Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
fifty meters. Lazy bums. Plastic might not burn, but anyone who’s played with a balloon knows it’s great at building up static charge. Once I do that, I should be able to make a spark just by touching a metal tool. Fun fact: This is exactly how the Apollo 1 crew died. Wish me luck! AUDIO LOG TRANSCRIPT: SOL 119 (4) I’m in a box full of burning-hair smell. It’s not a good smell. On my first try, the fire lit, but the smoke just drifted randomly around. My own breathing was screwing it
This shift in weight only aggravated the larger problem, and the shimmy grew stronger. ••• “SHIMMY’S GETTING violent,” reported the ascent flight director. “How violent?” Mitch said. “More than we like,” he said. “But the accelerometers caught it and calculated the new center of mass. The guidance computer is adjusting the engines’ thrusts to counteract. We’re still good.” “Keep me posted,” Mitch said. “Thirteen seconds till staging.” The unexpected weight shift had not spelled disaster.
They’re 2 square meters each, giving me 10 more square meters. So we’re up to 102. The Hab has three lab tables, each about 2 square meters. I want to keep one for my own use, leaving two for the cause. That’s another 4 square meters, bringing the total to 106. I have two Martian rovers. They have pressure seals, allowing the occupants to drive without space suits during long periods traversing the surface. They’re too cramped to plant crops in, and I want to be able to drive them around
I spent the last week recovering from back problems. The pain wasn’t bad, but there aren’t any chiropractors on Mars, so I wasn’t taking chances. I took hot baths twice a day, lay in my bunk a lot, and watched shitty seventies TV. I’ve already seen Lewis’s entire collection, but I didn’t have much else to do. I was reduced to watching reruns. I got a lot of thinking done. I can make everything better by having more solar panels. The fourteen panels I took to Pathfinder provided the 18
first order of business was a careful inventory of the Hab. I needed to root out anything that would have a problem with losing atmospheric pressure. Of course, everything in the Hab had a crash course in depressurization a few months back. But this time would be controlled, and I might as well do it right. The main thing is the water. I lost 300 liters to sublimation when the Hab blew up. This time, that won’t happen. I drained the water reclaimer and sealed all the tanks. The rest was just