Fly Me to Mars

The Martian,  directed by Ridley Scott, is a science fiction movie that took the world by storm. The plot portrays an astronaut, Mark Watney, stranded on Mars with limited food and supplies. While the crew that left him and NASA work tirelessly to get Watney home, he is left to his wits and his phenomenal sense of humor to survive. The Martian brought immense popularity and attention to the world of science- probably because of Matt Damon being the main actor, but that’s beside the point. This movie does an amazing job portraying actual science throughout the story, all the while proving that it is legitimately interesting.

In The Martian, science saturates the plot, so it is of immense importance that the information displayed is accurate. The director, Ridley Scott, knew this, so he made sure that the information given was up to standard. From the complex aspects of space travel to the minute details of Mars’ soil, The Martian gives off a solid representation of how the same situation would go in real-life. The geography of Mars in the movie features all the highlights –  the Valles Marineris, the bulging Olympus Mons, and the moons Phobos and Diemos. The actual practice of science in the movie is also very accurate. Watney’s job as a botanist shows him taking different soil samples for research, and his space-gardening skills actually play a large roll in keeping him alive throughout the movie ( favorite quote: “I’m going to have to science the shit out of this.”). The details of space travel are even represented well. Towards the end of the movie, Watney takes a 12g launch into space and (again, accurately) blacks out because of the force. Even the explanation of jet propulsion is accurate enough to please the most criticizing nerds.

The accurate way science is portrayed in the movie brings positive attention to the field of science overall. The Martian took over the science-fiction genre by making it science-fact. Ridley Scott gave great attention to the details of this movie to make it one that could proudly champion the world of science. Because of the science frenzy that this movie creates, more and more people are pushing towards the research and funding of more space travel. So, who knows? Maybe one day in the future, Mars might become the next vacation spot.

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