You might have come across several science fiction. But the Martian is a castaway narrative for the new millennium, set on the surface of Mars, a world entirely unfriendly to human life. This, debut novelist and self-professed space nerd Andy Weir has used a fictional character to glorify science hilariously.
The Martian is set. Ares 3 crew members include Mark Watney, a botanist, and mechanical engineer. During a sandstorm, though, he is hit by one antenna piece and presumed dead. The rest of the Ares 3 team abandons him, but Commander Lewis did so with regret, believing it is standard procedure. Meanwhile, back on Earth, NASA is attempting to contain any negative consequences of Watney being left alone on Mars as his crew retreats home without him.
One of the astronauts awakens on Mars a day after they start their expedition. He understands he’s on his own and needs to get to the base. He understands he’s on his own and should return to base. When he arrives, he discovers that his wound is severe and his supplies are running low. He intends to restrict food until Ares arrives in a few years. Although challenging, this approach ensures that he will survive as long as feasible (he has no source of water or air).
The satellite communication antenna is then discovered to be broken by Mark. He digs through the belongings of his crewmates and discovers some disco records, something he despises.
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After a NASA staffer uncovers that Mark Watney is alive, NASA’s administrator and the chief of Mars operations discuss how to proceed. They resolve to not tell the Hermes crew until they return to Earth. When the news gets out, the media goes crazy. As a result, public support for returning Mark safely to Earth has grown.
Watney is being saved by NASA. They initially believe they can give him food, but then discover he’ll be at the Ares 4 location (known as Schiaparelli crater) as NASA conducts another mission there many years later. The supplies will enhance his potato diet, which he grows with NASA seeds and botanical knowledge. NASA uses satellite photographs and messages left with rocks on Mars to keep an eye on Mark Watney. They can’t communicate with him, but they can see him drive out in a rover and grab an old unmanned spacecraft named Pathfinder, which serves as his “modem” and “radio.”
It will be difficult for Mark Watney to survive and be rescued. He only has a limited amount of potatoes, so he needs to create food crops. In the interim, NASA sends another mission to assist Watney till Ares 4 arrives, yet they expedite the launch because rockets take so long to travel from Earth to Mars. Watney’s chances are made considerably worse when the rocket bursts shortly after takeoff.
Fortunately, China has a spare rocket. Purnell, a NASA researcher, has devised a strategy to get food to Watney much quicker (the Purnell Maneuver). After launching from Mars’ surface, the Ares 3 crew will turn around and pick him up from orbit. Sanders first rejects the plan as being too risky, but Henderson exposes the scheme to the Ares 3 crew, who eventually save Watney on their own, prompting NASA to openly support the maneuver.
Mark Watney’s connections with NASA are cut off after an unexpected event. He discovers that the crew of Ares 3 will return to save him. By studying Martian topography and customizing two rovers for the trip, he has sufficient data to travel from Pathfinder to Schiaparelli all on his own. He arrives at Schiaparelli after a lengthy voyage and prepares to meet Hermes in orbit.
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Watney can successfully launch the MAV after making some changes. His launch is orchestrated by NASA, and he successfully enters space. The MAV, on the other hand, deviates from its path, causing Hermes (the spaceship) to alter its position to catch up with him. They succeed, and Beck (one of the crew members) can lift him off the MAV and into Hermes. He’s fractured ribs, but he’s cheerful since he knows they’ll be back on Earth shortly following five years on Mars.
The book is meticulously well-researched yet easy to read.
Andy Weir wants the reader to realize the significance of never giving up, no matter what. As a result, whenever Mark had success, he had a backup plan. When Mark encountered a challenge, he paused, assessed the issue, argued the benefits and drawbacks of his proposed solution, and then put his plan into action. The most egregious case is when a breach in the Hab resulted in part of it being extirpated and Mark being hurled into the airlock. Although he was running out of time, Mark took a moment to think about the matter before acting.