Chapter 1: Fox News
Fox News: January 8, 2036
Amanda Lindell: Welcome back to America’s Newsroom on Fox. I’m your host Amanda Lindell. This morning’s topic is the stranded astronaut, Mark Watney. Since NASA revealed that Watney did not, in fact, die on Mars in November like previously reported, the story has gripped the nation, and with the early projections of the cost of a rescue mission, it has apparently gripped congress’ wallet, too!
Here to discuss the most recent developments we have friend of the show Ron Hinkson and popular scientist Bill Nye. Welcome.
Bill Nye: Thanks for having me.
Ron Hinkson: Always a pleasure, Amanda.
AL: The news of Mark Watney's survival shocked the nation last week, and the outpouring of support we’ve seen for Watney has been staggering, but yesterday sources from Washington reported that a rescue mission for Watney comes with a price tag of, let me get this right, [looks down at her notes] 250 million dollars. A lot of people say that price is too steep to save just one man. Bill, what do you think?
BN: Well first of all, the mission proposed by NASA is not strictly a rescue mission. That cost includes two different things. First, NASA plans to send a probe to Mark to reestablish communication and give him enough food and supplies to last four more years. Second, that cost also includes the necessary modifications to the Ares 4 Mars Descent Vehicle that will pick up Mark at the beginning of their mission. That price tag is effectively buying four years of first-hand in-depth study of the Red Planet, in addition to, of course, bringing Mark Watney home safe.
RH: Well first off, I think we need to look at why he’s there in the first place. It’s because NASA screwed up, and they screwed up big-time. They not only left an astronaut behind on Mars, but they didn’t event realize he was alive for over a month! They’ve already shown how incompetent they are, and now they want to put the burden of paying for their mistakes onto the American taxpayers. We’ve already spent billions of dollars on the Ares missions, and, as recent events have shown, NASA can’t be trusted with it. Someone else with a better track record, like Elon Musk at SpaceX, should take over this operation and crowd fund it from people who want to donate. Now, I feel for Watney and his family, I do, but it would be ridiculous for taxpayers to continue to throw money at NASA, an organization that is clearly failing to do its job.
BN: I think that’s an overstatement. No one could have predicted the events that left Mark stranded. In the six years that we’ve been collecting data on the Ares 3 site, the dust storm winds have never gotten with 50 kpm of the winds we witnessed in November! NASA is made up of the best and brightest Americans, and has shown an outstanding history of problem solving and finding solutions to tough problems. On top of that, NASA is the only organization that has the capabilities of launching an interplanetary rescue mission in time. SpaceX might have a station in orbit, but they don’t have the technology to send an independent mission to Mars! But this isn’t a question about NASA; this is a question about Mark. We as a nation cannot just turn our backs on him. This isn’t about funding or politics; this is about a real human life!
RH: Do you honestly believe this isn’t about politics? Do you honestly think that this democratic congress would be so eager to help a stranded astronaut if the astronaut wasn’t an outspoken liberal who would return the favor by endorsing them if he gets back? It’s a well-known fact that Watney was a volunteer on Bernie Sander’s campaign while he was in college at the University of Chi—
BN: Wait, are you serious right now? You honestly don’t think that people would care—
RH: No, no! I wasn’t finished. The liberal media would not be telling the American people they should care about this if the stranded astronaut was, say, Commander Lewis or Major Martinez, two outstanding military personnel who have risked their lives to defend this country, instead of someone who spent years building up foreign countries' economies.
BN: What are you even talking about?! Mark was in the Peace Corps! He was helping families and villages in developing countries utilize more sustainable farming techniques! What—
RH: Exactly! Taking more money from the hands of hardworking American families and investing it in foreign economies. And now NASA and congress are trying to take MORE money from the hands of the American people. What about American families? Are they supposed to go hungry so that NASA can waste more money?
BN: Are you [beep] kidding me? Are you [beep] serious right now? [starts to stand up from table]
AR: And I think it’s time for a commercial break!
[video feed cuts off abruptly]
Huffington Post @HuffingtonPost
Fox News stands by comments made by Hinkson regarding pulling funding from Watney rescue mission huff.po/3oESg
Ash Collins @mustASHman09
dude, FUCK fox news, and FUCK the companies that keep in on air #BoycottFoxFunders #BringHimHome
this week we learned that if you insult mark watney, bill nye will come into your house and fuck. you. up.
Crest, Mercedes Benz join 4 other companies in pulling ads from Fox in wake of astronaut comments and decrease in sales cnn.co/lw2sGW
The Dark Lord @MrTomADildoLover
Never. Insult. Mark Watney. In front of. Me. #HarryPotter #BoycottFoxFunders #BringHimHome
From: theSkimm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: me <email@example.com>
Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Skimm for January 14, 2036
REPEAT AFTER ME….
What to say when your friend doesn’t wear pink on Wednesday…
You can’t sit with us. Over the weekend, Fox News severed ties with frequent guest Ron Hinkson after initially defending his comments regarding leaving Mark Watney stranded on Mars. Last week, the network started losing major corporate sponsors after protesters, i.e., pretty much everyone, pledged to boycott any brands that advertised during Fox programming. The network has yet to apologize for the comments, but did issue a statement claiming that Hinkson is no longer affiliated with Fox News. Score one for Team Watney.
Chapter 2: Crash Course Mars
Episode 3 of John and Hank Green's Youtube Channel Crash Course Mars.
Having already completed a popular Youtube educational series on the basics of the Ares missions back in 2029, the NASA Education Initiative reached out to John and Hank again to help students and the general public understand the science behind Mark Watney's continued survival on Mars.
[Transcript from the Nerdfighteria Wiki: http://nerdfighteria.info/transcripts/mars/3 ]
Road Trip: Crash Course Mars Episode #3
Hank: Hi, I’m Hank Green and this is Crash Course Mars, our special series explaining the science that’s currently keeping Mark Watney alive down on the surface of the Red Planet. This episode of Crash Course Mars is brought you in conjunction with PBS Digital Studios and the NASA Education Initiative. For teachers showing this in class, you can find lesson plans and activities by grade level by clicking here or by following the link the description box below.
Let’s get started. This week we’ve had some major developments and seen some of Mark’s ingenious resourcefulness in action. And for what? Possibly the most important road trip…like, EVER.
Hank: So my brother John has written many a life-changing road trips in his time, but I think he’ll agree with me when I say that Mark Watney’s road trip might be the most important—and the most dangerous—road trip ever.
Over the past few days, you’ve probably all seen the satellite imagery showing Mark driving across Acidalia Planitia (the area of Mars where the Ares 3 site is located). When seeing how far he’s driven, you might ask your self… “How?” NASA, not to mention the team here at Crash Course, have spent tons of time talking about how important all of the systems of the Hab are to keeping astronauts alive on the surface of Mars. But Mark is currently on his fourth day out of the Hab, and, if our speculation is correct, it will be at least three weeks until he returns.
