The Martian The Martian discussion


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John (Taloni) Taloni No, doesn't bother me at all. First because starving without food seems a likely thing. Second because he was doing a lot of physical activity - had to in order to have a chance of survival - and those calories had to come from somewhere.


Chris Topher No, but I am out off by the idea of fasting for a month straight.


Budd I think the point was that by the time he ran out of food, he would have depleted all natural stores of bodyfat and consumable muscle from reducing his calorie intake. Therefor when he ran out of food there would be no reserves to fall back on.


Adriana I'm sure when you fast, you prepare your body for it. Although an astronaut would be expected to be in peak physical condition, that should not be mistaken for preparation for an extended fast. It is necessary for the physically and mentally taxing work he will be doing.

And besides, an astronaut would be relying on advise from mainstream doctors who would never suggest that extended fasting would be a viable alternative in any scenario in space. I think the fear of starvation would be very real.


Chris Topher Craig wrote: "Here's a woman on day 27 of eating nothing, drinking only water.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6wLe..."


Do you have one of her doing it in a spacesuit on Mars while trying to save her life?

When I get home I'll link a Youtube vid of a giant fire breathing lizard destroying Tokyo.


Adriana I'm not going to argue that it can't be done (clearly it can, although why is beyond me) - just that it's not a viable option for the situation presented. It would be so far off everyone's radar as to be petty much out of the question.

Others have already pointed out that in the sort of survival situation presented (constantly changing in and out of a space suit, maintaining and moving around solar panels, maintaining delicate equipment, and later on cannibalizing and rebuilding equipment, laying out messages in Morse, long periods of driving over hazardous terrain, etc.) would not be doable while fasting, particularly if it's not something he was mentally prepared for. (I'm sure you plan well ahead to make sure your body is ready and get yourself in the right state of mind).

As for the "benefits" of fasting, my knowledge of nutrition is solid enough to know that periodically denying a body food is the surest way to screw up normal metabolic function.


Papaphilly Adriana wrote: "I'm not going to argue that it can't be done (clearly it can, although why is beyond me) - just that it's not a viable option for the situation presented. It would be so far off everyone's radar a..."

I will not quibble with the benefits of fasting or the lack there of. However, before you scoff at what the character had to go through and survive, there are two things to consider.

First: How bad does one want to live and what are you willing to put yourself through to survive? Remember, Mark Watney was not fasting, but did cut down on his intake. He wanted a way to survive and he had plenty of brain power to work with both his own and back at Earth.

Second: It is a novel and you are expected to suspend your belief.


Meran I agree with Papa^ "D


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