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Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



hmmxkrazee posted:

Ah, okay that makes sense now. Thanks for the clarifications.

Totally forgot about the way those ion engines worked.

One of the best aspects of the book is how, with a handful of notable exceptions, most of the science fully checks out.

IIRC Andy Weir was having trouble working out the path Hermes would have to take through the solar system due to the constant thrusting of the ion engines, so he actually wrote a program which simulated the physics of the entire trip.

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Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



origami posted:




My favorite dialogue was when he had to strip some lander for parts and his log comment was "I totally raped that thing" - it really threw me out of the story.

Just did a search of the pdf of the book (albeit the version before he got it professionally edited) and the word raped doesn't appear once.

Do most people not realise that Watney isn't meant to be walking around throwing quips to himself 24 hours a day? Most of his time is spent doing boring rear end calculations, manual labor, and generally struggling to survive. His log entries are a few minutes a day where he gets a little bit of escapism, without any human contact they're one sided communication to an audience he in all likelyhood knows will probably only see it long after he's died.

The log isn't a scientific journal for engineers back on Earth, it's for Watney to blow off steam and temporarily pretend to himself that things are better than they are.

Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



I enjoyed the movie, apart from the omissions (which have to happen when cutting a long story down the 2 hours) it was incredibly faithful to the book. Definitely think it would work better having read the book, or reading the book after to understand details of things like why he couldn't grow more potatoes.

The one big change from the book is the tone, as others have said you never really get a chance to feel the full tension of Watneys situation. I would have liked to see them keep the frying of Pathfinder even if it happens later on, and have a few minutes where Watney is making the journey out of contact with Earth. For that time he is without communications the film could have avoided showing Earth of Hermes, making the audience feel the disconnect.

Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



fondue posted:

You can eat a lot less than that and be fine. Source: I eat 1600 calories a day and do just fine.

How much walking around in space suits are you doing on a daily basis?

Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



Hot Dog Day #82 posted:

I enjoyed the movie, particularly the "epilogue" at the end. While I enjoyed the book, I wasn't a huge fan of how it ended with Watney's (presumably cut) speech from one of the earlier trailers about how humanity pulls together when one of our own is in peril. I much prefed the way the movie ended, showing what the crew of Ares III, Watney and all, moved on to do with their lives. The film had better closure and I think I'm more likely to give it a second viewing than I am to give the book another read-through.

The weirdest ending is from the original version of the book when it was originally just available as a pdf on his site.

The book ends with Watney sat out on that bench, and a kid comes up all impressed asking if he would like to go back to Mars. Watney promptly tells the kid gently caress no, what is wrong with him

Jenny Angel posted:

Because story is not plot, mainly. The literal events of the plot are that this guy is stranded and in danger and that's a bad thing, but almost everything that happens in the span of the movie is an ode to how much is possible - and how much is worthwhile to pursue - if we all pool our genius and ingenuity and indomitable human spirit of compassion. Yeah, at the end of the movie you can claim that we spent countless dollars and hamstrung our future exploration efforts (they make point of noting that Watney has to strip out everything from the MAV that actually lets it function as a scientific exploration vessel, after all), but the framing and tone of the movie absolutely rejects that that's what actually matters.

Here's how you can tell this movie is relentlessly optimistic in its tone: Neil DeGrasse Tyson loves it, with a caveat that it's slightly too optimistic, and dude's like, Space Optimist in Chief. Don't get bogged down in plot here.

Regarding the MAV, they were single use anyway.

Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



Panfilo posted:

I'm surprised Watney didn't bring any personal effects like music with him. Was he such a turbonerd the science was his entertainment?

I believe Weir once commented that he entirely overlooked that and we should just assume something happened on the way to Mars that messed up his storage device.

Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



MisterBibs posted:

I'm not a botanist (I eventually wanna grow plants, but I don't have the time right now), so I have question about something I don't understand. Maybe the book described it better.

I get using poop as fertilizer, but on earth that just improves the quality of the soil the plants are growing in, they are still using the nutrients already found in the soil. Using martian soil would be a net-zero (actually, I've heard the soil is toxically salty but I'll ignore that for now). Is Watney growing his pootatoes () purely from his feces? Or is the Mars soil barely good enough to grow in, but the feces pushes it over the edge to Actually Okay To Grow Stuff On?

