Fans of The Martian may think the movie is a science-fiction masterpiece built on a slightly, somewhat plausible theory that’s laden with a heavy dose of fantasy.
Mark Watney (or Matt Damon) is a botanist who is a part of a crew on a mission to Mars to explore the planet. Long story short: A major dust storm kicks up and Watney is hit with debris. Believing Watney to be dead, the mission commander makes the fateful decision to leave Mars and return to their orbiting vessel.
Except, surprise, Watney isn’t dead. No one knows that though or it wouldn’t make for a very good novel-turned Hollywood blockbuster.
As a botanist, Watney understands how to use natural resources to survive, so he improvises a farm inside the crew’s Martian base using the planet’s soil fertilized with human waste and produces water by extracting hydrogen from the leftover rocket fuel.
Turns out, he didn’t need to do any of that because Mars has water!
NASA actually announced weeks after the movie hit theaters that they discovered that water flows on The Red Planet back in Sept. 2015, but there were still several questions about the finding.
The largest one being if it was safe for human consumption.
“Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington said in 2015. “This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water — albeit briny — is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”