Crash Course viewers who have followed the Ares missions more closely will also notice how the distance Mark has traveled each day is way more than what a rover was designed for, not to mention that Mark has no Hab to plug the rover into every night to recharge.
So how is he doing this?
Well, we won’t know all of the specifics until he can reestablish contact and tell us, but we’ll try to make our best guesses based on what we already know about the mission’s supplies. Remember, Mark is one of the world’s best mechanical engineers, so it’s entirely possible that he’s tinkered with some of his supplies to make them more well-suited to his current mission: a long-range multi-day trip over Martian terrain.
We know he brought solar cells and has been laying them out to collect energy, so we know that in lieu of recharging through the HAB, he is recharging directly through sunlight. We can also infer that he hasn’t brought the water reclaimer, the oxygenator, or the atmospheric regulator for the rover because those items take up too much energy, and he’s using almost all of the rover’s energy on actually driving. Here’s how we think he’s getting by:
For air, we think he probably took one of the 25-liter tanks of oxygen and is using CO2 filters to scrub the air clean of any carbon dioxide. Now, CO2 filters are a finite resource, but all things considered, a few weeks’ worth of CO2 filters is well worth the benefit of communication with Earth. The rover itself has systems to detect the makeup of the air, so he’ll know when he has to release more oxygen or change CO2 filters. For water, without the water reclaimer, he probably brought all the water he’ll need to drink with him and is hopefully preserving his urine for when he gets back to the HAB.
The thing that has us stumped is how he’s getting around the heating that the Hab provides. Based on our calculations, simply heating the rover 24.7 hours a day would take up almost all of a rover’s battery power. Now, we think that he removed the battery from the other rover and has added it to his current rover, but that still doesn’t account for the distance he’s traveled.
One charge of one rover’s battery will power the rover’s internal systems and get him 35 kilometers of driving distance. We’ve seen him drive over double that driving distance in a single day, so we know that he’s using both batteries, and has somehow figured out a way to retain heat inside the rover. Our best guess is that he has somehow increased the insulation in the sides of the rover in order to retain his body heat. If you have any guesses on how Mark is travelling as far as he is everyday, feel free to let us know in the comments below.
All of this being said, I still think it’s safe to say that people aren’t as excited about how he’s driving as far as he is, by why he’s doing it. We now know that Mark is not heading to Schiaparelli Crater, like we’d feared, but to Pathfinder, which was landed on Mars almost 40 years ago! Click here to learn more about the Pathfinder lander and Sojourner rover mission through a crash course video we made a while back. Link in the doobly-do. To recap that mission, Pathfinder went dark about 3 months after touching down on the Martian surface, most likely due to Martian dust inhibiting sunlight from hitting the solar cells.
So why do we care about Mark driving to a dead probe? Communication! If we’re correct in our assumption that Pathfinder died due to a lack of solar energy, Mark can simply brush off the solar panels and reestablish its communication with Earth!
John: I think we need to pause for a second and talk about just how important it is that Mark is able to communicate with us, and vise versa. You’ve probably seen Director of Mars Operations Venkat Kapoor on the news this week talk about how dangerous life outside of the HAB is, and how they wished he stayed put. And you’ve also probably seen the interview with NASA Psychologist Irene Shields on The Watney Report where she said that Mark might take the death sentence of travelling to the MAV in Schiaparelli just for the chance to communicate with Earth. Links to those reports are in the doobly-do.
Now both of these things were said before we realized that Mark is actually driving to Pathfinder, but they both bring up important things to consider. It now appears that Mark has not lost hope, and is actively trying to reestablish contact with Earth in the safest way possible, even if the safest route, in this case, is still incredibly dangerous.
I think the risks Mark is taking in order to reestablish contact with other people not only speaks to his determination to survive, but also to his humanity. Humans are, by our very nature, social creatures. Communication with Earth will not only increase Mark’s chances of survival due to the number of brains he has working on his problems, but also because connections to other humans can help improve his mental functioning, emotional well-being, and feelings of connectedness with humanity. All of these things will be critical to helping him persevere through the long years ahead.
When we see Mark set off on this dangerous journey—all in an attempt to communicate with the rest of humanity—we can’t help but be affected by it because his journey reflects our own. The only difference between his struggle and ours is that his is a lot more dangerous.
Hank: But before we get ahead of ourselves, we should probably talk about what that communication will look like. Viewers who know a bit about the Pathfinder lander know that the probe has very few moving parts. We’re talking 1990s technology, here! If Mark manages to get Pathfinder talking to Earth, our options for communication are limited, so hold off on the fanmail you were preparing for the time being.
The bright side is that Pathfinder was equipped with a panoramic camera. If that is still working, in a few weeks you might have a new photo of Mark to put on your walls. More importantly, though, that camera can relay any messages that Mark writes to us. In terms of Earth and the people at NASA sending messages, the best solution from the folks here at Crash Course would be using different degrees of rotation of the Sojourner rover’s wheels to spell out messages, or using the panoramic camera head on the Pathfinder rover itself to point to specific letters that Mark might have spaced out in circle around the rover.
Keep in mind that every message we send will take about 20 minutes to get to Mars, and the same for any pictures or messages Mark sends to us. If you want to learn more about the varying communication delays between Earth and Mars, or really Earth and any other object in the universe, check out this video over on our SciShow Space Youtube channel. Let us know in the comments below if you can think of a different or more efficient way to communicate using the Pathfinder lander.
The problems facing Mark Watney are numerous and difficult. But he has one thing going for him: all of us.
John: And that, dear viewers, is what we want to highlight in this week’s episode. If you’re watching this video, there’s approximately a 100% chance that you’ve been following the “Boycott Fox Funders” and the “Bring Him Home” movements that have really taken over the internet these past few weeks. These movements show how engaged we the public are in Mark Watney’s fate.
I have heard it said by several newscasters and politicians this week that Mark Watney’s struggle has brought out the best in humanity, and I want to respectfully disagree. Here’s why:
The best in humanity can be seen everyday in many, many different ways. The massive decrease in extreme poverty and maternal and infant mortality since the last decade of the 20th century demonstrate the best of humanity. The massive increase in our utilization of solar power and subsequent decrease in emissions of greenhouse gases since 2020 demonstrate the best of humanity. We often overlook these things because they are the result of years of complicated and drawn out discourse. Often times, both sides arguing an issue have humanity’s best interests at heart, but the differences in methods and philosophies tend to make forward progress incremental, and thus less noticeable.
The difference with Mark Watney is that the best of humanity has a clear outlet and a clear mission in which to show itself: bring him home. Our efforts, and the efforts of NASA, have a more immediate and visible impact. Companies pulling support from a network and images of a rover traveling across an ancient alien desert make for better news stories than a person not contracting HIV or a family reducing their carbon footprint by switching to 100% solar energy.
Mark Watney does not bring out the best in humanity; the best of humanity is already all around us. Rather, the world’s reaction to Mark Watney is the rare moment when circumstances align to make clear to us the compassion, hope, and determination of the human spirit.
