killers in one career, (hell, no one town has that many). But by concentrating the adventures of a zillion cops and lawyers into one cast, stories are created that *people will watch* whereas real-life stories may be found on obscure cable channels Sunday afternoons.
The best story about making of Interstellar was the director telling Kip Thorne he needed the black hole to warp time by many years to the hour...long walk on the beach or whatever, and Thorne comes back with "well, barely possible, if it was spinning at an insane rate", and, well, that became the kind of black hole it had to be. [ And of course, that's after the magic FTL wormhole was already sucked up by the scientists. ]
The point of Interstellar was not to compete with Cosmos, it was to wake up the audience to just how amazing and complex space-time really can be in extreme locations; people got to marvel at the human meaning that time-rate-compression would have, what a black hole would look like, how a wormhole entrance would be a sphere, a 3D portal through 4D. All that was AWESOME and if you let your literal-mindedness close these stories off from your enjoyment of it, your other hobbies must include throwing cold water on your pants while clicking through Chive hotbodies, because "in reality" you are never going to meet those hot people.