Film Analysis: The Martian

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Jules So Dr. Erika Harnett ESS 102 25 November 2017 Analysis: The Martian The story of The Martian focuses on the obstacles botanist and astronaut Mark Watney must overcome to survive on the planet Mars. His adventure is filled with fictional and non-fictional elements that are most likely difficult for the normal individual to identify what is actually realistic and what is simply fantasy. After taking a closer look, this film contains a lot more realism to actual science and space travel today. This paper will closely analyze and discuss three accuracies and inaccuracies of the film in relation to the content discussed in ESS 102 lectures, labs, and assignments. At the start of the movie, one of the most exciting and suspenseful scenes…show more content…
He describes a solution by explaining how he could dig up the radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) in the ground, but then quickly mentions the great risk and dangers of having to actually do that. This solution to his dilemma is actually scientifically false because of three main reasons. In the film, he mentioned how RTGs were buried mainly to protect the astronauts on the mission from radiation, but if they actually did bury their RTGs, then they would just stop working or begin to function improperly. [2] Thus, it is actually never the wisest idea to bury an RTG, but instead set it up above ground where it cannot be disrupted by any surface around it. In addition to that, the film also makes the mistake of mentioning that RTGs can harm humans via radiation and were thus buried as a result. This is inaccurate because an RTG does not have the capability to kill someone through radiation exposure. [2] One of the few ways RTGs can do harm is if someone were to cut the generator in half and do something with the Plutonium inside, like inhale or swallow it, which would already be a very rare circumstance to begin with. [2] The film paints RTGs as something way more dangerous than they actually are, which brings me to my final critique of the films integration, or should I say non-integration of RTGs in the rover that Mark Watney uses. A majority of the rovers that have been to Mars, including Curiosity, utilized RTGs. [2] The film would’ve been more accurate had it utilized RTGs properly by integrating them into the rovers on Mars, instead of inaccurately portraying them as something dangerous and burying them. Also, if Mark Watney’s rover had utilized an RTG, which it

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