The Martian [SPOILERS]

Loru

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Per Andy's request:

So I want to talk spoilers...should we start a new thread for that to be nice to those who haven't seen it yet?

Personally I was amazed that most of the "IT" work as done in hexadecimal editor. That was really nice accent.

I loved the scene where they were stripping down the MAV in mission control to achieve lowest possible mass. Epic win for "convertible mars ascent vehicle".
 

PhantomCruiser

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Well I haven't seen it yet, but I've read it twice. I'm not sure it can be "spoiled" for me.

I am pretty anxious to see it. I hope it does for the book credit, really that's all I want.
 

garyw

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Read the book in a week and saw the movie. The book is far better than the movie but the movie does very well and tells most of the story in the two and a half hours it has.

I do have one question that is a spoiler, can you REALLY make water from hydrazine like that? It just seemed way, way, way more dangerous than it was worth and would have been better for him to dig down and extract nature Martian ice (if possible)
 

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I do have one question that is a spoiler, can you REALLY make water from hydrazine like that? It just seemed way, way, way more dangerous than it was worth and would have been better for him to dig down and extract nature Martian ice (if possible)

Yes, hydrazine has a lot of hydrogen and it breaks down exothermically in the presence of a catalyst. Ice isn't everywhere on Mars.
 

Loru

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Oh. And one more important thing. Sean Bean doesn't die in this movie.
 

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Oh. And one more important thing. Sean Bean doesn't die in this movie.
The "council of Elrond" bit had me laughing for quite a while, considering that Sean Bean was in the Council of Elrond...
 

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Andy44

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I was wondering about the hydrazine scene as well, not because you can make water with it (you can) but because the stuff is scary dangerous. The slightest whiff of fumes is very very bad for you. But strictly speaking, you can get water from it.

The sand storm was the weakest science part to me. The Iron Man scene was exaggerated for dramatic reasons, but I suppose it would work. And if you have nothing to lose anyway, you might as well try it.
 

Thunder Chicken

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I was wondering about the hydrazine scene as well, not because you can make water with it (you can) but because the stuff is scary dangerous. The slightest whiff of fumes is very very bad for you. But strictly speaking, you can get water from it.

Hydrazine isn't quite that scary, but definitely not something you play with. Most steam power plants use hydrazine solutions as an oxygen-scavenging corrosion inhibitor in boiler water. Straight hydrazine is used in F-16s for EPU operation. I think the hydrazine burning presentation in the movie was reasonable. I did like the scene where Whatney got blown up and later sits down at the computer station, still smoking with his eyebrows singed. Funny, funny scene.

I do want to sit Andy Weir and Ridley Scott down and give them a stern lecture on gas laws and static and dynamic pressure. The sandstorm damage and tilting of the MAV were both impossible, but I understand Weir had to have a scenario that made Whatney a castaway, and it had to be done by Mars (vs. a man-made equipment malfunction). I can't think of another semi-realistic scenario that would do the trick, so I'm willing to look the other way on that. However, patching a 10+ ft diameter hole in the Hab with clear plastic sheeting and duct tape was just ridiculous and could have easily been done better. 14 psi differential multiplied by 10,000 square inches = 140,000 pounds on your plastic and duct tape repair. Result - instantly popped Hab. Had they handwaved some thicker canvas and some super-awesome NASA adhesive I might have been OK with it, but clear Visqueen and duct tape was just wrong.

The pristine condition of Pathfinder and the LEDs and the big ON button on it bothered me, but whatever.

Beck bouncing around on the exterior of Hermes without a tether was just stupid - even people not versed in spaceflight operations know that he should have had tethers. That drama wasn't needed and was an obvious inaccuracy.

The Iron Man scene was just ridiculous. When it was mentioned in the book I knew they would tinker with it in the movie, because Iron Man!, but I think a rescue as presented in the book could have easily been done with the same degree of drama and much more realism. It was just too over the top, turning a dramatic moment into an "Oh WTF!" moment.

I also think the equipment was too futuristic looking. The computer displays looked like they were recycled from the Star Trek Next Generation set. I really was hoping for things to look more near-future, equipment and computers a little closer to what people are familiar with now. It's hard to describe, but a lot of the props struck me as being from a campy sci-fiction movie from another universe vs. something plausible in our near future.

