Goofs from Ad Astra
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- Antimatter, when it comes into contact with normal matter, does not cause a "chain reaction", as is stated when Roy is being briefed about the Lima Project. When antimatter and matter come into contact, they mutually annihilate each other into pure energy, using Einstein's E=mc2 equation (100% matter-to-energy conversion). There would be no possibility of an antimatter incident at Neptune affecting Earth, except for the one-time burst of energy that such an explosion would create.
- During the lunar rover journey, dust is seen "hanging in the air". This would not occur on the Moon, as there is virtually no atmosphere; all dust thrown up from the ground would immediately fall back to the ground and stay there.
- The distance from Tycho crater (where Roy lands on the Moon) to the center of Farside (where the "Cepheus" is located) is roughly 1,700 miles. Traveling at the speed shown and assuming no stops, Roy's lunar rover would take a couple of days to get there.
- A nuclear explosion would not provide any sort of propulsion to a spaceship, even if it also caused an antimatter explosion. There is no atmosphere in space and no "shockwaves" that could propel a ship. Only whatever directly hit the ship would provide any sort of propulsion, and it would be a one-time, instantly-over event.
- While on Mars and indoors on the Moon, characters experience Earth-normal gravity rather than the dramatically reduced gravity they should.
- Martian permafrost varies in thickness from 3.5km at the equator to 8km at the poles, making an underground lake impossible.
- When the lunar rover goes over the edge of the crater it is in a fast horizontal spin, yet when it hits the surface it is not.
- No explanation is given as to why Roy has to travel to Mars to make the audio recording when it could have easily been recorded on Earth and transmitted to Mars.
- Roy chooses to let his shuttle drift away when arriving at the Lima Project rather than tethering it for the return journey to his ship.
- Cepheus can make the journey from Mars to Neptune in 79 days which means it must have monstrously powerful engines (the same journey took Voyager 12 years). If it has all this power, plus enough spare to detour, de-accelerate, and re-accelerate on a rescue mission, then there is no need for the array of solar panels it sports.
- Neptune's rings are black, not purple.
- Errors in Roy's free fall at the beginning of the film: Roy should have gone "full tilt delta" (arms and legs fully extended) to increase his horizontal distance from the satellite in order to avoid the falling debris. Once his canopy was damaged by debris, he should release it and deploy his spare.
- Roy twice ends his radio transmissions with "over and out." In military terminology, these are contradictory terms. "Over" means the speaker has finished transmitting and is awaiting response. "Out" terminates the conversation.
- While landing on Mars after the system failure, manual mode is switched and Roy tries to set the angle of fall to 0, but he doesn't turn off the engines at any time; he succeeds in setting the angle in the very last second and yet the rocket lands right in the place where it should, instead of miles away from it.
- The speeds at which the spacecraft Pitt pilots to Neptune requires a constant acceleration to make the trip in 79 days. Every external shot of the ship shows its thrusters firing creating this acceleration. This would also facilitate perceived gravity on the ship; however, it is pointed out that the ship has zero gravity.
- When Roy's message is sent to Neptune, a 'top secret laser' is used to do it. At the speed of light the message would have taken >4 hours to reach Neptune. Roy's father's reply would have taken another >4 hours to reach them, summing a total of >9 hours. But Roy is still inside the recording studio when he asks if they have succeed. It is unlikely he was so much time waiting.
- When Roy is speaking to his father inside the spaceship he is seen floating weightless. Therefore the tear he sheds should pool in front of his cornea (consequently distorting his vision). If there are enough tears and he agitates them by blinking or brushing them away, the excess fluid would float into the air rather than down his cheek.
- The nuclear explosion would do little to propel the craft forwards away from the explosion. It would certainly not sent it heading back to Earth on an trajectory to arrive with pin point accuracy many months later.
- The astronaut uses the rotation of the radar, which he sits on, to shoot him off into space with such accuracy that he arrives exactly at his space ship, clearly several miles away. Such accuracy is ridiculous for a slingshot from a rotating beam. In addition, a flat-plane radar would be pretty useless in space.
- There was no reason to send Roy to Mars to make a voice transmission to Neptune. Even if it needed to be transmitted from Mars, he could have recorded it on Earth, transmitted it to Mars, then retransmitted it from Mars to Neptune. Likewise, when they asked him to come back to repeat the transmission, they could have recorded the first transmission and retransmitted it.
- Roy swims through water in his spacesuit. Spacesuits are designed to hold pressure in, not resist pressure from the outside.
- Early in the film, while still on Earth, the camera pans up to show the last-quarter moon, but what is actually shown is the first-quarter moon reversed.
- Climbing up inside a rocket while the engines are running? Wow. Just wow.
- A nuclear blast in space does not produce a shock wave since there is no atmosphere. A nearby spacecraft would be shredded by debris traveling at relativistic speeds rather than being pushed towards earth.
- Roy uses his spacesuit's reactor jets to launch himself too quickly on final approach to Cepheus rather than also using them to slow his approach -- thus requiring him to make the high-risk manual grab as he crashes into it. This is basic spaceflight physics and since Roy demonstrated his knowledge of this when approaching the Lima Project in his shuttle, it makes no sense that he would make this elementary mistake on his return.
- When leaving Mars, Roy sees the huge engines ignite a few feet away from him before he gets inside the rocket, but is not injured. Also, he enters the rocket through a hatch near the engines, but ends up in the crew compartment about 100 meters up.