It does not take a NASA engineer to figure out that right now Mark lacks a lot of things he needs to make it home, and for the most part, people like you and I cannot do much to provide him with most of those things. But we do have the power to give him two things: our gratitude and our support.
So when Mark and the folks at NASA figure out how to give a dead probe new life, I have one simple message for him:
Thank you. We’re with you.
Great video! Why doesn’t NASA just use Super Surveyor 3 to broadcast a signal to the rover? Wouldn’t that be easier?
The rover coms aren’t designed to receive a signal from that far away, I think. That’s why they can only go a few miles from the Hab.
Thanks Hank and John! I just showed this to my 8th grade science students. They want to #BringHimHome
Communication is good and everything, but when are we sending him more food? It doesn’t matter if he can talk to us if he’s going to starve before we can send him a resupply probe.
Let’s be real, as much as we all want to see Watney home safe, the chances of the government actually accomplishing something on time aren’t that good…
Want to find out what REALLY happened on Sol 6? Click here bit.li/3GSek #Area51 #MarksNotAlone
wtf are you even talking about? Can you be serious for like once in your life? This is the real world, not some game.
He’s a troll just ignore him.
“Thank you. We’re with you” brb crying
For those of you who don't already know, Crash Course and SciShow are real channels that you can check out on Youtube. I highly recommend Crash Course Astronomy with Phil Plait and all of the SciShow Space videos.
Chapter 3: Devon Island
Monica Hartman thought she'd seen the last of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island after she'd completed rover testing for Ares 1. She was wrong.
Monica Hartman tried to be grateful as she stood up straight, stretched her lower back, and looked out over the rocky terrain of Devon Island. A cold breeze passed, and she pulled her coat tighter to her tall frame. She was all for road trips, but two weeks of 8-hour days of driving around the same frigid, uninhabited island in a cramped rover was not her idea of fun. Her idea of fun involved actually being able to celebrate her wife’s 30th birthday with her in-person, but it turned out NASA had different plans for her.
She was not one of the regular crews at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station. She, along with two of her colleagues from the NASA rover team, had somehow found themselves back on Devon Island driving rovers around the frozen rock. She’d thought she’d seen the last of it when she and the team finished testing the rovers in preparation for the Ares 1 mission. Fresh out of grad school, she had jumped at the opportunity to test the rovers (or, at least, a copy of the rovers) that would soon be used on Mars (I mean, come on! It’s Mars!). But even she, with her bright-eyed enthusiasm, had been happy to board the plane to take her back to civilization after the 3 months of testing was complete.
But now she was back. As soon as NASA had realized that Watney might have drive cross-planet to get to the Ares 4 MAV, they had pulled her off of the planning for the Hun Kal rover mission to Mercury, told her to pack her fleece onesie, and sent her on a plane up to Canada to take part in the coldest, bleakest road trip ever.
Well, not ever, she reminded herself. She took a deep breath of the cold air and shook out her legs. It could be worse, she told herself. She could be stuck on Mars.
Reaching inside her coat, she struggled to extract a clunky black walkie-talkie with the NASA logo emblazed on the back from her coat pocket.
“Jesus,” she thought, “Couldn’t NASA spare some technology from this century?” she pondered, not for the first time.
“Rover 3 to Base. Do you copy?” Monica said into the old walkie-talkie. Bouncing up and down to keep warm, she prayed Sorna had the walkie-talkie on him and would respond soon. It was fucking cold out here.
A moment later, Sorna’s deep voice came through, “Base to Rover 3. We copy. Go ahead.”
Thank fuck. Her fingers were getting numb.
“I’ve just finished driving for the day. I’m at Gamma Station now. Will send rover stats and observations as soon as I boot up the station.”
“Sounds good. Your path for tomorrow will be sent to the rover coms. We’re bringing you south by southwest back towards Base. Richards will swap out with you day after tomorrow. Over.”
“Copy that. Over and out.”
Well, that was a sliver lining, at least. Base had real internet instead of the satellite shit they had out at the remote stations. She might get to see Kait on her birthday, after all—even if was through a monitor.
Stuffing the walkie-talkie back into her coat, she grabbed her bag from the ground beside her and trudged over to the small building that stood out from the bleak and lifeless landscape like an oasis. Booting up the heating and limited electrical system took a few minutes, and she used the time to look at what food packs she had grabbed for the night’s dinner. Pasta primavera. Not bad.
Her fingers slowly regaining feeling, she plugged in her laptop, downloaded the rover’s self-diagnostics, and opened a blank email. After addressing it to Venkat Kapoor (and cc’ing Richards and Sorna), she began typing out her observations:
Rover 3 is still operating at a good efficiency after 112 hours of driving (28 sol-equivalent). I noted today that in addition to the continued minute loss of traction in the tires as they wear down, the rover is offsetting .05 degrees to the right. I examined the undercarriage during my lunch break, and found the rear right tire has become slightly malaligned. I think the additional strain of the trailer and the placement of the engine might have something to do with it.
The good news is it’s an easy fix. Watney only has to realign the back wheels every 10 sols or so, and the rover will continue to drive straight. The offset is not noticeable otherwise, and I wouldn’t have even picked it up if the GPS has not shown the rover deviating slightly from today’s route. I do not foresee it being a problem as long as Watney’s aware of it.
Monica quickly reviewed the email before attaching the rover diagnostics and hitting send. She waited as the computer slowly sent the email. Jesus, this was slow. She missed her smartphone. At least she’d had the forethought to schedule the flower delivery to her and Kait’s apartment the last time she had been on Base; there’s no way she could have managed it with the shitty internet connection here.
As she waited for the email to send, she went back to her duffel and pulled out the pasta primavera. She opened the packet and added some water from her canteen. As she grabbed her fork to mix the water and dehydrated food together, she heard a muffled voice come from her coat pocket.
“Base to Gamma Station. Over…Base to Gamma Station do you read?”
Scrambling across the small room, she picked up her coat and frantically began feeling around for the walkie-talkie.
“Damnit, Hartman, pick up. It’s urgent!”
Her hands finally connecting with hard plastic, Monica yanked the walkie-talkie out of a pocket.
“Shit! Sorry, Gamma station here! Go ahead. What’s the problem?”
“No easy way to say this, but Houston just called. Mark’s alive, but he’s somehow fried Pathfinder. NASA’s lost communications with him.”
“Oh shit. If they’re calling us, I take it they weren’t able to fix it?”
“Yeah. They said there’s no way to fix Pathfinder from our end. Or from Mark’s, for that matter. It looks like Mark is going to have to get to Schiaparelli on his own.”
“Fuckin’ shit, Sorna.”
“Yeah, I know, but there’s nothing we can do, especially not here. Houston said they’re sending a plane to pick us up tomorrow night. Just leave tomorrow morning when it gets light and drive straight back to Base.”
“Copy that. I should get back mid-afternoon.”
“Sounds good. See you then. Over and out.”