In the real world, Weir said at the time of writing the book he just didn't realise how poisonous much of the Martian soil is. There are ways that could get around that by rinsing it maybe, but since nothing is seen in the movie I think we just have to assume the soil is lighter in percholates and other terrible things at the Ares 3 landing site.

Hell, maybe they specifically chose that site due to it being less salty and that's why they had a botanist along. Here's the relevant part from the book:

quote:

In other news, Iím starting to come up with an idea for food. My botany background may come in useful after all.
Why bring a botanist to Mars? After all, itís famous for not having anything growing here. Well, the idea was to figure out how well things grow in Martian gravity, and see what, if anything, we can do with Martian soil. The short answer is: quite a lot... almost. Martian soil has the basic building blocks needed for plant growth, but thereís a lot of stuff going on in Earth soil that Mars soil doesnít have, even when itís placed in an Earth-atmosphere and given plenty of water. Bacterial activity, certain nutrients provided by animal life, etc. None of that is happening on Mars. One of my tasks for the mission was to see how plants grow here, in various combinations of Earth or Mars soil and atmosphere.
Thatís why I have a small amount of Earth soil and a bunch of plant seeds with me.
I canít get too excited, however. Itís about the amount of soil youíd put in a window planter-box, and the only seeds I have are a few species of grass and ferns. Theyíre the most rugged and easily grown plants on earth, so NASA picked them as the test subjects.
So I have two problems: not enough dirt, and nothing edible to plant in it.
But Iím a botanist, drat it. I should be able to find a way to make this happen. If I donít, Iíll be a really hungry botanist

Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



Senjuro posted:

When did they make that point? You might be confusing something. Here's how the missions normally go: The MAV (Mars Ascent Vehicle) is sent first because once it gets to Mars it starts producing fuel but the process takes a long time. The rest of the supplies are sent and when NASA confirms everything arrived in one piece then Hermes leaves for Mars. When it arrives the crew goes down to the planet in the MDV (Mars Descent Vehicle), do their thing, go back to the Hermes in the now refueled MAV and go back to Earth.

Does that clear it up for you?

The book does specify that Martinez remote landed the Ares 4 MAV.

Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



Mesmerized posted:

I particularly enjoyed how when things did go wrong, it wasn't a total disaster. During the rescue scene where the tether starts to wrap around both of them I expected it to go the way of Gravity.

The tether thing bugged me a little because they seemed to suddenly lose all their angular momentum. They were spinning around each other struggling to get closer, yet the instant they touched there was no longer a problem. Unless I'm misunderstanding how angular momentum works when dealing with non-rigid connectors like tethers.

Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



Given the fact that his potatoes happily grew indoors, I'm going to assume they had some sort of internal lighting designed to mimic sunlight. Makes sense that since they have to heat the hab anyway they may as well try and do it in a way that is more like Earth natural light and psychologically pleasing for the astronauts. They wouldn't have bothered putting that nice lighting in the airlocks.

When it comes to the airlocks, I was surprised that when it cut to several months later he hadn't reinforced the blown out doorway. Seven months of it flapping around would have been enough to give anyone a nervous breakdown but it was still sitting there entirely unchanged.

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Senor Tron
May 25, 2006



Plastik posted:

In the book he had HAB canvas, and fixed it using that (and also by flattening that side of the HAB considerably) but in the movie the HAB was rigid, and he didn't appear to have any spare canvas [spoilers]until he used a weird parachute of it to cover the top of the MAV at the end, which also happened in the book but it wasn't, like, parachute-shaped[/spoiler]. In the movie it appeared that they sent the astronauts to Mars with literally no backup for if the HAB got more than a fist-sized hole in it other than plastic sheeting? It didn't make much sense.

Yeah, I can understand them changing the habs structure, it would have taken a bit of time to explain the idea of him dismantling the hab and cutting parts out of it. I still would have expected to see some random crap enhancing it though like a wall made of storage boxes filled with dirt or something similar.

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