Early on in Ad Astra, Roy McBride (Brad Pitt's character) is told "Major, we would like you to send a personal message on Mars by secure laser to what we hope is the Lima Project." Then, he travels to Mars to record a message that will be sent to his dad who's around Neptune.
My question is, why did he have to go all the way to Mars to merely record a message? Couldn't they just have him record a message on Earth, send the message to Mars and then the folks on Mars could have sent the message to Neptune by secure laser? I mean, after getting a response from his dad, they wanted nothing to do with Roy anyway. They were going to send him back to Earth. It's not like they were going to ask him to travel to Neptune if his dad responded. They didn't. His dad responded and they tried to send him to Earth.
So the only reason they brought him all the way to Mars was just to have him record a message that could have been recorded on Earth just as easily. He would have recorded the message on Earth, the message would have been sent to Mars, then the folks on Mars would have transmitted the message to Neptune by secure laser. It's that simple. The only way this film works is if he's asked to go to Mars. If he doesn't go to Mars, there is no film. But the reason he's asked to go there doesn't make any sense at all. Or does it? Am I missing something?