Ad Astra

Factual error: From the continuity of the movie it appears that the response from LIMA came within a few minutes of the transmission from Mars. This would be impossible. Even if Mars and Neptune were on the same side of the Solar System, in a straight line, they would be 4 light-hours apart, meaning the replay could not be received less than 8 hours after transmission. There's no implication that they kept Brad Pitt sitting in a room for 8 hours waiting for a reply.

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Suggested correction: The objective of sending McBride to Mars was for him to transmit a number of appeals to his father on a familial level. Although McBride didn't know it, his messages were intended to catch his father off-guard, making him believe his son was en route to Neptune, but actually clearing the way for a nuclear strike against the LIMA. Unfortunately, the movie fails to make it clear that the younger McBride is transmitting several sequential messages over an extended period of time before his father finally responds. This is more a matter of bad pacing and editing than it is a factual error.

Charles Austin Miller

It was shown that the message the father answered was exactly the one in which the son rejected the script and began to speak from the heart. And this was the same message after which the father immediately answered, while the son was still in the room.

No, Roy McBride sent more than one message, and it even shows time pass between messages. His father's reply to an earlier message only arrived coincidentally as Roy went off-script on a subsequent message.

Charles Austin Miller

Suggested correction: IIRC, there was a communication sent from earlier. It's very possible they resumed 8 hours later, even if it was the next day. And, judging by the auditors sentiment to LIMAs response (discretion), there is a chance that LIMA did not respond favorably, nor ever would have a chance hear the "emotional" version of the communication sent that day.

Factual error: Pitt and the other astronauts fight at zero gravity during the take off. However, they are under acceleration, so they wouldn't be able to move.

Factual error: When driving across the moon, Brad Pitt waves his hand through lunar dust that's floating in the air. But there's no atmosphere on the moon to suspend dust like that, even if was kicked up by another buggy - it would fall straight back down.

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Suggested correction: Dust particles become charged by electrostatic and radiated by Ultraviolet rays from the sun. This would cause the dust particles would leap several centimeters above the surface of the moon and the lack of gravity would keep them floating there. This is why the moon has a 'Horizon Glow'. Source: https://www.sciencealert.com/nasa-just-explained-why-moon-dust-is-levitating-above-the-lunar-surface.

But these aren't "several centimetres" above the surface - they're a good metre or more up, at head height when sitting in the lunar rover.

There is no lack of gravity at that height. The particles would tend to fall back down to the surface like anything else would. They'd stay suspended at a constant altitude only if there's an upward force to balance the downward force. Even given that much, individual particles would not stay suspended stably owing to dynamics spelled out in Earnshaw's Theorem.

More mistakes in Ad Astra

Trivia: When Roy McBride is reviewing a top-secret message regarding his father and the LIMA mission, the message filename is "6EQUJ5," which is a very obscure easter egg in the movie. The filename 6EQUJ5 refers to the real-life "WOW Signal," a deep space radio signal received by the Big Ear radio telescope at Ohio State University in 1977. The alpha-numeric designation "6EQUJ5" was a printed readout of the signal's duration and intensity. This signal lasted 72 seconds and was 20 times stronger than background radio noise, causing a surprised astronomer to circle the printed 6EQUJ5 readout in red ink and make the handwritten notation "WOW!" in the margin. While the signal was an anomalous one-time event that was never repeated, and there is still no proof that 6EQUJ5 was alien in origin, it has stimulated debate about extraterrestrial radio signals for decades. Ironically, the movie "Ad Astra" concludes that there are no alien radio signals and that we really are alone in the universe.

Charles Austin Miller

Trivia: The title is Latin and translates to "to the stars". The title credits fade that wording in English into the title.

Trivia: The tear Brad Pitt sheds when talking to his father towards the end is real. He told the director: "You gotta replace my tear, that's not how it works in zero-gravity", but the director preferred the genuine tear over a CGI replacement.

Roy McBride: I'm steady, calm. I slept well, no bad dreams. I am active and engaged. I'm aware of my surroundings and those in my immediate sphere. I'm attentive. I am focused on the essentials, to the exclusion of all else. I'm unsure of the future but I'm not concerned. I will rely on those closest to me, and I will share their burdens, as they share mine. I will live and I will love.

Roy McBride: Why go on? Why keep trying?

Roy McBride: Can I have a blanket and pillow?
Flight Attendant: Certainly, that will be $125.

More quotes from Ad Astra

Question: Tommy Lee Jones killed his crew 16 years ago, but the corpses are still inside the ship, some of them without signs of decomposition! Is not it stinky living with rotten bodies? Why are they still on board?

Answer: He killed the crew by shutting down the life support. The vacuum would prevent them from decomposing. Since he was now a single person, he would not need to regain access to the entire ship.

But one corpse's head was deformed, presumably rotten, while the others were intact. Why is there a difference?

Answer: He also mentions that his last few loyal crew members recently attempted to return home. This is what damaged the reactor and caused the surges. It is likely that these are the crew Brad Pitt encounters.

Question: The Lima produces surges that disrupt electronics. Why isn't the Lima affected?

Question: How did the monkeys get onto the space ship and why were they so aggressive?

Answer: On the way from the Moon to Mars, the Cepheus interplanetary vessel receives an automated distress signal from a Norwegian bio-medical space station (that studies and conducts experiments on Earth animals in the deep-space environment). Apparently, a couple of very powerful and temperamental adult baboons escaped from their cages and killed everyone aboard the space station, feeding on their bodies. When the Cepheus answers the distress signal and arrives at the space station, the baboons attack and try to eat Captain Tanner and Roy McBride, also.

Charles Austin Miller
More questions and answers from Ad Astra

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