Topic: The Martian- Andy Weir

This book can be directly related to our relationship with God. Mark thinks that he has been abandoned when his crew is forced to abort their mission six days in. While they were making their way through the sand storm to the "Mav" which would take them back home Mark was struck by their communications satellite and thrown a hundred feet back. The rest of the crew was forced to leave him behind as they were confident that he had been killed. Mark however, miraculously survived as a result of his blood clogging the hole in his suit that the antennae had pulverised. Slowly and painfully he made his way back to the "Hab" (where they were staying on Mars) and to his delight, discovered that the Mav was gone and that he was indeed, alone. Throughout the next few days he took inventory and began to realise just how hopeless his situation was.

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

Mark realized that his only chance at survival relied on him growing enough food to last four years. He began mixing the harsh, infertile Mars soil with human excrement. His goal was to cover the entire floor. Lucky for him he is a "botanist" (which means that he is a plant nerd). He now had a plan which prevented him from being depressed. After the long process of hauling in tons of soil from outside he decided that the best thing to grow would be potatoes since they have a high calorie count. This process made me realize how much we have to appreciate what we have and how easy life really is. Throughout this Mark is struggling with physical challenges (rationing his food, energy levels), and emotional challenges (depression, the reality that he will probably die).

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

Throughout this process Mark has began to get depressed, as he thinks that his situation is hopeless. Eventually he is able to bring himself back into perspective and continue to analyze his situation. He believes that his only chance at survival awaits four years from now when the Arse 4 mission is put into action.  This goes to show how strong of person he is. The way that he doesn't dwell on the present and looks ahead into the future to see what he can do next to ensure his survival.

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

The next major problem Mark was forced to pursue was getting enough water on a planet where there is no water. He knew the recipe, one hydrogen cell for every two oxygen cells however the process of creating it is very delicate and if not done properly could result fatally. He had lots of hydrogen left over from the landing pad of the MAV. Now all he needed was enough oxygen to perform the operation. I really admire how much knowledge Mark has about chemistry, botany, and mechanics. The way that he is able to solve a situation right from the start. For example, Mark blows himself up when burning all the excess hydrogen in the air and immediately knows that he needed to find oxygen and then proceeded to stick his head in a space suit that was acting as a water tank.

5 (edited by clay.corbiere 2018-10-12 13:57:44)

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

The book took a turn in chapter six. Instead of the book being told from the perspective of Mark it changed to the director of the Ares missions back on Earth. When it started Mark's memorial service had taken place and everyone was in a sombre mood. The director had requested satellite images of the Ares 3 site. When they were pulled up he was disturbed to find that the solar panels had been cleaned off and that the emergency tents had been deployed. The most disturbing thing of all was that Mark Watney's
body was no where to be seen.

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

Throughout the next couple weeks the members of NASA were faced with the worst possible press conferences and media interviews they had ever been a part of. The press was constantly outside their door thirsty for any new information that referred to Mark's situation. Many different companies and organisations were eager to help in any way possible. Naturally their new focus was to think of any way possible to bring him home safely and find a way to communicate with him. However they decided not to tell the crew on the Hermes because they have to focus on space travel. I think that this idea is completely absurd as the crew should be of
the highest priority to tell.

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

The author has done a great job of getting me involved in the book. In chapter 8, while there was a board meeting with the high officials of NASA I felt as though I was sitting at the table with them. You could tell that there was a lot of tension in the room as the meeting advanced. I found myself responding to things that were said and rebutting to others. Back on mars, Mark has begun prepping one of his rovers for the long journey ahead of him to the Ares 4 landing site. I often think about the people at NASA looking down on Mark from satellite imagery and wondering why he's doing the things he is. I relate this to God watching us from Heaven.

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

The NASA organization can be related to God. He has infinite wisdom about the universe and everything inside of it. NASA however, is limited to just the physical universe. The different sections of NASA can be related to the sections of a brain. Each of them are incredibly important and can do amazing things on their own. However when combined, they create an organization that cannot be compared to any other. When they found out about Mark's situation they focused all of their efforts on bringing him home alive. Every section of NASA came together an worked like a unified group.

9 (edited by clay.corbiere 2018-10-31 08:59:59)

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

Mark made a treacherous twenty day trip to a disconnected Mars probe In hopes that he would be able to communicate with Earth. His efforts paid off and after deliberation with NASA they finally had a plan to get him home in one piece. However, God had different ideas. When attempting to enter the HAB one night there became a breach in the canvas and it blew up. Mark was blown fifty feet away, inside of the air lock. The author does a great job of creating a sense of urgency and panic. I found myself sweating while reading this passage. Or perhaps it was because I was fevered.

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

There are many cases in this book that could be mistaken for a hyperbole if the reader does not understand the circumstances that Mark is in. For example, when Mark is explaining the situation he is in and the possible outcomes that could take place. The common phrase used is, "'The HAB could blow up', 'I could blow up', 'My crops could blow up.'" In normal circumstances these would all be hyperbole's however, in Mark's case they are highly possible outcomes. Mark does a great job of staying calm despite his unlikely chance at survival.

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

With the Chinese Space Agency agreeing to help NASA by providing them with a booster. NASA was then faced with the decision of what to do with it. Do they try for IRIS 2 and send a supply probe to Mark, or do they go through with the Rich Purnell Manoeuvre and send the Ares 3 crew back to Mars, and on the way by Earth they would pick up a supply probe for themselves. The head person at NASA "Teddy" chose IRIS 2. However the leader of the Ares 3 crew objected and sent the details to the crew that referred to the Rich Purnell Manoeuvre. The crew chose to go back for Mark. When word got out that "Hermes" had changed its course, Teddy was furious and pledged to fire Mitch if he ever got the chance. In this circumstance the Ares 3 crew can be compared to Jesus and God in the sense that they will never abandon you. Even if you're stuck on a completely different planet. This reminds me of when I was younger and was at the grocery store. I wandered off and eventually realised that I was alone. Of course my fear was nothing compared to my mothers. Who would flip the store up side down in order to find me.

12 (edited by clay.corbiere 2018-11-14 14:46:36)

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

NASA was now powerless to change Hermes' course and therefore were forced to send a resupply probe to them instead of Watney. Mark heard the new plan and was ecstatic to hear that the crew was actually coming back for him. He began modifications on his Rovers at once. He had to make them capable of a 3200-mile journey across rough terrain to Schiaparelli, (the Ares 4 Landing site). During the modifications, he made the worst possible mistake. He fried Pathfinder which was his only communication with civilization. It surprises me that at this point of his "adventure," and with all of the things that have gone wrong he hasn't begun to get depressed. When a problem arises he acknowledges and assesses how bad it is and then gets to work to repair the damage done. I greatly admire his attitude regarding the situation he is in but he never gets discouraged.

Re: The Martian- Andy Weir

Mark Began his journey toward Schiaparelli unaware of the extreme danger awaiting him. NASA detected a severe sandstorm along Mark's route. This storm however is a very thick cloud of dust and once he enters it, he will not be able to generate the energy necessary. Solar panels are his only source of energy. He won't realize that he is entering the storm because it will gradually get darker each day and the difference will be so minimal that he won't detect anything. Back on Earth, an entire planet watches knowing that they are powerless to help. I can only imagine how helpless they must feel. Especially the crew at NASA and on Hermes.