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What real scientists and astronauts think of 'The Martian'


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The film adaptation of Andy Weir's sci-fi novel "The Martian" opens everywhere on Friday, October 2, and it has amassed a huge fan following — partly thanks to the book's scientific accuracy and realism.

But does the story's dedication hold up under scrutiny from real scientists and astronauts?

We've rounded up some of the best critiques of "The Martian" from space experts who've seen the movie. The reception so far has been positive, but some of the movie's most discerning critics couldn't help but point out a few glaring errors.

Keep scrolling to see what they had to say.

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't read the book "The Martian."

"The Martian" looks a lot like a real mission to Mars will probably look.

As NASA's planetary science director, Jim Green knows a thing or two about Mars. So director Ridley Scott recruited him as a consultant for the movie adaptation.

Green told Tech Insider that he spent hours talking with Scott about Mars in the beginning stages of the movie's production. Green answered questions, and he sent Scott mockups of NASA's plans for a real Mars mission tentatively slated for the 2030s.

All that research and NASA consultation really comes through in the movie.

"It's a visually stunning movie that doesn't look much different than the real versions," Green told Tech Insider.

Astronauts said it's a pretty accurate portrayal of the inner workings of NASA.

"There’s a lot of NASA in there, which they captured quite nicely," astronaut Michael Barratt said during an appearance on KING-TV’s "New Day Northwest" program.

Leroy Chiao, former NASA astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, pointed out a more specific example in an op-ed for Space.com:

The movie portrays the operational side of things pretty well. Astronauts and NASA think through every scenario as thoroughly as possible, and plan for every reasonable contingency. Still, we sometimes get surprised. In those cases, it is up to individual and collective creativity to solve the problem and try for a good outcome. The movie holds up on this account.

Astronaut Clayton Anderson told Quartz something similar:

Rather for me, the highlight was the film’s refreshing and inspiring depiction of NASA. I’m not talking about physical depictions mind you (the Vertical Assembly Building does not reside at the Johnson Space Center) but instead the film’s sense of an ever-present drive on the part of NASA employees to pull together to win the day, even in the midst of seemingly insurmountable odds. Just as I witnessed so often throughout my own 30-year NASA career, a team of ordinary, caring people with little regard to their personal needs put in just a little bit extra, to do something extraordinary.

Most scientists give props to "The Martian" for its scientific accuracy. But they can't resist pointing out a few problems.

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Like the dust storm on Mars that happens at the very beginning of "The Martian."

"The big windstorm on Mars—that's just not going to happen," Fred Calef, a geologist and geospatial information scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Smithsonian Magazine. "Even hurricane-force wind on Mars is going to feel like having paper balls thrown at you."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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