Ridley Scott’s “The Martian,” adapted from the book of the same name by Andy Weir, follows the ordeal of Matt Damon’s character Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut who is left on Mars after a severe storm strikes the the red planet. With limited resources to his avail, he fights to survive on the inhospitable planet.
His supplies can only last a month, but he needs to find a way to prolong their sustenance until the next Mars mission will land four years later. He strives to realize his endeavors by coming up with ways to grow food on the Martian soil and contacting Earth. According to Popular Science, the movie brings together realistically applied science and engineering and a gripping drama.
In one scene, Watney says, “In the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option.
“I’m going to have to science the s*** out of this.”
According to Daily Mail, Damon’s character uses sprouts from potatoes his crew had brought along. He estimates the amount of calories he will require to survive on Mars for four years (2,137,500 cal) in addition to the area of land he’ll need to cultivate.
However, NASA says that Mars’ atmosphere is sustainable for setting up a greenhouse. In its attempt to find out if the planet is habitable, the agency is proposing sending plant life on Mars in mid-2020.
According to space.com, Mars Plant Experiment deputy principal investigator Heather Smith, of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, said last year at the Humans 2 Mars conference in Washington, D.C., “In order to do a long-term, sustainable base on Mars, you would want to be able to establish that plants can at least grow on Mars. This would be the first step in that … we just send the seeds there and watch them grow.”
The solar energy the surface of Mars receives is adequate for the growing of plants’ seeds.
Weir, the author of the book, also worked on the chemical reaction using which Watney would be able to produce 600 liters of water from hydrazine and carbon dioxide.
Weir said, “The Curiosity probe recently discovered that Martian soil has quite a lot of ice in it. About 35 liters per cubic meter.
“All you need to do is scoop it up, heat it, and strain out the water. Once you have a good supply, a simple distillery will allow you to reuse it over and over.”
However, Weir does not believe that life exists on the red planet. He also added that a manned mission to Mars does not look likely before 2050.
He said, “I know that sounds further away than most people would like to hear, but the technology necessary to get there and the costs of getting there are just very high and it’s a big challenge.”
In addition to Damon, “The Martian” also features Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Sean Bean and Donald Glover. The film is slated for a release on November 25 in the United States, according to The Huffington Post.
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