Andy Weir’s ‘The Martian’

the martianFollowing an aborted Mars mission, NASA astronaut Mark Watney is left behind. His team think he’s dead. He has no way of communicating with them or with Earth The next mission to Mars is over 4 years away. Its proposed landing site is thousands of kilometres away. But all of that pales in significance beside the more immediate problem – Mark will run out of food long before the next mission arrives and will starve to death.

He has a limited amount of supplies and has to figure out how he can use them in a way that will sustain his life, taking each day as it comes and hoping that a solution to what seems like a completely impossible, hopeless task. He seems doomed to fail and die alone on Mars. But the ways that he finds to survive in such a bleak and inhospitable environment are ingenious. He continues to defy expectations and relies pretty much entirely on his own logic and common sense to carry on.

Be warned, there is a lot of technical detail about the systems for life support in Mark’s makeshift home, and a lot of maths and scientific detail as he attempts to work out how he can survive! I didn’t understand a fair few of the finer points, but it didn’t take anything away from the reading – as long as Mark understood it, that’s all that matters! Continue reading