04 September 2016

Physicists Aren't From Mars

Was toddling back from the grocery this morning, and the wind from Hermine made its way to South Butt Fuck. For reasons unknown, that reminded me of "The Martian", which reminded me that the most vocal complaint about the movie (and, I guess, the book which I've not read) was the initial premise, that a wind storm on Mars would be powerful enough to endanger the MAV.

But, to me anyway, that wasn't the dumbest McGuffin in the movie. That was the Rich Purnell Maneuver, whereby the Hermes mothercraft is slingshot back to Mars to collect Watney. The story takes place in 2035 and that's important.
The Mariner 10 probe was the first spacecraft to use the gravitational slingshot effect to reach another planet, passing by Venus on February 5, 1974, on its way to becoming the first spacecraft to explore Mercury.
-- Wikipedia

The movie shows Purnell sitting in a cold room with hundreds of servers connected to his laptop, ostensibly to do the harder than hard calculations. Give me a break. NASA had a 60 year Rip Van Winkle moment?


Roboprog said...

Heh heh, Robert.

So, it sounds like the comedy sci-fi "Iron Sky" had their computer capabilities closer to the truth when the moon nazis stole an iPhone from a US astronaut and used it as a super-computer for their death star type ship :-)

Other interesting satire in that movie when the moon nazi spies serve as advisors for president not-Palin, but that's another story...

Robert Young said...

not heard of that movie. will look into it.