Author Topic: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review  (Read 48124 times)

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Online coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #125 on: December 11, 2015, 02:52:47 pm »
Apparently the movie is up for "Best Comedy or Musical" at the Golden Globes.
Somebody in charge was either incredibly high or got hit in the head by a baseball or something when they watched it.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/la-et-mn-golden-globes-2016-nominees-winners-list-story.html
And Matt Damon is up for best comedy actor for The Martian. In Shakespearean terms it is a comedy. All it needs is a happy ending for that.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #126 on: December 17, 2015, 07:12:14 pm »
Considering the topic of sending humans to Mars is now a "Going to happen" thing and there are active moves heading in this direction, I think the movie would be an excellent promotional platform and very well timed.  Even if it has flaws, it will act as a point of reference to people who will want to discuss the subject - even if only to prove a point (one way or the other).  It will certainly help awareness and is more than likely to gain support from the public - who ultimately hold the power over funding.

Also, on a more direct path, how many people have been (and will continue to be) inspired by a movie?  You never know when a wild and fanciful idea in a movie gets picked up by some 10-year-old who makes it a science project in high school and follows it through to find a real solution to the Hollywood premise.

Any interest and support from NASA in this movie is, IMHO, very much on topic.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #127 on: December 17, 2015, 08:53:31 pm »
You're correct. I am a horrible person. I yell at small children. I  kick dogs. I don't eat all my vegetables.  All of this is true because I don't like my money being diverted from space exploration to subsidize the wealthy.

Space exploration requires funding.
Funding comes from the government (via the taxpayer).
If the government had it's way they would spend less on space exploration and more on war, or whatever their financial beneficiaries want this year.
The public are inspired by movies like The Martian, arguably more so than anything else.
The public, and pretty much the public alone can put pressure on the government to spend more on space exploration.
Ergo, movies like The Martian are a good thing for space exploration whether you like it or not.

Your grumpy old man position is untenable.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #128 on: December 18, 2015, 07:52:33 am »
You're correct. I am a horrible person. I yell at small children. I  kick dogs. I don't eat all my vegetables.  All of this is true because I don't like my money being diverted from space exploration to subsidize the wealthy.

Space exploration requires funding.
Funding comes from the government (via the taxpayer).
If the government had it's way they would spend less on space exploration and more on war, or whatever their financial beneficiaries want this year.
The public are inspired by movies like The Martian, arguably more so than anything else.
The public, and pretty much the public alone can put pressure on the government to spend more on space exploration.
Ergo, movies like The Martian are a good thing for space exploration whether you like it or not.

Your grumpy old man position is untenable.

Listen here Mr. Jones, there is no one who is going to out grump me on an Interwebs forum!  I will never relinquish my position. Consider the gauntlet thrown down, sir. I've put the gauntlet in a bottle into the ocean and it should reach you after it makes a side trip to Japan....

I don't do a lot of pop culture, so I'm very out of tune with how the general public is inspired.

As for government spending, the US defense budget is out of control even though we are supposedly at peace. I would be ecstatically happy to see a large chunk repurposed for science and exploration.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 07:55:08 am by LabSpokane »
 

Online T3sl4co1l

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #129 on: December 18, 2015, 07:59:14 am »
Listen here Mr. Jones,

*LabSpokane turns around dramatically in his high-back chair, petting his black cat with his metallic hand*

Tim
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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #130 on: December 18, 2015, 01:38:12 pm »
Listen here Mr. Jones,

*LabSpokane turns around dramatically in his high-back chair, petting his black cat with his metallic hand*

Tim

I couldn't afford Mr. Bigglesworth. Being a despotic Interweb troll isn't the financial windfall I'd hoped. I can barely keep up with the payments on my volcano lair.
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #131 on: December 18, 2015, 07:58:56 pm »
Plus there's the upkeep of all those minions and keeping that Bond fellow away, hard work being a tyrant.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Offline TheAmmoniacal

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #132 on: December 20, 2015, 04:33:22 am »
Just some comments on the growing of potatoes.

If I remember correctly, he used potatoes meant for food, so I assume they were cooked? Cooked potatoes wouldn't be viable.

