On July 2035 the Ares launched with the planet Mars set as its final destination. Six months later the voyage commandeered by Mark Watney reaches the fourth planet in the solar system. the story line leads the audience to a number of obstacles and numerous brilliant solutions that the main character performs in order to survive stranded in the strange planet for four years. One of the most appealing aspects of this novel is not only that Watney manages to survive but that most of the survival methods applied are technically achievable, “confirmed as accurate by real astronauts” (Grossman, 2015), the brilliant scientists develops an ingenious way of growing potatoes as well as repair equipment and machinery, he is even capable of establishing communication with NASA, all of this after a catastrophic event that causes him to be stranded on the inhospitable planet.
some of the technical aspects that the author manages to communicate to the readers are how similar mars day/night cycle is where one Martian day equates to approximately 24 hours and 39 Earth minutes. Resulting in a rather familiar sleep schedule for humans. Furthermore the author Andy Weir, has explained how even though there is no way of testing how comfortable sleeping in a 0.4g environment would be like but “Most doctors think reduced gravity would make it easier to sleep overall because it reduces pressure on nerves.” (Grossman, 2015) in addition, “Sleeping in space is fantastic!” says Barry. “You just float… and it’s perfect.”(KRULWICH, 2007) all of this suggests the idea that the scenario presented is realistic to a large extent and helps convince and engage the audience.
Noise is another factor that has been addressed and even though Mars is technically a quiet planet due to the incredibly thin atmosphere and the reduced weather, the loudest noise around would be ion this case the one produced by humans, is what Weir mentions.
In the Martian the attention to detail is uncanny, yet there is little information about how Watney feels about sleeping. This allows the audience to draw their own conclusions, and this is perfectly achievable with the information given, such as. the fact that he is a seasoned astronaut trained to excel most high-stress situations. This combined with all the labour intensive days of maintaining his potatoes farms and cleaning solar cells, one can only assume that the physical fatigue and his arduous training allowed him to sleep through the nights.
Social: The world still looks at the USA as one of the biggest players. social stigma is fairly similar to the present. One of the most revealing social aspects is when the rescue mission is declined by the government but the crew decides to risk it all for one of their own. this shows a true sense of social evolution.
technological: the technological advances shown are rather futuristic yet realistic. given most of the achievements portrayed are backed with science. furthermore, it is interesting to see how with all the technology available the main character needs to revert to the basics in order to survive.
Economical: the economic system seems to be fairly similar to the present time, except for the fact that most of the story takes place in a world where there is no purpose for an economic system.
Environmental: Planet Earth as been consumed by humans and in the hopes of finding a new planet to populate the Ares crew is sent to Mars, to determine it can is, in fact, the best alternative to the problem faced on earth.
Political: the political system on earth is assumed to be the same as the current one, especially the “American Democracy” where the desition makers sit in a room away from physical wrist while the most affected players are out in space, and their moves are dictated by emotionally physically detached politicians .
Anon, (2016). [image] Available at: https://www.nationwidemedicaldirect.com/collections/cpapmasks/resmed [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
Grossman, J. (2015). ‘The Martian’ Author Talks Struggles of Sleeping on Mars. [online] Van Winkle’s. Available at: http://vanwinkles.com/the-martian-author-andy-weir-talks-sleeping-on-mars-movie [Accessed 24 Oct. 2016].
KRULWICH, R. (2007). Zero Gravity Zzzs: Joys of Sleeping in Outer Space. [online] NPR.org. Available at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9007600 [Accessed 24 Oct. 2016].