I almost wish they would come out with The Martian - Nerd Edition for scientists and engineers, and leave the regular Martian for the masses who may not be bothered by these details. Maybe even tie it in to current technological development efforts (like MIT's MOXIE experiment) which actually are leading to the technologies seen in the Martian.

OK...I'm done. It was a good movie, really funny in a lot of spots. I enjoyed it immensely. I think it did a good job of pitching a science-based story to the crowd.
 
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PhantomCruiser

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Yes, we have ammonia for pH balancing and hydrazine as an oxygen scavenger. As soon as "they" can find something that works as well as hydrazine; it'll be done away with.

/me holds his breath, because he's been hearing that for more than 15 years.
 

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I do want to sit Andy Weir and Ridley Scott down and give them a stern lecture on gas laws and static and dynamic pressure. The sandstorm damage and tilting of the MAV were both impossible...

Andy Wier addresses you directly in the forward to the book...

Yes the sandstorm is impossible due to Mars' low atmospheric pressure, but without the sandstorm there is no story so shut up and deal with it. :tiphat:
 

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Why does it need to be Mars and not an equipment failure that strands him? Realistically people die or almost die in space when their equipment fails. Challenger, Columbia, Apollo 13, the two Soviet missions that resulted in deaths, fire aboard Mir, collision with Mir...

Or was this a "NASA never fails" propaganda book?

And speaking of propaganda, did the writer kiss up to the Chinese in the book knowing he would get a movie deal (since movie companies all suck up to the Chinese government now to gain access to that market)?

Sorry, Thunder Chicken, I say this as someone with nerd-high standards, your standards are too high. You want a movie for nerds? This is as close as we can ever wish for out of Hollywood, I'm afraid! :shrug:
 

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IIRC, the author said he couldn't think of a way to cause an equipment failure that wouldn't result in the death of all the crew members, not just Mark Watney. Understandable, seeing as in-flight fatalities have pretty much been an all-or-nothing situation.
 
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Thunder Chicken

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Sorry, Thunder Chicken, I say this as someone with nerd-high standards, your standards are too high. You want a movie for nerds? This is as close as we can ever wish for out of Hollywood, I'm afraid! :shrug:

True, it was really good, for Hollywood standards. Man is never content, I guess.

It all really depends on the flavor of nerd that you are. I saw this with two computer scientist PhDs and they were enthralled with it; many the physical impossibilities (except for Iron Man) sailed by unnoticed by them. I am a mechanical engineer with a background in thermo-fluids that teaches those subjects so I wince when Force = Pressure x Area is done so obviously wrong.
 

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Beck bouncing around on the exterior of Hermes without a tether was just stupid - even people not versed in spaceflight operations know that he should have had tethers. That drama wasn't needed and was an obvious inaccuracy.

The Iron Man scene was just ridiculous. When it was mentioned in the book I knew they would tinker with it in the movie, because Iron Man!, but I think a rescue as presented in the book could have easily been done with the same degree of drama and much more realism.

totally agree, Lewis suiting up and going outside without any pre-breathe annoyed me. Ok, yes, the interior may not be earth normal pressure but if the ISS is then why wouldn't hermes be?

The rescue in the book was tense, clever, well done and I did love the bomb on the front airlock. The rescue in the movie - iron man? No tether? please!!!

Mind you, the movie gets a huge +1 for Rich Purnell who was awesome.

Rich: "Who are you again?"

Teddy: "I'm the director of NASA"

Rich: "Oh, yeah right... Well, you just stand over there for me..." *steals pen*.

Love that guy.

Yes the sandstorm is impossible due to Mars' low atmospheric pressure, but without the sandstorm there is no story so shut up and deal with it. :tiphat:

There is a BBC TV series that was shown in the US called "Space Odyssey". In that they land on Mars and a sandstorm appears which causes dust and no other problems. I did think that the Sandstorm in the book and movie was way over the top with Mars' low pressure but as you say, no storm, no movie :)
 

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I don't know if it's been mentioned here yet, but I've heard the theory that the storm was a result of outgassing of trapped gas under the surface that we simply didn't know about before then.

Bit of a handwave, but if it helps maintain your suspension of disbelief, whatever works I guess.
 

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When the captain was deciding on the go/no-go launch from the surface that stranded Watney, was anyone else screaming to themselves, "Make him stay, Murrrrph!!!"
 
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