Martian soil is definitely not suitable for growing earthian plants - even if it did contain all the necessary nutrients it also contains a lot of toxic substances like Na2O, P2O5, K2O, SO3, CaO, NaClO4, and KClO4. All of which would make the soil unsuitable for growing anything.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 04:35:06 am by TheAmmoniacal »
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Online T3sl4co1l

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #133 on: December 20, 2015, 08:22:32 am »
it also contains a lot of toxic substances like Na2O, P2O5, K2O, SO3, CaO, NaClO4, and KClO4

Cite?

When mineralogists discuss soil or rock or ceramic compositions, they do it in terms of bulk oxides.  The form is certainly not pure isolated oxides!  For example, pure Na2O and K2O would combine spontaneously with CO2 from the atmosphere, but more likely are present as salts with Cl- or SO4(2-), or combined in natural feldspars, or adsorbed as ions in clay-like compounds.  The latter of which would be exceptionally helpful for plant growth (being measured as the CEC, Cation Exchage Capacity of a soil).

Perchlorate wouldn't be especially helpful, though.

That said, it's not as toxic as it sounds, in fact despite its oxygen-rich structure, it's rather harmless -- the main effect being displacement of iodine leading to hypothyroidism.  The effect seems to be similar in plants: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23673920 I wouldn't really call millimolar levels 'strong', and I don't know offhand how much the soil has in it, but it's possible that potatoes would concentrate it in their leaves, leaving the tubers healthy. :)

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Online coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #134 on: December 20, 2015, 02:39:07 pm »
If I remember correctly, he used potatoes meant for food, so I assume they were cooked? Cooked potatoes wouldn't be viable.
We see him cutting up fresh potatoes. I think on a real trip any fresh potatoes would have been gamma irradiated, but give them some slack. If he had no foodstuff that could grow again the author couldn't have built a reasonable plot. I was more bothered by the idea that he only had one food in a state where he could grow from it? If the potatoes had viable shoots, shouldn't there have been some other fruit and veggie that contained viable seeds, or could have grown from cuttings?
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #135 on: December 20, 2015, 11:20:40 pm »
Originally, Weir was going to use peas (because dried peas are their own seeds and viable--properly stored they can last for centuries!), but he switched to potatoes because they generated more calories per square meter in his farm.  This necessitated a reason to have live potatoes along at all, but luckily  they are  traditional Thanksgiving fare in the US, hence the mission date chosen.

Another option for him would have been to cobble together a hydroponics-style garden, rather than attempting dirt farming.  He had plenty of plastic/Hab Canvas around, he'd just need water.

IRL water would be no problem (and no one knew this at the time the book was written) because Martian regolith is apparently lousy with water, so he wouldn't have had to do the Hydrazine trick, but of course that would still work even if that patch of Acidalia Planitia proved dry.  http://www.space.com/22949-mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover.html

Incidentally, this is precisely the sort of conversation that can inspire kids.  Classrooms could not only discuss Watney's options for survival, but try experiments etc.  Science is best learned hands-on.
 

Offline TheAmmoniacal

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #136 on: December 22, 2015, 03:05:38 am »
it also contains a lot of toxic substances like Na2O, P2O5, K2O, SO3, CaO, NaClO4, and KClO4

Cite?

When mineralogists discuss soil or rock or ceramic compositions, they do it in terms of bulk oxides.  The form is certainly not pure isolated oxides!  For example, pure Na2O and K2O would combine spontaneously with CO2 from the atmosphere, but more likely are present as salts with Cl- or SO4(2-), or combined in natural feldspars, or adsorbed as ions in clay-like compounds.  The latter of which would be exceptionally helpful for plant growth (being measured as the CEC, Cation Exchage Capacity of a soil).

Perchlorate wouldn't be especially helpful, though.

That said, it's not as toxic as it sounds, in fact despite its oxygen-rich structure, it's rather harmless -- the main effect being displacement of iodine leading to hypothyroidism.  The effect seems to be similar in plants: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23673920 I wouldn't really call millimolar levels 'strong', and I don't know offhand how much the soil has in it, but it's possible that potatoes would concentrate it in their leaves, leaving the tubers healthy. :)

Tim

I'm not a mineralogist or geologist, just a chemist. You might be able to inform me as to what these chemicals mean/imply? http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16791 and http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA16572.jpg for me (as a chemist) they are all stable molecules that could exist on Mars perfectly fine. None of them would react with CO2 as they are, although CaO and MgO could if they first reacted with water (CaO + H2O -> Ca(OH)2 + CO2 -> CaCO3 + H2O).
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Online T3sl4co1l

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #137 on: December 22, 2015, 02:38:24 pm »
Given that we know there's water about, it seems unlikely that they wouldn't have reacted, though.