Well, fuck. Watney was nowhere near finished with the rover mods, let alone aware of any of the ill effects of long-duration driving on the rover’s performance. His odds of making it to Schiaparelli just plummeted.
Monica sat down dejected in her chair and glanced at the still-open laptop. The email had finally sent. Fat lot of good that would do anyone now, though.
“Hey,” she realized, “At least I’ll make it back for Kait’s birthday.”
The thought didn’t really make her feel much better.
The Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island is a real thing, though probably not my first choice for a vacation.
I know this chapter was a little light on the social media aspect, but I promise the next chapter will get back into it.
Chapter 4: WatneyWatch
Snopes, the new WatneyWatch app, and how to tell your child their hero is going to die in an invisible dust storm on Mars
[Accessed from http://www.snopes.com/science/nasa/459683 on June 21, 2036]
Rumor Has It: NASA had scrapped the Rich Purnell Maneuver but the Ares 3 crew committed mutiny and forced their hand.
Origins: Whispers of this rumor started only hours after the launch of the Taiyang Shen carrying supplies to the Ares 3 crew on the Hermes. Two separate people who had claimed to be NASA scientists working in mission control posted on their personal social media accounts (all of which have since been deleted) that mission controllers had no prior knowledge of the Rich Purnell Maneuver when the crew of the Hermes made the initial course adjustments. They also posted that the crew sent a message along with the course adjustment that read, “Rich Purnell is a steely-eyed missile man,” and claimed that mission control had no records of sending the course adjustments to the Hermes computer prior to the change of course.
Recordings of the NASA-TV mission control live feed do show a flurry of activity during the night shift before the press release announcing the maneuver. A scientist from JPL gave an interview to his alma matter the day before the announcement saying that, “Sometimes you have to think out of the box. For example, right now I’m working on a way to crash-land food into the Martian surface while maintaining it’s edibility,” which indicates that JPL scientists were not aware of the new plan the day before the announcement.
On the other hand, there is no confirmation that the two supposed NASA employees were actually employees. Both of their accounts have been deleted and no media outlet has been able to snag an interview with any NASA personnel who could respond to these claims. Where's @RogueNASA when you need them?
Given the sheer quantity of conspiracies that pop culture has created around NASA, it’s no surprise that this rumor has become so popular on the internet. And, given the minimal evidence usually supporting NASA conspiracies, this one stands out as rather credible by comparison. There are, however, lots of holes, so it is difficult to draw a definite conclusion on this on until there is more conclusive evidence.
We will update this page as more information becomes available.
Last updated: 21 June 2036
Jessica Horne @Jessica_Horne
Track Mark Watney’s #RoverMods through the WatneyWatch app, available for free through the Apple and Android app stores bit.le/9dg
$134 of materials + 77 hours of work + an unhealthy obsession with Mars = best Comic Con cosplay ever
#Melissa Lewis #Space Bae #SLCC2036 #Ares 3 cosplay
WatneyWatch 9m ago
Mark Message Notification: “ROVER MODS COMPLETE. HAB SYSTEMS OK.”
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3 Hot Ticket Items This Black Friday: Ares 3 Action Figures, Under Armor (NASA line), Limited Edition iPhone: Ares bu.zz/2G9S0yw
WatneyWatch 34m ago
Mark Message Notification: “TECHNICALLY IM A SPACE PIRATE. RE INTL LAWS.”
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Fox News @FoxNews
Has Mars Finally Cracked Mark Watney? Fo.x/5Fi3nI
omg listen up you fuckers i’m pre-law at georgetown. i can barely type i’m laughing so much. mark is a fucking dork. so technically no country can own anything in space unless they put it there. and if you’re not in any country, maritime law applies. NASA put the MAV there so NASA owns it, but Mars is “international waters.” because mark lost contact with NASA, no one can tell him to board the MAV, so when he gets there next year, technically he’ll be fucking “stealing” the MAV while in international waters aka a pirate. But he’s on fucking mars so he’s a fucking space pirate.
#mark watney #space pirate #literal fave mark watney #bringhimhome #bae
Patricia Watney @PatWatneyOfficial
Merry Christmas Eve! Thank you for your thoughts & prayers, but please direct any donations to Mark’s fav charities. List here: bit.l/G7w9iL
WatneyWatch 1h ago
Mark Message Notification: “SCHIAPARELLI OR BUST”
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Mark Watney Starts 7 Week Journey to Schiaparelli MAV. Dust Storm Brews cnn.com/w7S2gV
me @ mark watney
#mark watney #i laughed at this #i’m going to hell
Luke Kogut @whataluuuser2018
Ok but how am I supposed to give a shit about midterms when my boy mark is being killed by an invisible dust storm
yo everyone go download the watneywatch app if you haven’t already. it’s live-updating with satellite pictures from all of the space agencies. the nasa app is only posting pics from nasa-affiliated satellites, but watneywatch is pulling from the 8 nasa-affiliated satellites, esa’s 3 satellites, isro’s sarabhai, and roscosmos’ TGO. new pics every 4 mins and a graph that tracks his progress vs the storm’s. go go go!
#bringhimhome #journeyacrossmars #mark watney #watneywatch #thewatneynet
HelenandJohn Flynn shared Christian Today’s photo.
7 minutes ago
One of my favorites! Share this if you support Mark Watney!!!! #PrayforMark
[Photo of praying hands in front of an American flag with cursive writing that reads, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me”]
WatneyWatch 3m ago
Mark Message Notification: “5TH AIR DAY. WATNEY TRIANGLE IS B T M CRATERS.”
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[Accessed from http://www.parenting.com/child/education/worst-case-scenario-mark-watney on March 10, 2037]
Worst Case Scenario: Talking to Your Child about Mark Watney
Tags: Advice, Tough Conversations
By Alicia Brockmeier
I count myself among the scores of parents who, last October, scoured every last Halloween store for youth-sized astronaut costumes. I also sheepishly admit that I might have been among the scores of parents who dished out way too much money for NASA paraphernalia and rocket toys around the holidays. But I did it all because my son has stars in his eyes, and I want to keep them there.
My 8-year old son, Evan, used to dread math and science classes, but all of that changed when Mark Watney came along. Learning about rockets and planets and plants in the classroom became much more engaging for him when he realized that class was just an extension of his new favorite hobby—pretending to be an astronaut. His grades shot up, and I did everything I could to foster that interest.
But now my husband and I, along with millions of other parents of young children, are faced with a very tough conversation. With Mark Watney now in the middle of an invisible yet deadly Martian dust storm, we must prepare ourselves for having the conversation with Evan about the death of his hero.
When having this conversation, we are planning to explain the situation as best we can in terms an 8-year old will understand. Evan is old enough now to understand that death is permanent, but, as is common with most children, he does not think it could happen to him. A common belief at his age is that he can outwit or escape death. Below are a few tips for having this discussion with your child.
Answer all questions: Even if they’re difficult to answer, it’s important to answer the questions your child has in order to diminish the fear that confronting the idea of death might bring. If your child is anything like mine, Mark’s story will have only fostered their curiosity about the world around them. It would be a mistake to discourage that.
