Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Theory Debunked by Astronaut Scott Kelly: ‘Ejection Would Be Very Survivable’

The fall back to Earth? Sorry Maverick, the astrophysicist was correct: “He be dead”

Scott Kelly and Neil deGrasse Tyson
Scott Kelly and Neil deGrasse Tyson

Maverick would survive the ejection – but then the fall gets deadly hot.

Veteran astronaut Scott Kelly on Monday debunked the theory that astrophysicist and television personality Neil deGrasse Tyson floated over the weekend about a scene in “Top Gun: Maverick”: That Pete “Maverick” Mitchell would “splatter like a chainmail glove swatting a worm” as soon as he hit the atmosphere at Mach 10.5.

Then on Monday, Kelly tweeted that a jet would need to be at such high altitude to be able to fly Mach 10.5 in the first place that the thinness of the air would make ejection a breeze:

The problem is, added the former International Space Station commander, Maverick would then begin the fall to Earth. Ever seen what happens to big chunks of rock when they enter the atmosphere? It’s spectacular!

But not in a way favorable to the survival of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

Still, descending in a blaze of meteoric glory is far from deGrasse Tyson’s extremely nerdy and slightly nauseating “chain mail glove swatting a worm” reference.

But unless some occult hand moved to pluck Maverick from the sky, deGrasse Tyson’s outcome for Maverick – “He be dead” – was technically correct.