Yeah, spectrophotometry -- so, they're only seeing the high energy electronic resonances of atoms in the material, and expressing it as average composition of probable equivalent content.  Absolutely nothing about form, indeed it's averaged over a powder sample (soil or drillings?).  I don't know about the exact methodology and response, but it should be typical of others (like XRF).

It should be that, in the raw data, there will be a monstrously huge spike corresponding to O (and probably nothing for H, because H doesn't respond to x-rays -- its highest energy level is only 13.6eV, i.e., UV -- so no measurement of water or hydrocarbons from this process), and then spikes (groups of spikes actually, since many elements, especially heavier ones, have multiple excitations) corresponding to all the base elements shown here.

Or for all I know, they might not even have O (and N, C, F, Li, Be, etc. -- light elements with low energy resonances -- most of which are rare or volatile, at least), and they're simply assuming everything is reasonably oxidized (which is, after all, a reasonable assumption, considering they're drilling recognizable rocks and minerals).

Interesting, in the second graph, the four rightmost "elements" are starred.  A note about oxidation state perhaps?  Fe would be present as both Fe(II) and (III), after all.  That's something you can tell absolutely nothing about in this kind of measurement, unfortunately.  At best, you'd have to add up all the elements and their average oxidation states, cross this with the oxygen content, and assign an oxygen balance to whatever the most variable elements are.  (Such as, you're extremely unlikely to have Ti(III), and you probably won't have Fe(III) at the same time as Cu(I) or Cu(II).  And most oxidized alteration products, like Fe(III) and Cu(II), are probably extremely rare on a world that probably* never had the narest hint of an oxygen atmosphere.)

(*But if we can prove that it did, that would be stupendous.)

Disclaimer: I'm only an armchair chemist these days, but I've done quite a bit of amateur inorganic study before, and I retain quite a lot of knowledge about everything from atomic physics to chemistry and electronics. :)

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Offline rrinker

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #138 on: December 28, 2015, 02:06:20 pm »
Originally, Weir was going to use peas (because dried peas are their own seeds and viable--properly stored they can last for centuries!), but he switched to potatoes because they generated more calories per square meter in his farm.  This necessitated a reason to have live potatoes along at all, but luckily  they are  traditional Thanksgiving fare in the US, hence the mission date chosen.

Another option for him would have been to cobble together a hydroponics-style garden, rather than attempting dirt farming.  He had plenty of plastic/Hab Canvas around, he'd just need water.

IRL water would be no problem (and no one knew this at the time the book was written) because Martian regolith is apparently lousy with water, so he wouldn't have had to do the Hydrazine trick, but of course that would still work even if that patch of Acidalia Planitia proved dry.  http://www.space.com/22949-mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover.html

Incidentally, this is precisely the sort of conversation that can inspire kids.  Classrooms could not only discuss Watney's options for survival, but try experiments etc.  Science is best learned hands-on.

 Indeed, if the supposedly smart people who run the schools hadn't reassigned my ex (who has a double major in chemistry and biology, in addition to a masters in education) from teaching 6th grade science, I KNOW she would have done stuff around this movie. If people weren't so upset of a few swear words, she might have even taken her class to see the movie. But, the powers that be decided she should teach social studies and English. Back when she was teaching science, I would occasionally take a day off to help out for things they did, and it was refreshing to see the enthusiasm for science she generated in her class, compared to some of the other teachers who barely had a clue about what they were teaching. Something awesome they used to do in her district, they have an old bus converted into a Space Shuttle mockup, and each class did a one day a year thing where they each tried various stations based on Shuttle jobs and experiments carried out in space as well as various ground control stations - everyone got a shot at each position. Since the retirement of the real Shuttle, as well as the teacher who started it all more than 20 years ago, the district no longer uses it, so it was donated to the local airport where it remains accessible to all teachers and students in the district.  http://patch.com/pennsylvania/southwhitehall/parklands-space-shuttle-blake-bound-for-lvia-southwhitehall
 It even made a trip to Kennedy Space Center.
 The day's program started with a NASA video on the history of the shuttle program, at the time it included the Challenger disaster. Dead silence, even from a bunch of highly excited 6th graders. Still brings a tear to my eye when I see it, because I vividly remember what I was doing.


