Eric Berger, science writer at the Houston Chronicle, had some complaints about one of the most anticipated movies of the year – Ridley Scott’s The Martian. He explained what he thought was wrong with the movie in his review.
The Martians tells the story of an astronaut that is stuck on Mars and has to find a way to survive all by himself. Berger complained that the mission looks like it is entirely an achievement of NASA. The writer suggests that a mission to Mars will probably look much different than the one we can see in the movie. It is very difficult to predict whether he is right or wrong, mainly because we do not know how technology will evolve during the next 20 years or so. The politics may change by then as well.
Berger says that the world is not what it used to be and that spaceflight has changed a lot in the last couple of decades. Then he added that NASA has no power to carry out a mission by itself, and now depends to a great degree to private and international partners. NASA cannot afford going all alone to space like in the Apollo mission.
NASA is privatizing according to Berger, and if it wants to carry out a mission by itself then they need to hurry. According to the agency’s estimates, the SpaceX cargo supply mission would have cost NASA up to eight times more if they decided to built their rockets in the traditional way.
Berger also adds that there is another problem for NASA, this time located at the White House. NASA has long depended on the White House, that means once in four years (or eight), the agency has to be compatible with the newly elected President. The White House could basically put an end to the Mars program at any time. In fact, many people already want NASA to go to the moon before the Mars mission.
This issue greatly affects NASA’s stability, and without stability, NASA will not accomplish their goals any time soon, said Berger. NASA should find a way to make plans with other important international companies in order to impress even the most skeptical Congress.
As of now, there is no consensus that confirms NASA’s Mars mission will happen. Berger criticizes the movie for not even mentioning how NASA and humanity developed before depicting their mission to Mars.
However, Eric Berger said that he loved the movie and praises Ridley Scott for capturing the excitement of spaceflight and exploration.
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