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Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American ReadSix days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first peo. In the Classroom Edition of The Martian: Classroom-appropriate languageDiscussion questions and activitiesQ&A with Andy WeirSix days ago, astronau. The Martian: A Novel - Ebook written by Andy Weir. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Download for offline reading.
It does, offer, however, extremely harsh good for scouring that burned on gunk from sauce pans and long-lasting as in months dust storms.
And if that was not enough he faces an array of other challenges. Real challenges. For example, the music he has for his stay consists of disco. The viewing options include 70s TV. Most of us might give serious consideration to minimizing the guaranteed pain, frustration, starvation and inevitable death by, maybe, taking a short hustle outside sans that special suit.
It would be a very, very short last dance. Watney is either a cock-eyed optimist or an idiot.
I'm going with the former, as he is indeed made of the right stuff. He is the poster boy for positive attitude. It does not hurt that he is way smart, with expertise in a wide-enough range of things scientific to matter. It does not hurt that he is an engineer who gets off on taking apart, putting back-together, figuring out, thinking through, testing, trying, and pushing envelopes.
But his crew is headed home, and what hope is there, really? It is a gripping story with one of the most adorable heroes you are likely to encounter, on this planet or any other.
No, Kibby, not a kitten How could you not root for a guy who scrapes through Thanksgiving dinner for potato parts to plant for food? A novel used a different classic traveler in the same sort of format.
Of course those tellings had a lot more in common with the Barsoom of Edgar Rice Burroughs as seen by Frank Frazetta than they do with the vision we have of the Red Planet today, or, say, reality. Reality Or is it? One of these was a shot of you know where. There are technical elements, of course but more interesting, for me, were the political considerations. To tell the crew or not? Imagine how bummed out, embarrassed, and guilty you might be on that ship the Hermes returning home, knowing you had left one behind.
Might it affect your ability to take care of necessary business for the next bunch of months? Another question is whether to tell the public, and if so, when. How about getting help from other space-capable nations? Are any international dealings simple? There is also some in-house NASA staff maneuvering that is wonderful to see. Andy Weir In her fabulous book on writing, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott writes Having a likeable narrator is like having a great friend whose company you love, whose mind you love to pick, whose running commentary totally holds your attention, who makes you laugh out loud… Probably the greatest strength of The Martian is the narration of Mark Watney.
He is engaging and funny, optimistic and capable. I suppose there are some who might find him lacking in sharp edges, but I thought he worked great.
Matt Damon as Mark Watney, enjoying the view — from the film. The new earth-based shooting location was Wadi Rum , Jordan.
The Martian A Novel By Andy Weir
I am sure they did plenty of color adjustments in post, but boy-o-boy does this place look like an alien landscape. Gripes Yes, really, there is too much scientific detail. It is not that it is beyond the comprehension of a lot of readers although it will skip by a fair number it is the share of time, the number of pages, the sheer volume of obstacles to be overcome, and the very detailed explanation of so many of them that tilts the book a bit too much towards the MacGyver demo.
Weir writes very well about the other elements of the story. Its sole purpose is to get six humans from Mars orbit to the surface without killing any of them.
And now we come to the real trick of Mars exploration: having all of our shit there in advance. A total of fourteen unmanned missions deposited everything we would need for surface operations. They tried their best to land all the supply vessels in the same general area, and did a reasonably good job.
But they tend to bounce around a lot. Start to finish, including supply missions, a Mars mission takes about three years. In fact, there were Ares 3 supplies en route to Mars while the Ares 2 crew were on their way home.
The most important piece of the advance supplies, of course, was the MAV. The Mars ascent vehicle. That was how we would get back to Hermes after surface operations were complete. The MAV was soft-landed as opposed to the balloon bounce-fest the other supplies had.
Of course, it was in constant communication with Houston, and if there had been any problems with it, we would have passed by Mars and gone home without ever landing. The MAV is pretty cool. Turns out, through a neat set of chemical reactions with the Martian atmosphere, for every kilogram of hydrogen you bring to Mars, you can make thirteen kilograms of fuel.
It takes twenty-four months to fill the tank. It was a ridiculous sequence of events that led to me almost dying, and an even more ridiculous sequence that led to me surviving. The mission is designed to handle sandstorm gusts up to kph. So Houston got understandably nervous when we got whacked with kph winds. We all got in our flight space suits and huddled in the middle of the Hab, just in case it lost pressure.
The MAV is a spaceship. It has a lot of delicate parts. After an hour and a half of sustained wind, NASA gave the order to abort. We had to go out in the storm to get from the Hab to the MAV. That was going to be risky, but what choice did we have?
Everyone made it but me. Our main communications dish, which relayed signals from the Hab to Hermes, acted like a parachute, getting torn from its foundation and carried with the torrent.
Along the way, it crashed through the reception antenna array. Then one of those long thin antennae slammed into me end-first. It tore through my suit like a bullet through butter, and I felt the worst pain of my life as it ripped open my side. I vaguely remember having the wind knocked out of me pulled out of me, really and my ears popping painfully as the pressure of my suit escaped.
The last thing I remember was seeing Johanssen hopelessly reaching out toward me. I awoke to the oxygen alarm in my suit. A steady, obnoxious beeping that eventually roused me from a deep and profound desire to just fucking die.