 

Offline rr100

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #139 on: December 31, 2015, 07:54:41 pm »
I read the book more than one year ago I think (I'm quite sure after it was recommended on this very forum but I can't find the thread ... also that would make the date a bit more precise than my recollection). I was quite surprised when a movie was announced (or when I learned about it, maybe they had it in the making for quite a while) and even more so when they released it this year.

I've seen the movie recently, not bad but they really left out lots and lots of stuff. Sure, I don't know how much I would enjoy 6-10 hours of this (probably the minimum to cover all the sub-plots in the book). Maybe if somebody crafty would manage to split it into 3-6 episodes, each ending with a small cliffhanger (we can easily identify quite a few in the book: losing the potatoes, supply ship blows up, frying Pathfinder, the dust storm)...

I'm not sure about how much the scientific accuracy makes any difference at all for the large public. Sure, the TYPE of movie does make a difference and "The Martian" and "Apollo 13" are in another league compared to psychedelic multidimensional crap like Interstellar or some other slimy-monster movies, etc. BUT "the large public" can't tell the difference between A-TEAM building some improbable, impossible and pointless contraption and MythBusters building something.



 

Offline rr100

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #140 on: December 31, 2015, 08:42:36 pm »
2) I know that astronauts are supposed to have 'the right stuff' but the guy finds a decades old space probe, brings it back to the habitat, plugs in the cables and the thing bursts into life. Whatever happened to different connectors, connectors being the wrong gender, different pinouts, different voltage levels and different communication protocols between the two systems?

In the book "voltage converters" are mentioned - I assume some kind of DC-DC converters, also that there are bare parts like resistors (mentioned explicitly) in the "electronics" kit. Sounds reasonable to have a way to output various voltages (or at least some used regularly) when you have tons of stuff running on electricity. As for connecting the power I can't remember how it was explained in the book but for sure is doable without much fuss, just find the wires going to the solar panels or battery and connect there.

He had watt-meters too - but without logging - important for the "storm" sub-plot :-)

For communication it was wireless after NASA patched remotely the old probe and Mark entered some command/patch by hand in rover's computer. It isn't that much of a stretch as it might seem at first glance; even now many consumer "things" are SDRs (software defined radios) that can do mostly anything - and we're talking 15$ USB tuners. As for the DC power supply - for such a complicated mission, with multiple rovers, science experiments, so many people/life support, etc, etc you'd have for sure some SDR capabilities one way or the other. Especially for talking some older, much much slower protocol.
 

Offline rr100

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #141 on: December 31, 2015, 09:06:13 pm »
As for not replanting, I think the plants were supposed to have frozen so badly they all died. However, he should have had some of the potatoes in his larder, so he should have had something to restart with.

Yes, this is what I was thinking too. Granted, not until I've got to the part where the accident happened but I'm not an astronaut, my life doesn't depend on it, I don't work at NASA and I haven't been thinking about this more than some hours, total. People are having bug-out bags at home, at work, in the car knowing very well you need redundancy, you might not have access to your stuff, it might be destroyed, etc. You can't keep all the eggs in a basket and then if a decompression happens (even while you aren't there to kill you directly) you're still dead. There are also more reasons to keep a totally independent stash with potatoes (and soil and whatever you need to start from scratch), for example the crop might develop some kind of bacteria and be all compromised. This was supposed to be a very long term project, it was clear that many things can happen and some will.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #142 on: January 06, 2016, 09:51:23 am »
Dammit! I watched this movie for the first time the day after Christmas and I've had disco music running through my mind ever since. Waterloo, Waterloo, Waterloo...
 

Offline GK

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #143 on: March 20, 2018, 12:23:50 am »
Saw this the other night on TV. What a heap of boring crap. It was soooo contrived right from the beginning - "How long could he survive the breach of his suit" (as if they wouldn't know already) and from then on it only got worse, the way everything was spelled out for the benefit of the viewer. And I'm sure I couldn't be the only person so far to cringe when the word science was used as a verb.

But the worse failing, making the film a total bore, was the virtually complete absence of any kind of character backstory or development. At about the halfway point I flipped a walnut over whether or not to go to bed early. There was nothing engaging here - I honestly couldn't have cared less from that point on how the rest of the story was to unfold or if Mr Potato was going to get off the planet or not. 