Avoid euphemisms: Trying to cushion talking about death by describing it as “sleeping” or “going away” will not do your child any favors in the long run. Tell your child the truth in terms they can appreciate: “Mars is a dangerous place for humans because it doesn’t have air like here on Earth. The dust storm blocked the power to the machine that was giving Mark Earth-air, so his body shut down.”
Be ready for a lot of different reactions: You child will go through a lot of different emotions when confronting the idea of death for the first time. One of these emotions may be guilt or anger. Make it clear to your child that there was nothing they did that caused Mark to die.
For more information about how to talk to your child about death, check out this article.
Mark’s Message: “DUST STORM. MAKING PLAN.”
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omg guys I’m crying and shaking rn in the middle of the cereal isle at the store he knows!!!! how??!?! ??
#bringhimhome #GROUP HUG #my son
Hope for Mark Watney: Stranded Astronaut Aware of Deadly Dust Storm nb.c/2fH5K2q
Learn the science behind Mark’s method of tracking the storm with John & Hank Green in this week’s Crash Course Mars yo.utbe/zH3S7P
mark watney @ mars rn
Chapter 5: Launch
Tattoos, number one hits, and public gatherings that will probably lead to the most simultaneous worldwide traffic jams.
[Instagram photo of a wrist with tattooed dots, dashes, and slashes making a bracelet]
meg.krum I finally got my #tattoo! The world might be trying to save @AstroMarkWatney's life, but he’s already saved mine. -. . ...- . .-. / ... - --- .--. / ..-. .. --. .... - .. -. --.
flaria_lopez I love it, girl! I’m so proud of you!
CLS11 “Never Stop Fighting” It’s gorgeous! I’m thinking about getting one too but idk where.
If you can dodge a dust storm you can dodge a ball.
[Screenshot of a tumblr post that is a screenshot of the YouTube video “Leave Your Mark”]
Lol LEAVE YOUR MARK! Did you guys see this?
Of course we’ve seen it. It’s like a year old and the post you just screenshotted and reposted has 1.5 million notes.
#stop reposting old shit in the tag #ughhh
[Accessed from http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100 on March 29, 2037]
The Hot 100
Week of March 28, 2037
- Hope – Nebulium Sunrise. Last week: 1
- Falling into You – Chris Udvar. Last week: 3
Hot103.3: “Hello and welcome back to Hot103.3’s Weekly Countdown. This week, Nebulium Sunrise’s “Hope” stayed at number one for the third week in a row. Of course, Nebulium Sunrise is no stranger to number one hits; this is their sixth song to hit the top of the charts. “Hope,” which was written as a tribute to stranded astronaut Mark Watney, has been the most requested song on radio stations across the country since it’s release earlier this month. We have Nebulium Sunrise’s lead singer Ava Phillips with us in the studio this week to talk about her latest hit. How are you doing, Ava?
Ava: I'm doing well! Thanks for having me!
Hot103.3: Thank you for joining us! So Ava, we know the song is about Mark Watney, but what inspired you to write the song?
Ava: Well, the idea had been floating around in my head for a while. It just seemed that every time the world had lost hope, Mark always proved us wrong, and gave us a reason to hope again. We all thought he had died on Sol 6, but he survived. We thought he’d starve, but he grew food. And we though the airlock explosion had killed him, but he got right back up solved that problem, too. But it wasn’t until he figured out the dust storm that I was able to put everything I wanted to say on paper. After that, it was a remarkably quick process. From the time Mark realized he was in a dust storm to when the song was released was like a week and a half, I think.
Hot103.3: That’s incredible, especially for this industry! I heard that DJ Quicksand is working with you on a remix. What can you tell us about that?
Ava: Well, it’s funny you should mention that. I was just talking…”
i mean, don’t get me wrong, i fucking love hope by ns, but it always annoys the shit out of me when the song title isn’t in the actual song. like, ya'll seriously gonna make me open shazzam like a fuckin' amateur?
but that’s the thing! HOPE is in the song! Well, H.O.P.E. is, at least. the chorus sounded weird to me the first time i heard it until i realized the melody is HOPE in fucking morse code! god I fucking love nebulium sunrise
#morse code #ns
WatneyWatch 1m ago
URGENT: Rover has flipped and separated from trailer while descending into Schiaparelli Crater.
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Washington DC Trends change
~Promoted by Maybelline
April Fools Day
I-270 SB Accident
wait did the rovers really flip? I can’t tell if this legit or just a sick april fools joke?
No, yeah, they really did flip. The WatneyWatch app reported it, and they don’t fuck around. I think Mark’s cousin helps run it? idk, but the good news is the rover doesn’t show signs of losing pressure.
UPDATE: Mark Watney alive and doing EVA to fix rover and trailer.
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Laura Heisler @Laura_Heisler_
#IfMarkWatneyCan flip a rover by himself, I can finish this paper #BringHimHome
Mars: Fuck this guy in particular
#Bring Him Home #Mark Watney #TheWatneyNet
Mark's still 1 day away, but the MAV has picked up its first signal from the rover. Watch the press conference live nasa.gov/nasatv
[Accessed from http://airandspace.si.edu/events/ares-iv-arrival/ on Monday, April 6, 2037.]
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Come Join Us for Mark Watney’s Ares IV Arrival!
This Wednesday, April 8, Mark Watney is set to arrive at the Ares IV landing site. Come join the celebration at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Starting approximately 45 minutes before Mark’s estimated arrival, we will have former NASA astronaut Christina Koch give a brief presentation and respond to questions in the Lockheed Martin IMAX theater. Following the Q&A, we will be live streaming NASA-TV as Mark reaches the Ares IV MAV. Discovery Stations will be set up where the next generation of Mars explorers can learn about rockets, try on an actual spacesuit glove, and even touch a Martian rock! Admission is free. Don’t miss out on this fun-filled opportunity for the whole family!
WatneyWatch 9m ago
UPDATE: Watney has reached the Ares IV landing site. Awaiting message from Mark.
El plan de la NASA para las modificaciones MAV atrae críticas por parte de la comunidad científica uni.vs/2PznI
[Accessed from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nasa-releases-mark-watneys-video-logs/ on April 9, 2037]
BREAKING: NASA releases several of Mark Watney’s video logs
By Tzipi Lehman
HOUSTON- NASA has just released several video logs made by Mark Watney that offer snapshots of his time over the last year and a half on the Red Planet. NASA spokeswoman Annie Montrose stated that Mark sent all of his video logs using the MAV’s communication systems. Preliminary reviews of the videos indicate that the logs document Mark’s time on Mars spanning from Sol 6 when he was abandoned up to Sol 505 (April 8th) when he reached the MAV.