The storm had abated; I was facedown, almost totally buried in sand. The antenna had enough force to punch through the suit and my side, but it had been stopped by my pelvis. So there was only one hole in the suit and a hole in me, of course. I had been knocked back quite a ways and rolled down a steep hill. Somehow I landed facedown, which forced the antenna to a strongly oblique angle that put a lot of torque on the hole in the suit. It made a weak seal. Then, the copious blood from my wound trickled down toward the hole.
As the blood reached the site of the breach, the water in it quickly evaporated from the airflow and low pressure, leaving a gunky residue behind. More blood came in behind it and was also reduced to gunk. Eventually, it sealed the gaps around the hole and reduced the leak to something the suit could counteract. The suit did its job admirably. Sensing the drop in pressure, it constantly flooded itself with air from my nitrogen tank to equalize. Once the leak became manageable, it only had to trickle new air in slowly to relieve the air lost.
After a while, the CO2 carbon dioxide absorbers in the suit were expended. Not the amount of oxygen you bring with you, but the amount of CO2 you can remove.
In the Hab, I have the oxygenator, a large piece of equipment that breaks apart CO2 to give the oxygen back. But the space suits have to be portable, so they use a simple chemical absorption process with expendable filters. Between the breach and the bloodletting, it quickly ran out of nitrogen.
All it had left was my oxygen tank. So it did the only thing it could to keep me alive. It started backfilling with pure oxygen. I now risked dying from oxygen toxicity, as the excessively high amount of oxygen threatened to burn up my nervous system, lungs, and eyes. An ironic death for someone with a leaky space suit: too much oxygen. Every step of the way would have had beeping alarms, alerts, and warnings.
But it was the high-oxygen warning that woke me. The sheer volume of training for a space mission is astounding. I knew what to do.
Carefully reaching to the side of my helmet, I got the breach kit. The idea is you have the valve open and stick the wide end over a hole. The tricky part was getting the antenna out of the way. I pulled it out as fast as I could, wincing as the sudden pressure drop dizzied me and made the wound in my side scream in agony. I got the breach kit over the hole and sealed it.
It held. The suit backfilled the missing air with yet more oxygen. Checking my arm readouts, I saw the suit was now at 85 percent oxygen.
The Martian: A Novel
I stumbled up the hill back toward the Hab. As I crested the rise, I saw something that made me very happy and something that made me very sad: The Hab was intact yay! Right that moment I knew I was screwed. I limped back to the Hab and fumbled my way into an airlock. As soon as it equalized, I threw off my helmet. Once inside the Hab, I doffed the suit and got my first good look at the injury. It would need stitches.
Fortunately, all of us had been trained in basic medical procedures, and the Hab had excellent medical supplies. A quick shot of local anesthetic, irrigate the wound, nine stitches, and I was done. I knew it was hopeless, but I tried firing up the communications array. No signal, of course. The primary satellite dish had broken off, remember? And it took the reception antennae with it. The Hab had secondary and tertiary communications systems, but they were both just for talking to the MAV, which would use its much more powerful systems to relay to Hermes.
Thing is, that only works if the MAV is still around. I had no way to talk to Hermes.
In time, I could locate the dish out on the surface, but it would take weeks for me to rig up any repairs, and that would be too late. In an abort, Hermes would leave orbit within twenty-four hours.
The orbital dynamics made the trip safer and shorter the earlier you left, so why wait? Checking out my suit, I saw the antenna had plowed through my bio-monitor computer. The rest of the crew would have seen the pressure in my suit drop to nearly zero, followed immediately by my bio-signs going flat.
Add to that watching me tumble down a hill with a spear through me in the middle of a sandstorm. They thought I was dead. How could they not? They may have even had a brief discussion about recovering my body, but regulations are clear.
In the event a crewman dies on Mars, he stays on Mars. Leaving his body behind reduces weight for the MAV on the trip back. That means more disposable fuel and a larger margin of error for the return thrust. No point in giving that up for sentimentality. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. So yeah. Today I took stock of supplies and did a quick EVA to check up on the external equipment.
For redundancy, the supply probes had enough food to last the whole crew fifty-six days. We were six days in when all hell broke loose, so that leaves enough food to feed six people for fifty days. Each crew member had two space suits: a flight spacesuit to wear during descent and ascent, and the much bulkier and more robust EVA suit to wear when doing surface operations. My flight spacesuit has a hole in it, and of course the crew was wearing the other five when they returned to Hermes.
But all six EVA suits are still here and in perfect condition. Reader's Guide 1. What did you find most surprising about it? What makes us root for a character to live in a survival story?
Sci-fi author Andy Weir on how he'd change The Martian and why his latest book is set on the moon
In what ways do you identify with Mark? How does the author get you to care about him?
Do you believe the crew did the right thing in abandoning the search for Mark?It's a science fiction story that could actually happen in real life. Sensing the drop in pressure, it constantly flooded itself with air from my nitrogen tank to equalize.
It is very true to the book, with the improvement of not getting bogged down in details, has a great cast, looks amazing and does a fantastic job of promoting science.
Hermes is powered by ion engines. To what extent loyalty? So it did the only thing it could to keep me alive. It made a weak seal.
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