The Martian tells the story of a fictional trip to Mars at some point in the 2030s, during a third crewed mission to the Red Planet. The movie also stems from President Obama’s claim that we should be able to reach the planet around 2030.
We already known that the U.S. space agency is working hard to achieve that goal, and the government invested heavily into the a crewed mission.
The International Space Station crew members are also lending a hand through various experiments on how zero gravity and other space conditions affect human health. The U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are already part of these experiments since they are about to spend one year abroad of the orbital laboratory.
The two astronauts will provide scientists on Earth with more details on how microgravity affects the human body. Plus, the ISS crew will work on finding methods to counteract the ill effects of microgravity on astronauts’ health in the coming years including bone density and muscle loss. Future Mars mission are designed to last up to three years so astronauts should be prepared.
Next step toward sending humans to Mars is successful test flight of Orion capsule to the Moon’s lower orbit and back. The flight is slated for the 2020s, when systems that will help astronauts reach and survive on Mars will be tested.
Meanwhile, NASA will continue to send robotic missions on the Red Planet to explore and learn more about its geology and level of radiation. The missions would also be actively involved in safe landing heavier payloads on Mars than those used in standard robotic missions.
In a third phase, NASA and 16 other space agencies will send astronauts to orbit the Red Planet just like astronauts in The Martian’s Ares missions did. So far, this was the real science behind the movie.
The movie, however, despite being a good Sci-Fi flick has its share of technical mistakes that made some people wonder how realistic The Martian really is. Well, let’s see.
It does have a storm that defies all laws of physics. Researchers explained that the Red Planet’s atmosphere is only 1 percent dense as Earth’s, so 100 mphs winds on it are highly improbable, if not plain impossible.
Additionally, NASA won’t send to Mars the fancy ship you saw in the movie. It will be sturdy enough to carry human crew there and back, but forget about the flashiness.
The Martian’s producers also overlooked a tiny detail. Mars has a third of our planet’s gravity so people should feel their space suits a lot lighter than they would at home. In the movie, however, astronauts seemed still to exert themselves especially in the first scenes.
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