Montrose stated that the 10 video logs set for release, which total approximately 92 minutes, have been edited for language. She also stated that the rest of the video logs (comprised of over 3 days worth of footage) will be released at a later date. Watney is well known for his colorful language thanks to the widely followed text-based messages he sent back to Earth until last spring when he lost the ability to communicate with Earth. Back in 2035, early followers of the Ares III mission captured and saved some of Mark’s more colorful social media posts from the crew's trip to Mars that NASA officials quickly took down and edited for content.
When asked about the privacy concerns for releasing the highly personal videos, Montrose stated that while the logs did fall under privacy protections that exempt them from mandatory public release within 24 hours, Mark attached a memo to the data transfer which stated that his logs belonged to the public and instructed NASA to release them.
Watney’s memo (see below) goes on to state that he wants “to make sure the monuments erected in [his] image are as up to date as possible,” and that he trusts that the internet will give him six pack abs.
CBS will continue to report on this story and the content of the video logs as they are processed.
Posted 9 April 2037
Rei Tanaka @ReiRei93
Word of caution: do not watch the Sol 6 vlog unless you want to cry. #WatneyVlogs #BringHimHome
guys have you seen the vlogs yet? go watch them asap! i’m just freaking out because he only detected the dust storm because of a navigation error, and he looks so emaciated, and you can see the malnutrition sores on his body. idk it just hit me that how much danger he’s in? i know that sounds stupid, but it’s like… he could do everything perfectly and still die because of luck wasn’t on his side.
[Website banner advertisement paid for by http://www.nyc.com/events/ for April 15, 2037 to May 15, 2037]
Reserve your VIP tickets now for the Ares 4 MAV launch in Times Square! $50/per person for prime seating in the middle of Times Square. Don’t miss this historic event!
Seana Czarnecki @Czarnectar
Wait, are people seriously taking bets on whether Mark’s going to survive or not? He’s a person not your entertainment. #BringHimHome
Charles Village Pub @CVPsTowson
Come watch the launch at CVPs. Half price beers all night, and free Marshots if Watney survives.
Meetup 7 mins ago
Reminder: You have the meetup “MAV Launch at Adler Planetarium” today at 9:00 PM.
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First Presbyterian Church, Spokane posted a photo.
3 hrs ago
Come join us for a night of prayer for Mark Watney starting at 7 pm in the gym. Childcare and snacks will be provided.
[Picture of a crowded gymnasium with a cross in one of the skylight windows]
Launch set for 6:33 AM BST. Pope to make his address to audience in St. Peter’s Square at 5:00 AM BST. bit.le/s7G9Ql
Jornal O Globo @JornalOGlobo
Milhares de pessoas enchem o Engenhão aguardando o destino de Mark Watney. Jor.gl/0oqUN
Neil deGrasse Tyson @neiltyson
We can take some solace in the fact that by the time we hear the launch it will already be over. (1/1)
Neil deGrasse Tyson @neiltyson
The travel time is 12 minutes for Mark from the surface to high-Mars orbit and for radio waves from Mars to Earth. (2/2)
oh my god. oh my godohmygod. it’s happening.
Worldwide Trends change
here's wtf is happening: Closest approach takes place in 34 mins. MAV didn’t get as much boost as predicted and will be 68 km (42 miles) from Hermes at closest approach. Hermes fired its course adjustment rockets with 75% of the traditional fuel they have left to bring closest approach to 0. But now they will be going too fast and will be going 41 meters per second (91 miles an hour) relative to Watney at closest approach. Can’t use more fuel or they won’t be able to adjust course to make it back home, so they decided to blow the VAL airlock and use the ship’s atmosphere as thrust—think letting all of the air out of a balloon at once. That will slow them down after they get in position so that Beck can grab Watney as he flies by.
#BringHimHome #Mark Watney #Hermes
Buzzfeed News @BuzzfeedNews
Posted: Photo album of the world as it awaits the fate of Mark Watney #BringHimHome b.uzz/F7mC6
Confirmation that VAL airlock has successfully blown. Hull remains intact. Intercept range 22 m. Intercept velocity 12 m/s.
Yale Medicine @YaleMed
Let’s go Dr. Christopher Beck (’25)! #BringHimHome
“Houston, this is Hermes Actual. Six crew safely aboard.”
This chapter was tough! Special thanks to StephAnnie330 on tumblr for helping me with the texting and sasstronautmarkwatney on helping me decide what to do with the vlogs. Also, thanks to dustdevil for help with the Portuguese!
I'm taking some liberties in what I'm mixing from the novel vs the movie. The movie shows Mark's vlogs playing in Times Square during the MAV launch, whereas it's implied in the book that the logs are text-based and not accessible to the public. I also created the "H.O.P.E" part of the melody for the song. It's on my tumblr and tagged as fic. I can guarantee the foreign language parts won't have perfect grammar because I only used Google Translate.
If you have anything you'd like to see in the last chapter, let me know in the comments!
Chapter 6: After
The rest of the video logs are released and the Ares III crew comes home.
Ares III Official @AresIII
.@AstroMarkWatney says he could have survived another 549 sols on Mars if he hadn’t had to listen to @Astro_Lewis ‘s disco music #okMark
[Accessed from http://www.abc13.com/news/nasa-to-release-complete-video-logs on November 2, 2037]
NASA to release Mark Watney’s complete video logs this Thursday
By Lynn Cohen
November 2, 2037
HOUSTON- In an announcement earlier today, the NASA Office of Public Relations released a statement revealing that all of Mark Watney’s video logs would be posted online to a NASA-affiliated site at 9 am central time this Thursday.
This collection will complete the publicly available collection of Mark Watney’s video logs. NASA released 10 of these videos 7 months ago prior to the successful rescue of Watney from the surface of Mars where he had been stranded for over 18 months.
The videos have been edited for content, total 78 hours, and cover the full time Watney was on the red planet, according to the press release.
News of the release was met with enthusiasm on social media. Online viewing parties plan to stream the content with limited breaks, and one movie theater in Chicago announced plans to screen the video logs in 5-hour segments every Saturday and Sunday from their release until the homecoming of the Ares 3 crew next month.
The initial 10 videos logs have garnered an estimated 8.5 billion views in the 7 months that they have been online and have generated many popular catchphrases. The new videos will be released on the same NASA-affiliated site as the original 10, http://www.watneylogs.nasa.gov.
Dominik Wozniak @DomWoz7
This is it. This is my time to shine. All of that Netflix binging in college is finally about to pay off. #WatneyVlogs #78hours
hello, boss? yes, i’d just like to call in sick on thursday and friday. yes i am aware it is monday afternoon. how do i know i’ll be sick on thursday and friday? I just do don’t worry about it
DFTBA Records @DFTBA
NEW DESIGNS: “Science the $H!T” by @annaliseray & “PirateNinjas” by @spacemantom available NOW at store.dftba.com/products/new
i mean, we knew mark was a fucking dorky-ass nerd before, but even that vine johanssen posted of mark singing to his plants on hermes could not have prepared us for this
#greatest botanist on this planet? #you’re the ONLY botanist on this planet hon #person: interplanetary husband
Subject: PSYC431 change of assignment reminder
As I mentioned in class today, in lieu of Wednesday’s reading response, your new assignment is to watch the Sol 7, Sol 119, Sol 449 vlogs and write a 2-page response analyzing the coping strategies Watney demonstrated to deal with stress. Describe how effective these strategies were and offer 2 other strategies we discussed in class that he could have utilized. Submit your papers to the message board before the start of class Wednesday.
