In comments below this excellent answer to Are there methods of lightning detection on Mars? I lament not being able to remember where I'd read about radio noise in the receiver of a real-world Martian lander or rover being interpreted as electrical discharges in dust storms on the planet.

Now I'm afraid that I might be remembering something from a work of fiction.

Question: Was radio interference caused by Martian dust storms ever addressed in the 2000 film Red Planet?

Science background: Dust particles can become charged in high velocity turbulence in a dry atmosphere due to collisions with each other or perhaps the surface.

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    Possibly The Martian? Have you read the book or seen the movie?
    – Moriarty
    Oct 1, 2020 at 5:33
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    The dust storm is obviously a key plot device in The Martian, but I don't recall any mention of dust storms causing even radio interference let alone a radio blackout. Oct 1, 2020 at 6:09
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    I've ransacked my book collection but I can find surprisingly few mentions of Martian dust storms causing communication problems, and none in which this is the main plot device. There are mentions of storms causing physical damage to antennae, but aside from this all I can find are throwaway comments e.g. in Ben Bova's novel Mars there is a comment: the interference of the dust storm made the transmissions relayed from orbit sound faint, blurred with crackling static. Oct 1, 2020 at 6:50
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    @Uhoh - I've retracted my close vote. The question is now answerable but as Carrot has pointed out, it's still not entirely clear if you're looking for a Story-ID or specifically asking about the film. I'm happy to let it stand though.
    – Valorum
    Oct 1, 2020 at 10:37


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