Actress Rebecca Ferguson who plays Dr. Miranda North, British, Quarantine Officer, originally turned down the role. She thought she would not live up to standards. She was nervous and scared. She told it to the producer and was advised to talk with the director of the movie Daniel Espinosa. His philosophy and ideas for the film impressed her and decided to change her decision and eventually take part in the movie.
This was the second time Hiroyuki Sanada played an astronaut. He previously played one in Sunshine (2007). Both movies also co-starred an actor who has played a Marvel Comic Book character. Chris Evans has played Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Four and its sequel (2005-2007) and currently plays Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He co-stars in Sunshine with Hiroyuki Sanada. Ryan Reynolds plays Deadpool and co-stars in this movie. Ryan Reynolds also played DC Comics character Hal Jordan in the critically panned Green Lantern (2011).
Both Hiroyuki Sanada and Ryan Reynolds have starred opposite Hugh Jackman in the X-Men character Wolverine movies. Sanada played Shingen in The Wolverine (2013) and Reynolds played Wade Wilson/Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).
"Goodnight Gorilla" was part of an assignment in my graduate level astronomy class in college. When the little girl says goodnight to the moon, the cresent moon is facing a direction that would be impossible for the early evening rising moon.
The part when Jake tells a story when he was still in school watching television about the Challenger mission coincidentally he portrays a character watching the television live about the the launching of the Challenger mission. That movie was October Sky.