Have a great weekend!
Nov 9, 2037
[6 second vine: Mark Watney, sitting talking to the camera, “I’m going to dig up the RTG. I guess I’m-“ Video switches to clip of Imagine Dragons music video, “Radioactive! Radioactive!”]
the watney vlogs but every time he swears it gets faster
#guys i did a thing #mark watney #the watney vlogs
The Planetary Society @ThePlanetarySociety
Lottery for tickets to the Ares 3 Homecoming ends tomorrow! Enter for a chance to see the crew land on the tarmac at Edwards Air Force Base!
[Accessed from http://www.buzzfeed.com/life/mark-watney-method on Decmeber 17, 2037]
What’s Going to Kill Me Next?: How the Mark Watney Method Can Work for You
By Tonia Bogue
December 17, 2037
Those of you who followed Mark Watney’s story over the last 2 years will know that his survival required a great deal more than just waiting to be rescued. The release of his videos last month revealed both additional challenges and a strength of character previously unknown to the public. But beyond his own strength of character, Mark displayed something else: the very thought processes that repeatedly saved his life.
Most of us (read: all of us) would likely go to pieces at life events far less dramatic or stressful than being stranded on a planet and facing down death every minute of every day. We sat down with positive psychologist Dr. Miranda Wong, who was able to show us what exactly it is that was so effective in Mark Watney’s mental approach to his out-of-this-world situation and how readers can apply those same processes to better deal with more Earth-bound problems.
The first trait that Dr. Wong remarked upon was Mark’s acceptance of the situation. Within his first video log, viewers can see that he quickly accepts what happened and moves on to what he needs to do. Many people get stuck on the “Why me?” question when they encounter tragedy or struggle, and this can prevent effective responses.
Another technique that Mark used was journaling (or vlogging) to express his honest emotions. While Mark did not record his immediate reactions to all of the things that happened to him, he did not hesitate to express his genuine emotions when he did vlog. This helped him externalize his negative emotions and allowed him to gain insight and clarity into the struggles he was facing.
Finally, Mark utilized one of NASA’s common problem-solving mantras: “What’s going to kill me next?” This might not always be useful to us earthlings, but Dr. Wong notes that its implications offer a highly effective method for when crises hit. According to Dr. Wong, the important thing to take away from this mantra is the focus on the next step and the actions needed complete it. Dr. Wong explained that many people in crisis are not able to apply their knowledge or skill because they either freeze up and fail to make a decision or they make impulsive decisions that do not help to resolve the crisis. By prioritizing the most pressing and serious problem in a crisis, people feel more capable of acting to solve it and avoid knee jerk decisions that waste time and energy.
So whether these coping mechanisms help you deal with the breached air locks in your life today or help you prepare for the hydrazine explosions in your own life next week, remember that there is always a reason to hope.
Beck, C.J., Keller, A.L., & Jones, D.E. (2038). Physiological effects of long-term malnutrition and stress in a reduced gravity environment on the human body. Journal of Space Medicine, 21 (1), 20-35, doi:10.3822/11394184.108.40.206
[Clip from “The Tonight Show with Jessica Williams” aired on March 24th, 2038]
Jessica Williams: Welcome back to the tonight show everyone! [applause] I’m not going to make you sit through more jokes, though let’s be clear, I am hilarious [laughter], because tonight I know who you all really want to see! Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for astronaut Mark Watney!
[The audience cheers wildly while the house band, The Menagerie, plays a rock cover of the BeeGee’s “Stayin’ Alive” to welcome Mark to the stage. Mark walks out and waves to the audience while smiling and doing an awkward half-bow before turning around to give Jessica a hug and kiss on the cheek and taking a seat in the chair.]
Mark: Thank you, thank you.
Jessica: It’s great to have you here, Mark!
Mark: Thank you so much! And can I just say—The Menagerie somehow managed to make that godawful song bearable? Let’s hear it for the band!
Jessica: Yeah, guys! Get your shit together! Where were you guys when he was stuck on Mars?! [laughter and cheering from the audience] Now, Mark, I really have to thank you for agreeing to come on the show tonight. And, damn! You’re looking really good for only being back on Earth for what, 4 months?
Mark: Just about, yeah. And thanks for having me. You know, since I got back, NASA’s been up my [beep] about getting me in front of a camera, but when they said you wanted me on, I was like, “Hell yeah, I’ll go hang out with Jessica Williams!” I’ve been a fan of yours since back in college when you were on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, so this is all kinds of awesome.
Jessica: Well I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I had to kill a lot of people to get you on. Like, a [beep]-ton of people.
[Mark and the audience laugh.]
Mark: Damn, Mars has got nothing on you! I hope I’m worth it!
Jessica: Of course, of course. But since you’ve been back things have been going pretty well for you, right? Starting off with some food other than potatoes and astronaut ice cream?
Mark: Yeah, absolutely! I finally got some deep dish pizza, and let me tell you: after only eating potatoes and rehydrated freeze-dried food for almost 3 years, I finally understood the meaning of foodgasm. [laughter and a few wolf whistles from the audience]
Jessica: And it didn’t stop at the food! Can you explain this photo for me?
[Jessica pulls out a photo from behind her desk showing Mark sitting up in a hospital bed smiling and talking with an elderly Robert Downey Jr. The audience cheers.]
Mark: That’s Iron Man! Ha ha! Yeah, so this was a few days after we landed and they wanted me in for observation and testing, so I was just chilling in the hospital bed in between tests, when [beep]ing Robert Downey Jr. walks in and just goes, “But consider this, I am Iron Man.” [Audience laughs.] So yeah, this is a picture of me meeting RDJ while trying not to pass out.
Jessica: What did you guys talk about? Or were you not able to talk?
Mark: [Mark laughs.] Yeah! I just sat there and nodded. Things got awkward. I don’t really want to talk about it. [Audience laughs.] No, no, we talked about that t-shirt with both of us on it. I think I see some people in the audience with it on. [Mark points to a couple of people in the audience.] Yeah, I got him to sign one of those shirts and I gave it to Commander Lewis. She thought it was hilarious.
Jessica: Oh that’s brilliant. I would have killed to see her face. Did he give you advice for how to deal with your newfound celebrity?
Mark: He did, actually! And let me tell you, it’s unbelievably weird. [laughter] I mean, I’ve been mostly on lock down at NASA doing just about every test you can think of, and they’ve done a really good job of screening all the requests I get. But yeah, Robert gave me tips on how to avoid the paparazzi and how to keep private stuff private. He was really helpful. It’s just really weird to have people stop me on the street asking me to, like, kiss their [beep]ing babies. I mean, I’m a botanist and a mechanical engineer. Like, when people think about glamorous professions, I’m way down there.
