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How did the author check all his science and facts about Mars? Does he have a buddy in NASA? Has anyone from JPL or NASA read this that can confirm it's accuracy?

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Josh Check out the talk Weir gave at Google here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMfuL....

In it, he mentions that he didn't have any contact with NASA until after publication, and that basically everything (math, science, etc.) he checked himself. He shows off a program he wrote to compute the orbital dynamics simulations in the talk. The major inaccuracy (of which there were few!) he pointed out was that the storm which set the whole plot in motion wouldn't actually have done much to push objects around (the atmosphere on Mars is really thin). Apparently he's just a space history/science enthusiast who did all the research into NASA history himself!
Kay Sumpner I don't think it actually matters. It was at least plausible and I don't actually need to know all that stuff so I was quite happy to take it at face value.
Tyler A lot of facts / numbers / etc. that he had wrong in his online publication of the book were corrected by readers who wrote him. He mentioned in the book (in the conversation w/ the author section at the end) that "most" of the errors he had were corrected. Publishing on his own online almost gave his facts / numbers / equations a chance to be peer reviewed, if you will.
Greg Nuspel Who cares! It's a novel not a science text and it is so wonderfully crafted. If you are looking for facts you are missing the point of fiction. It's close enough to be believable and it's a story about character. If you want facts pick up a text book, but be warned the plot is dull and in a few years it may all be proven wrong.
Jace Finlayson Dr Karl Kruszelnicki on an Australian Science radio show in August 2014, stated that all the scientific facts and methods for dealing with the environment, etc, was in fact, accurate.
Graham Anderson Weir may do better than most at making his fiction seem realistic, but there are still some serious errors. Most egregious, from p.21, "Anyway, the reserve oxygen would only be enough to make 100 liters of water (50 liters of O2 makes 100 liters of molecules that only have one O each)."

Different substances have different densities and different molecular weights, and chemical reactions are balanced with molar ratios, not volumetric ratios. 50 liters of liquid O2 would get you about 128 L of liquid water, not 100 L.

Perhaps this one can be chalked up to a mistake made by Watney, not Weir, but it's unlikely somebody selected to go to Mars would have missed intro Chemistry.

It is surprising how many readers defend Weir but have not caught this error.
Alfonso Abascal You don't need a technician from NASA, you need a farmer who grows potatoes.
How grow potatoes on Mars ?, I do not know, is 100% accurate with a real situation on Mars ?, don't know ... but with my knowledge of physics and chemistry, the author gives enough arguments to make the story credible with the air, the potatoes, etc. I'm sure that NASA uses artifacts to treat the CO2, the oxygen, etc... are interesting things as concept in the book, not as the real disassemble planes of the pieces. I don't know the real details in the Pathfinder's software, I don't know the programmation language of the probe, I don't know the long exposure radiation effects on the memory components, I don't know how many Kbs can manage the buffer... but I assume that could be true, and if it is not, is argued in the book without seems to be a barbarity.

It not intended to be a treatise on science, is science FICTION. What about the accuracy of 'Blade Runner', 'Back To The Future' or 'Transformers'?. Is not a physics book. I'm sure that the film will be very criticised for all this small details... but what about the accuracy of Star Wars?.

The author is not telling you about events as if they were true, this is literature.
Don Andy worked almost across the street where I live. A group of us had a several hour discussion with Andy about the book. Andy knew from the beginning that the density of the Martian atmosphere is so low that any dust storm would be the equivalent of a light breeze. He used it as a literary device to set up the story. He posted chapters on his blog as he wrote them and received a huge amount of feedback, both on the writing and the science. One can quibble with a few details but he got almost 100% of them correct.

This is his 3rd novel. He never posted his first one, decided it wasn't good enough and deleted it. The second one was available on the net but he took it down. The Martian was free on his blog until it started selling on Amazon. He is working on another novel that is unrelated to The Martian.
Anna this podcast on NPR is how I heard about the book and answers that question: http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/...
Cindy Andy Weir openly admits he knew no-one in aerospace at all. He used google, and now he does have buddies at NASA! Good on him I say!
Eric Rupert Since it actually happened and Annie Montrose reported it, I'm thinking it was very accurate.
David There's an interview here with him http://twit.tv/show/triangulation/163 in which he discusses how he did all the fact checking
Sebastian "his writing included extensive research into orbital mechanics, conditions on Mars, the history of manned spaceflight, and botany" (Wikipedia)
And you cand read this also:


("Mr. Weir describes himself as "a proper nerd." He started programming computers for fun at age 9. When he was 15, he got an internship at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif., and built a computer program to analyze data. His father, a particle physicist, had a library full of classic science fiction from the 1950s and 1960s. Growing up, Mr. Weir devoured works by Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. He studied computer science at U.C. San Diego, but ran out of tuition money and didn't graduate. He cycled through a few programming jobs, and worked at Blizzard Entertainment and AOL. After AOL laid him off, with a substantial severance package, he started writing science fiction.")
Tim Bell I haven't checked to see whether Weir has said this, but I suspect he's familiar with Zubrin's "The Case for Mars" (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...). The Ares missions seem very similar to what Zubrin proposed, and Zubrin (who did work for NASA) had the background to ensure that what he was proposing was feasible as far as the science went.

Having said that, there were a few places where I noticed that the science wasn't quite right. But I'm massively impressed that by and large the science *is* right, and for me, that makes the story that much better.
Sarah Can I suggest that anyone who thinks all the science in this book is "true" does not try breathing "almost pure nitrogen" at home. Watney may well have survived, but us mere earthlings are highly unlikely to have the same success.

And as for a space suit filled with 85% oxygen - self-immolation is probably a greater concern than acute oxygen toxicity.
William Great review and interview here:

Kayem Since I know nothing about Mars, I wasn't bothered, but he should have done more research on growing potatoes!
Diana Cox Why does it matter if the facts are not quite correct. It's a fictional novel without space monsters.... like space monsters have been fact checked. I enjoyed the story and the science of the possibilities.
Pete Simpson I never considered this. The story is so well written and the science believable without getting into techno babble that I don't think it matters if it is accurate or not.
Greg Apparently, as the author blogged the book, he received "scientific" corrections. I still think the ending is total BS. Impossible.
Edward Moriarty get out.
is is fan person of this book
stop being dickish
Nicholas Hylton His sources were Google, his own knowledge base (Weir, lifelong uber-science nerd, even wrote a celestial mechanics simulator to flesh out when & how the fictional mission could have taken place. Thanksgiving in the year 2035, actually.) and from corrections supplied by people who subscribed to his blog.
Elise The author is a huge fan of science type stuff, and looked up everything himself. He started putting the book out chapter by chapter on his website, and he got some feedback from tons of scientists (of their own accord mind you, he didn't ask them to give him feedback or anything) telling him how good the book was, and some of them gave him proof and told him why certain aspects were inaccurate, so he (mostly) corrected them, and those corrections went into the final print book copy.
Peter Weir claims that there are 2 scientific flaws in the story. Find out in this interview:

Rdsuico I could not put this down! The science was fascinating. I can't wait for (and dread at the same time) the movie.
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by Andy Weir (Goodreads Author)
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