The interplay between the NASA staff was more cartoonish than suspenseful, but any element of humor fell as flat as the characters which were all cardboard cutouts. Just who the feck, for example, was that maverick dude who saved the day with his awesome rescue plan? First he gets a whole scene where he pulls an excited happy face after the super-dooper NASA super compuda says "Computations correct". Then there is the whole minute or so scene where he reveals his plan (playing with plastic models) to the head honchos who maintain deadpan faces, and that's basically it.

And then towards the end Mr Potato mostly disassembles a big rocketship with a K-Mart tool kit and lifts the 400kg nose cone off on his back. Living on half a potato for a gazzillion sol cycles obviously turned the dude into He-Man. In truth anyone living on an exclusive diet of potatoes would generate enough methane to haunch themselves off Mars in just one week. Mr Potato would have been constantly gassing himself in that spacesuit. I mean, really, they could have at the very least written just one fart joke scene into the dull and banal script.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 11:54:27 am by GK »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #144 on: March 20, 2018, 12:30:47 am »
So I'm guessing you didn't like it much  :-//
 

Offline mikerj

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #145 on: April 26, 2018, 02:43:35 am »
So I'm guessing you didn't like it much  :-//

A surprising number of people sat down to watch a Hollywood blockbuster whilst expecting to see a documentary...
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #146 on: June 29, 2018, 11:03:23 am »
And then towards the end Mr Potato mostly disassembles a big rocketship with a K-Mart tool kit and lifts the 400kg nose cone off on his back. Living on half a potato for a gazzillion sol cycles obviously turned the dude into He-Man.

The 400 kg of mass would only weigh 400 kg on earth. On mars it would be more like 150 kg. Less if you use leverage to only lift one side before sliding. For a fit guy of his size, you don't have to be that much of a he-man to do it.
 

Offline GK

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #147 on: July 10, 2018, 09:35:51 pm »
And then towards the end Mr Potato mostly disassembles a big rocketship with a K-Mart tool kit and lifts the 400kg nose cone off on his back. Living on half a potato for a gazzillion sol cycles obviously turned the dude into He-Man.

The 400 kg of mass would only weigh 400 kg on earth. On mars it would be more like 150 kg. Less if you use leverage to only lift one side before sliding. For a fit guy of his size, you don't have to be that much of a he-man to do it.

"The first cellular analysis of muscles from astronauts who have spent 180 days at the International Space Station shows that their muscles lost more than 40 percent of their capacity for physical work, despite in-flight exercise.

No matter how good their shape was before the astronauts left, they returned with muscle tone that resembled that of the average 80-year-old. In fact, the astronauts who were in the best shape before they launched were the most likely to come back with withered, or atrophied, muscles.

NASA currently estimates it would take a crew 10 months to reach Mars, with a one year stay, and 10 months to get back, for a total mission time of about three years. These studies suggest they would barely be able to crawl by the time they got back to Earth with the current exercise regime.

"The lack of load" – pressure on muscles – "is the main problem," said biologist Robert Fitts of Marquette University. "There is no gravity and so any fibers within those muscles are unloaded. The load normally maintains protein synthesis and the size." Even with plenty of activity, the lack of load leads to atrophy."

https://www.wired.com/2010/08/astronaut-muscle-waste/


How long did it take Mr Potato to reach Mars again and how many sols did this fanciful fiction have him subsisting on the concentration camp crash diet?

« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 06:42:29 pm by GK »
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #148 on: July 10, 2018, 10:14:40 pm »
I doubt the long-term zero-gravity studies can be strongly applied to most of the situations presented in the movie. The long trip to/from the planet was in a ship that provided centrifugal gravity for most of the trip. And Mars itself is NOT a zero-gravity situation. Low but real gravity and actually needing to use legs for locomotion on a regular basis may turn out to be quite sufficient to counter most of the negative effects.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #149 on: July 11, 2018, 04:57:03 am »
"The first cellular analysis of muscles from astronauts who have spent 180 days at the International Space Station shows that their muscles lost more than 40 percent of their capacity for physical work, despite in-flight exercise.

No matter how good their shape was before the astronauts left, they returned with muscle tone that resembled that of the average 80-year-old. In fact, the astronauts who were in the best shape before they launched were the most likely to come back with withered, or atrophied, muscles.

NASA currently estimates it would take a crew 10 months to reach Mars

So? You make a ship with artificial gravity (by spinning it).
 


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