Movie Mistakes – The Martian

2015 – Marte – The Martian – tt3659388 – USA” by  lmaq Carteles de Cine is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In my personal opinion, “The Martian” is notably one of the most intriguing science-fiction movies from 2015.  With a plot in which an astronaut becomes stranded on Mars and even ends up growing potatoes in such an environment, the movie is one of my personal favorites. Though the director, Ridley Scott, did a remarkable job in producing such a movie, there were some scientific mistakes that lay behind the scenes. Personally, science mistakes can be a bit disappointing in a movie. So here are my top three mistakes that were the most disappointing in “The Martian”.

1)The Dust Storm

While the dust storm at the start of the movie plays a pivotal role in which the whole scenario of being stranded on Mars takes place, it is also one of the biggest mistakes in the movie. NASA stated that even the fastest winds of a “harsh” dust storm on Mars would only go sixty miles per hour. To specify, that’s half the speed of severe winds on earth. Additionally, the density of Mars’ atmosphere is merely one percent of the density of earth’s atmosphere. Consequently, winds do blow on Mars, but with a heavily reduced intensity compared to earth’s winds. It really isn’t as dangerous as it seemed on the screens. The most that should happen to an astronaut’s equipment is being covered in multiple layers of dust. Unfortunately or fortunately, the reality isn’t as exciting or dangerous as it seems. Despite the mistake, I definitely enjoyed watching the rather nerve-wrecking scene.


During Mark Watney’s isolation on Mars, he finally communicates with his team back on earth through left-behind technology. Specifically, he communicated with a instantaneous series of texts. As happy I was for him, that would not be a reality. Consider the distance between the two planets. In miles, that’s 140 million units. Realistically, sending a text from Mars to Earth would take about twelve minutes, making this digital conversation unrealistic at its very definition. As wrong as the scene was, honestly-speaking, I would love my texts to be delivered at the speed of light and I’m sure the rest of you would too. Unfortunately, our technology has yet to be at the state. Admittedly, the plot did take place in the year 2035, but I doubt technology would get there that fast.

3)Search for Water

In order to grow potatoes, Mark needed water. Most of us would think it’d be rational to dig for the famous frozen water in Mars. However, Mark goes out of his way to perform a highly dangerous and complicated experiment. Consisting of a process in which he burns rocket fuel, Mark could have easily blown himself up. Being an astronaut, his knowledge of water under Mars’ surface should have been evident because it definitely was for me and I definitely wasn’t even planning on a Mars expedition. I’m certain many other viewers were aware of the frozen water as well. Rather than reflecting Mark’s intelligence, this scene was rather humiliating. That sums up my top three scientific mistakes in “The Martian”. Despite them all, “The Martian” really was a fascinating movie filled with anticipation and excitement. Considering all the obstacles and long hours needed to direct a movie, we still give it up for the director. What about you? What were your top three mistakes in your favorite movies?

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