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How scientifically accurate is The Martian? | Film | The Guardian
...the ship was so big and elaborate and expensive-looking. Going to Mars is not about realising the vision of a giant science-fiction spaceship, it is about sending a payload from Earth to Mars that is capable of supporting a small group of people, and then sending that or a comparable payload back. There'll be ships like that some day, just like there were ocean liners a few hundred years after Columbus made his voyage. But if Columbus had waited for ocean liners, or even clipper ships, he never would have gone anywhere.

On this one, I am less negative, for two reasons. First, the spaceship in the film seemed to have an ion drive, which makes a much lower fuel mass per payload mass ratio possible, plus almost all of the spaceship can be re-usable (as in the film). So, if the technology is available by the time of a Mars mission, it could be cost-effective. Second, the greatest danger to astronauts on a Mars mission is cosmic rays (the film said little about this BTW), which you can deal with if you have an on-board magnetic field, and methinks you need a larger spaceship for that, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 7th, 2015 at 06:51:35 AM EST
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