Will NASA Really Take Humans to Mars in the 2030s Like The Martian Movie?


Last week, I participated in a press event at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston promoting the DVD and Blu-ray release of The Martian movie. We spoke with several NASA officials and an astronaut about their plans to take humans to Mars. They all shared with us the significant challenges ahead in order to accomplish that goal. However, it is a goal they take seriously and are determined to achieve.

The Martian poster with astronaut Gus Grissom’s space suit on display in the background at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Credit: Alejandro Rojas.

If you haven’t seen the movie (minor spoiler alert), it is about a NASA astronaut who is part of a manned mission on the surface of Mars in 2035. He is hurt during a storm that requires the crew to return to their orbiting spacecraft, and he’s left on the surface, presumed dead.

He actually isn’t dead and wakes up stranded on Mars. He doesn’t have the supplies to live long enough to survive on the planet for the length of time it will take for his friends at NASA to come back and get him, so, in his words, “I’m left with only one option, I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”

In an interview in the auditorium at Space Center Houston, The Martian producer Aditya Sood told us the experience of working on the movie with NASA employees was amazing. He said he enjoyed “interacting with folks who literally science the shit out of things every day.”

The Martian producer Aditya Sood at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, December 3, 2015. Credit: Alejandro Rojas.

I got an idea of what Sood was talking about when we interviewed some of the scientists responsible for getting humans to Mars. They really are going to have to science —> Read More