Jessica: Aww, come on now, you’re also an astronaut! [Audience cheers.]
Mark: Yeah, I guess you’re right, but the point is I never expected fame to be something I would have to deal with, you know? Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t really mind people coming up to me, because I know there’s no way I’d be here if it weren’t for all of you. And people have been really wonderful. I’ve just been humbled by all of it. I mean, not enough to stop being a smart-ass, but humbled none-the-less. [laughter]
Jessica: Speaking of being a smart-ass, that could cause some problems for you in the near future, right?
Mark: Yes! Someone at PBS who is probably going to get fired in the near future thought it would be a good idea for me to go on Sesame Street. [laughter] I’m absolutely psyched for it! I mean, it’s Sesame Street, of course I’m excited for it, but I just don’t see any universe in which this goes well. [more laughter]
Jessica: Oh, I’m sure they’ll give you a script. You’ll just have to follow it without telling Elmo to…
Mark: To go [beep] himself? Yeah, it’ll be a challenge. [laughter] I’ll be like, “Hello boys and girls, today I’m going to tell you about this [beep]-y planet called Mars. It seriously sucks [beep]. Stay in school. Don’t do drugs unless it’s vicodin and you, too, are stranded on a [beep]-y planet.” [laughter]
Jessica: It’ll certainly be an educational experience for them!
Mark: Well, I'm sure they'll learn something.
Jessica: Mark, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking with you. [Jessica shakes his hand] Thank you so much for being here!
Mark: Thank you for allowing me to come on. [Mark turns to the audience.] And thank all of you for pulling for me. I absolutely wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all of you, so thank you, truly.
Jessica: You can see Mark on Sesame Street on PBS next month. Thanks for watching, and have a great night!
[Accessed from http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/i-am-mark-watney-ama/ on May 4, 2038]
I am Mark Watney, astronaut. AMA!
2 hours ago by AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney
Hey everyone! Mark here. The NASA powers that be said that if I can't control my language, I have to provide a disclaimer beforehand. I say, if you’re too young to hear swearing, get off reddit. I’ll be answering questions here for an hour. Fire away!
top 200 comments show 500
sorted by: q&a (suggested)
[-] sectagonal 2979 points 3 hours ago
What was your scariest moment on Mars?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 68207 points 1 hour ago
Without a doubt the launch of the Ares IV MAV. The rest of the emergencies I had to focus on what to do to stay alive, so there wasn’t a lot of time to dwell on fear. The MAV sucked ass because I couldn’t do anything except wait to be launched into space on a ship with half of its fucking parts missing.
[-] GoonDock 421 points 1 hour ago
Have you sworn off potatoes for life?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 12130 points 1 hour ago
Don’t even talk to me about potatoes. Unless it’s fries or chips. Other than that, fuck potatoes.
[-] Capsphan 474 notes 2 hours ago
Can you hook me up with johanssen?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 56907 points 1 hour ago
1. no. 2. Haven’t you seen the news? Beck’s got that signed, sealed, delivered. And there really isn’t any competing with Beck. The man’s frustratingly perfect with 2 notable exceptions: he can’t throw shade for shit and he’s godawful in front of a camera.
[-] Boozecruz 2320 notes 2 hours ago
If you could have been stuck on Mars with one person, who would it be?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 17980 points 1 hour ago
Either Harry Potter or that demon guy from that old x-men movie so that we could apparate the fuck out of there and not be stuck on a planet that's trying to kill us anymore.
[-] Tonyadontlie Tonya S 4021 notes 2 hours ago
Favorite memory of the mission?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 14443 points 1 hour ago
Aside from my rescue, on Hermes on the way to Mars when Martinez managed to jump from the gym pod to the rec pod. It was the most glorious moment of my life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?1389g0
[-] shueser 130 points 2 hours ago
How many times a day did you jack off?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 5607 points 1 hour ago
I was going to answer, but my NASA PR person told me she’d murder me and my family if I did.
[-] Wondering_mines 943 points 2 hours ago
Best place to get pizza in Chicago?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 9581 points 1 hour ago
Downtown: Lou Malnati’s on N Wells. Up north: Gullivers on Howard st.
[-] Swimfastjack 3104 points 1 hour ago
Mars sounds terrifying as fuck. Do you get nightmares about it?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 10021 points 1 hour ago
Yeah. I’ve got a really great therapist though. But I gotta say the crew did a lot of the heavy lifting on the way back. I owe them a lot.
[-] Melitofu 732 points 1 hour ago
What life-saving hack were you most proud of? Making water or potatoes? The MAV?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 20198 points 1 hour ago
Probably the rover mods. They were the most time consuming and the most complex. I gotta give credit to the absolute fucking nerds at NASA and JPL though. They did most of the math for the mods for the Schiaparelli trip.
[-] Cmstir13 3012 points 1 hour ago
What made you decide to release your video logs?
[-] AstroMarkWatney Mark Watney [S] 43002 points 1 hour ago
Alright, this will be my last question. Honestly, it was a kind of a spur of the moment decision, tbh. I was at the MAV and started receiving all of the messages of support from everyone. The PR team wanted me to give a statement about how I was doing because you all gave a shit, and I just said fuck it all and told NASA to release the vlogs. I didn’t think anyone would see them when I was making them, but I realized that the vlogs were kind of me talking to someone, and that helped keep me sane. So many people back here on Earth did so much shit and sacrificed their entire fucking lives for months at a time in response to my situation, and I figured the least I could do was give them my half of the conversation.
I realize that sounds egotistical, but it was all I could do at the time. And since I’ve been back, so many people have come up to me to say that I’ve inspired them or helped them persevere through tough shit in their life, and I just gotta say that I’m humbled by it, but at the same time it’s also kind of bullshit. I’m not anyone special. I think I did what anyone in my situation would have done: tried to survive. Everyone who’s told me their story was already strong as fuck. I’m glad my story helped, but you guys gotta know that it’s all you.
Anyway, I’m out of time. Thanks for all your questions. I owe my life to you guys. You guys are amazing. Thank you.
Sesame Street @SesameStreet
Tomorrow at 10am on @PBS @Elmo meets @AstroMarkWatney and learns about the planet Mars and perseverance.
Sesame Street @SesameStreet
In unrelated news, @AstroMarkWatney is taking the entire editing team out for drinks and learning about FCC regulations and apologies.
Sorry for the delay in posting this chapter. It's been a hell of a month. I hope you guys enjoyed the fic and had as much fun reading it as I did writing it.
Thank you everyone for giving me such supportive feedback over the past 2 months! This was my first fic, and it was so tremendously encouraging to have your encouragement.
Special shoutouts to sasstronautmarkwatney and stephannie330 on tumblr again. I wouldn't have been able to finish without you girls!
I'm working on a few ideas for more Martian fics and oneshots, so if you guys are interested, subscribe and get notifications for when I post new stuff. Thanks again, and have a wonderful day!