Ad Astra

Ad Astra (2019)

11 mistakes

(1 vote)

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: 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: 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:

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.

New this month 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.

Factual error: Regarding people walking on the moon base, the movie made no attempts at recreating the moon's gravity being 1/6 of earth's. Everyone just walks around normally like on earth. Impossible.

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Suggested correction: Maybe there is some kind of artificial gravity field around the moon city, because during the moon rover chase, the gravity is apparently the normal, 1/6 Earth gravity.

There is nothing else about the technology shown in the film that would suggest such a thing is possible. All other technology shown is somewhat recognisable as an advancement on the present day. They at no point suggest the use of artificial gravity.

This correction appears to be made by someone guessing without knowledge of the film or scene. While using "maybe" in a correction could be considered valid, generally it's only when presenting a number of plausible explanations and you suggest 1 as an example. But 1 random maybe isn't acceptable, especially without in-film proof.


Character mistake: Brad Pitt has control jets on his space suit - he uses them to accelerate him back towards his ship at the end, but somehow doesn't think to turn himself around and use them to slow down, hence slamming into the ship at great speed. Given the skill he demonstrates every other time in the movie, this only seems to happen for the sake of a dramatic arrival.

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Suggested correction: It is not unfeasible that he used the RPS fuel to accelerate and had none left, since he already wasted a certain amount after his father pulled him away from Lima station.

In space you can't just swing around and change directions because there is no friction or gravity. He would have to have a jet that shoots forward (a retrorocket) or he would have to turn using the jets which would make him go in the opposite direction, not slow him down. From what I saw, there was no retrorocket on his pack.


Factual error: A nuclear explosion couldn't kick start a rocket on its journey home as shown. There's no atmosphere, hence no shockwaves to help propel the ship forwards.

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Suggested correction: The explosion itself is still a projection of energy that would push the ship. The plan itself is stupid, as it would be impossible to correctly set a trajectory, but the explosion would still push the ship.

The only way the explosion could transfer energy to the ship would be if massive pieces of the Lima slammed into the ship, destroying it.

The explosion creates violently expanding gases that apparently were great enough to offer some push to the rocket. Since there is no friction in space to act against the force, theoretically the ship would be pushed at the same speed as the expanding gases.


New this month What the spacecraft needs is some way to acquire momentum from the explosion. The explosion does convert a great deal of nuclear energy in the form of radiation, but not very much useful momentum. This was a major hurdle attacked during Project Orion back in the early 1960s, which was a program to develop an interplanetary spaceship propelled by exploding a series of nuclear bombs near to an aft pusher plate. The solution was to coat the plate's surface with a material which would ablate off the plate. The material would rise in temperature under the intensely hot radiation, with its molecular constituents vibrating violently. At a critical temperature the outermost molecules would attain escape velocity and scatter off the plate aftward. Momentum is conserved, so the aftward momentum of each escaping molecule would be balanced by an equal increase of forward momentum by the spacecraft.

Factual error: Cepheus is clearly moving at immense speeds to make the journeys it does at the speeds it does. But despite the great speed it seems to have no problem slowing down on a whim for a mayday, then speeding back up again to get to Mars. And if it's got that much power on hand, what are all the solar panels for?

Factual error: The Cepheus appears to be under continuous acceleration on the way to Mars, and to Neptune. That would be the only way it could travel so far so fast. So, there would not be weightlessness any any time on board the ship, unless the engines were turned off.

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Suggested correction: You are making an assumption that Cepheus was under constant acceleration. It could have accelerated to desired speed then "cruised" at that speed the rest of the way.


Continuity mistake: When Brad Pitt is viewing the log from his father, the time index on the log goes up to 40 seconds and more and then jumps back down again.


Factual error: There no explanation given for why Cepheus does not have enough fuel to return to Earth. It would have been refueled on Mars and sent on a mission to Neptune. They wouldn't have sent it without enough fuel to return.

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Suggested correction: It's never specifically stated, but the implication is that they are going to destroy LIMA with a nuclear weapon, and the ship and astronauts are not expected to survive.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

Character mistake: Brad Pitt ends his message to his dad by saying "over and out", which is often used in movies but not how radio communication works. "Over" signifies the end of your current speech, "out" means you're done with the conversation. You use one or the other, not both.

Character mistake: When Cepheus stops accelerating (which it would not have done until it turned to decelerate) crew plays in zero G's like amateurs who had never been in space. They were described as professionals with a lot of experience. They would never have risked fluid in the electronics by doing what they did.

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

More trivia for Ad Astra

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