NASA Is Consulting on the Science of Ridley Scott's The Martian

Wednesday, 17 June 2015 - 2:42PM
The Martian
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 - 2:42PM
NASA Is Consulting on the Science of Ridley Scott's The Martian
In the well-received first trailer for the upcoming adaptation of Andy Weir's The Martian, Matt Damon's Mark Watney famously says he's going to "science the sh*t out of this." Apparently, the production team behind the film is doing the same thing, as they've reached out to none other than NASA to ensure that the sci-fi epic is as scientifically accurate as possible.



The Martian has been hailed as a return to "hard" sci-fi, as a huge portion of the novel relies on the technical minutiae of surviving on Mars. But NASA didn't have any input into the plot of Andy Weir's self-published novel. In fact, Weir didn't consult any experts on the extremely science-heavy parts of the book.

"All of my research was just Google searches and a whole lot of math," Weir told Outer Places. "I didn't know anyone in aerospace at all when I wrote the book (I sure do now, though!)."

Weir, in addition to director Ridley Scott and the cast of The Martian, now has full access to NASA, as the space agency is consulting on the science behind the film. According to Collider, NASA is "thrilled" that Fox is making this movie, and is giving it their "full support." They're giving input on everything from the design of the near-future space suits to the more technical details of space travel. Most significantly, the fictional trek to Mars is based on NASA's mission to Mars, which is expected to occur in the 2030s.

But since NASA didn't have input on the plot of the novel, does that mean the final script diverges significantly from the plot of the novel? Probably not, as producer Mark Huffam claimed that NASA only made small changes to the original script that was based directly on Weir's novel. "We're working with 90% of the script that we started with," said Huffam. Apparently, Weir's Google searches and "whole lot of math" paid off.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
The Martian

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