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Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
nose airlock, the windows, and Hull Panel Nineteen.” Venkat blinked. “You’re taking the front of the ship off?” “Sure,” Bruce said. “The nose airlock alone is four hundred kilograms. The windows are pretty damn heavy, too. And they’re connected by Hull Panel Nineteen, so may as well take that, too.” “So he’s going to launch with a big hole in the front of the ship?” “We’ll have him cover it with Hab canvas.” “Hab canvas? For a launch to orbit!?” Bruce shrugged. “The hull’s mostly there to
hundred meters from here. Maybe someday they’ll send a probe to collect them. May as well make them easy to pick up. This is it. There’s nothing after this. There isn’t even an abort procedure. Why make one? We can’t delay the launch. Hermes can’t stop and wait. No matter what, we’re launching on schedule. I face the very real possibility that I’ll die today. Can’t say I like it. It wouldn’t be so bad if the MAV blew up. I wouldn’t know what hit me, but if I miss the intercept, I’ll just float
having the wind knocked out of me (pulled out of me, really) and my ears popping painfully as the pressure of my suit escaped. The last thing I remember was seeing Johanssen hopelessly reaching out toward me. I awoke to the oxygen alarm in my suit. A steady, obnoxious beeping that eventually roused me from a deep and profound desire to just fucking die. The storm had abated; I was facedown, almost totally buried in sand. As I groggily came to, I wondered why I wasn’t more dead. The antenna
is still around. I had no way to talk to Hermes. In time, I could locate the dish out on the surface, but it would take weeks for me to rig up any repairs, and that would be too late. In an abort, Hermes would leave orbit within twenty-four hours. The orbital dynamics made the trip safer and shorter the earlier you left, so why wait? Checking out my suit, I saw the antenna had plowed through my bio-monitor computer. When on an EVA, all the crew’s suits are networked so we can see each other’s
completely hopeless. There’ll be humans back on Mars in about four years when Ares 4 arrives (assuming they didn’t cancel the program in the wake of my “death”). Ares 4 will be landing at the Schiaparelli crater, which is about 3200 kilometers away from my location here in Acidalia Planitia. No way for me to get there on my own. But if I could communicate, I might be able to get a rescue. Not sure how they’d manage that with the resources on hand, but NASA has a lot of smart people. So that’s