There is one thing in Netflix’s new space-focused drama “Away” that fans are finding astronomically hard to ignore.
The show, which is based on an Esquire article by Chris Jones (who was part of the “Away” writers room), centers on astronaut Emma Green (Hilary Swank), the captain of an international, NASA-supported mission to Mars.
Set in the near future, the series splits the action between the Atlas, the ship carrying Green and her crew to the red planet, and the people they left behind on Earth. There are several scenes in the first few episodes in which Green calls and video chats with her husband, Matt (Josh Charles), and their teenage daughter, Lexi (Talitha Bateman), from a ship ... in outer space ... headed to Mars.
And the quality of these calls is perfect — no hiccups, no lost connections, not even a screen freezing on someone’s very awkward facial expression.
Despite the amount of research the show did to create a sense of realism — including consultation with former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino — many people on Twitter couldn’t believe how great the cell reception was on the Atlas. Fans sounded off online to express their disbelief and, let’s be real, jealousy.
— Emkay (@Emkay7) September 5, 2020
— Eugene M. Lee™️ (@euge_lee) September 5, 2020
Me: *steps into kitchen, call drops*
Hilary Swank: *Facetimes from the moon*
— Carly (@nuclearcarly) September 9, 2020
I also just started watching #AwayNetflix I assume they all have 6G because they are constantly casually dialing earth from their iPhones while on a spaceship speeding to Mars? I can’t get that kind of reception a block from my home.
— danmeis (@Meisarch) September 8, 2020
Watching #AwayNetflix and the cell reception from space to earth seems amazing! Who is NASA’s cellphone provider?
— Midwest Gal (@MeanMusings) September 7, 2020
Watching this lil show, #AwayNetflix, and they are having livestream conversations from Earth to the moon and I'm like, how they got WiFi up in space but these school kids can't even get a working hotspot?
— rev. rabble rouser (@MiaShellyMac) September 8, 2020
UPDATE: she must be getting closer to Mars cause episode 4 she had a call drop.
— Margaux (@MargauxSusi) September 13, 2020
Hey @netflix, just wondering what kind of cell plan Hillary Swank has on #Away?
Like she's all half way to Mars and getting all her calls, and I can't even get a text back?#jilted #AwayNetflix #spacephonecall
— The Gay Agenda YYC (@thegayagendayyc) September 7, 2020
And although some other Twitter users had their theories as to why the calls had such great reception ...
Considering I’ve tweeted several times about the poor STEM depictions in #AwayNetflix there is one thing I have to defend. People criticising the ‘cellphone reception’ should realise that they’re not making direct calls from the Earth to the ship. The calls are routed via NASA.
— Ian McClellan (@ianmac67_SE) September 10, 2020
Well it takes place in the future.
— DJ.✗Ὀ ♣️ (@The1Deejayy) September 8, 2020
... The actual reason is still unclear.
HuffPost reached out to NASA and Netflix to get some answers, but they didn’t immediately respond. But when we find out the TRUTH, we’ll update this post.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.