Mark Waatney Essay

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In 2035, NASA astronaut Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer, has been left stuck on Mars after the crew of the Ares 3 mission were forced to evacuate from their Martian habitat (in Acidalia Planitia due to an intense dust storm with high winds. Watney was impaled by satellite dish during the evacuation and believed dead. His injury are minor, but with no way to contact Earth, Watney must rely on his own skills to survive. He begins a log of his experiences for those who might discover it long after his death. Watney begins growing potatoes in the crew's Martian habitat (or Hab) and burns hydrazine to make water. NASA discovers that he is alive when satellite images of the landing site show evidence of his activities; they begin working on ways to rescue him, but withhold the news of his survival from the rest of the Ares III crew, on their way back to Earth aboard the Hermes spacecraft, so as not to distract them. …show more content…

He receives instructions on the radical modifications to the MAV that are necessary to reduce its weight and allow it to intercept Hermes during its flyby. The modifications leave a large hole in the front of the MAV, which Watney is directed to cover with Hab canvas. During launch, the canvas patch tears, slowing the liftoff and leaving the MAV on a course too far from the Hermes for Watney to be rescued. Lewis develops a plan to intercept the MAV by firing Hermes' attitude thrusters, then speeding up to get closer to the MAV's velocity by rotating Hermes so that it is flying backwards and blowing a hole in the front airlock with an improvised sugar-and-liquid-oxygen bomb. Beck, the Hermes' EVA specialist, uses a Manned Maneuvering Unit on a tether to reach Watney aboard the MAV and carry him back to Hermes. In a final log entry, Watney expresses his joy at being rescued, reflecting on the human instinct to help those in

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