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H. Clifford McBride is the main antagonist of the 2019 science fiction film Ad Astra. He was the father of Roy McBride and the lead astronaut of the Lima Project, an expedition to discover other life in the solar system. However, when the crew attempted to leave early, it is revealed he killed all of them and abandoned his family to remain in space for 16 years, leading to his son's emotionless mental problems.
29 years in the past, Clifford set off with a team of astronauts to the edge of the solar system to search for extraterrestrial life in the "Lima Project". After 13 years, the crew attempted to leave for back home at Earth, but Clifford, obsessed exclusively with his studies, disabled their life support systems, killing everyone aboard except him, but not before the conflict damaged the station's antimatter core.
16 years later, the surges unleashed by the damaged core reach Earth and begin to cause mass destruction. Clifford's son, prized astronaut major Roy McBride, is sent on a mission to communicate with the Lima Project space station. Reaching a center on Mars, Roy sends a message to his father, but is denied the response when he is removed from the mission for his personal connection. The facility's director, whose parents were among those killed by Clifford's actions, helps Roy sneak onto a launching rocket to confront Clifford.
When the rocket reaches Neptune after several months, Roy heads to the station in a shuttle, the Cepheus. Upon entering he finds the crew's dead bodies and discovered his father at last, who explains everything to him, including that he never cared about his family. Roy copies the information collected by the project, seemingly convinces Clifford to leave with him and plants a nuclear explosive on the station to stop the surges.
Before they can reach the Cepheus, Clifford uses his suit's thrusts to propel them both off course. Unwilling to go back to Earth, Clifford demands Roy to detach their suits' tether. Roy reluctantly complies, leaving Clifford behind to float through space forever.
Clifford McBride says that he has cataracts and has trouble seeing. Cataracts are one of the projected health problems linked to exposure to solar radiation during an extended period in space.
At the 19:25 mark Tommy Lee Jones can be seen wearing the exact same space outfit as he did in Space Cowboys. The only difference is the top two patches have been digitally altered to fit the Space Comm suits in Ad Astra.
Ironically, Tommy Lee Jones also previously worked with Donald Sutherland and Loren Dean in Space Cowboys.