Accuracy Report: The Martian

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The Martian Accuracy Report Luis Olvera AF The movie “The Martian,” tells of an astronaut (Mark Watney) and his journey to Mars. After a good response from viewers for being quite scientifically accurate, NASA went as far as using the movie to advertise their own actual missions to Mars, that will be attempted in the next few decades, or even years. This report will talk about 2 accuracies the movie made that follows what is currently known about space travel and Mars, and the one inaccuracy that deals with the effects of the Martian atmosphere on the human body. The first and major accuracy that the movie made dealt with the science, calculations, and accuracy of all of the space travel that was mentioned in the movie. To start, the movie…show more content…
Rather than simplifying the truth and having him fly in a rocket pointed at Mars, arriving at after a much shorter amount of time than the 8 months it actually took, the movie uses what is known about the Hohmann transfer to accurately portray the travel. The main issue with pointing straight at Mars and launching, is that by the time spacecraft arrives, Mars will have completely changed its location in space. This is because Mars, like every other planet, orbits around the sun and this has a constantly changing location. While the Hohmann transfer takes much longer than flying straight to Mars would (if it were theoretically possible) it is actually the quickest way to Mars, because it is set up so that the launch is around the orbital cycle of Mars where it will be the closest to Earth. The other accuracy the movie portrays is the story behind the trouble with bringing Watney back from Mars, or at least supplying him with food. While saying another eight months is what it would take to have a spacecraft with food reach Watney once again would already bring enough suspense to the audience, the movie continues its accuracy in relation to space travel. This is done by extending the time it would take to reach Watney from 8 months, to almost a year. The…show more content…
The first example is when Watney sets to planting potatoes on Mars to supply himself with food using materials he has, including martian soil. This concept is very possible and also being tested now by NASA in hopes to use it during manned missions to Mars. Another accuracy that deals with the conditions of Mars is the many tornadoes that are seen in the movie. Even though Mars has a weak atmosphere, these small tornadoes (called “Dust Devils”) do occur on Mars, and have even been captured on tape moving across the martian surface by the Spirit Rover. The last accuracy that dealt with the conditions of Mars dealt with Watney traveling to find the Pathfinder rover, to power it up again and use it to communicate with the “Jet Propulsion Laboratory,” back on Earth. Upon finding the Pathfinder, it can be seen covered in dust from the martian soil. The explanation for this is due to the dusty surface and slight winds that are caused by dust devils displace the dust on Mars, causing it to end up on top of the Pathfinder rover and made it unusable. This is the same experience that occurred to the Opportunity rover, and caused to to be unable to recharge because it’s solar panels had been completely covered. It wasn’t until a dust devil (like those seen in the movie) swept over the top of the rover and cleared the solar

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