The Martian – Science Fiction Based on Existing Technologies

The Martian pic

The Martian

A longtime physician with the NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Illinois, Dr. Morris Kharasch oversees four emergency departments. Dr. Morris Kharasch is a cinema enthusiast and particularly enjoys science fiction movies. One of the most popular sci-fi movies of 2015 was The Martian, which described a hypothetically stranded Mars explorer’s struggle for survival on Mars and his search for a way back to Earth.

Author Andy Weir began writing The Martian in 2009 and had an aim of making the book as realistic as possible. As presented on the NASA website, a number of the technologies presented fictionally have already been developed through the U.S. Space Program.

These include the habitation module, or Hab, in which astronaut Mark Watney spends much of his early time on Mars. NASA has developed a similar Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), which provides program members with an immersive simulation of long-duration travel in deep space. Test subjects currently spend up to 14 days in the two-story habitat, with that duration expected to increase to 60 days in the near future. Other areas in which fictional technologies resemble real-life NASA ones include an extraterrestrial plant farm, water recovery in space, and oxygen generation.


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