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About the resupply missions in "The Martian"

  1. Nov 3, 2015 #1
    Two instances were discussed in the film where unmanned cargo ships were
    mentioned to send up supplies to extend the time Whatney or the crew of the
    Hermes could survive.

    This brought back painful memories while watching the movie. It's such an
    obvious answer. In the space shuttle Columbia disaster NASA rejected a
    possible rescue because Atlantis could not be readied in time within the 16
    days the Columbia's supplies would run out.

    So since "nothing could be done anyway" there was no need to do accurate
    imaging to even find out if the wing damage was survivable.

    Note in the movie they had to use China to do the resupply mission to the
    Hermes. If NASA had ordered the Columbia imaging, finding the damage
    unsurvivable, all the space-faring nations in the world, which are at least
    five, would have been working hard to send up a cargo mission to meet up
    with Columbia within the 16 day time frame.

    But they never were even given a chance to try.

    BTW, since this is in regards to "The Martian", for you chemistry heads out
    there, are there some foods, liquids, or common materials that might be on
    the shuttles that could have filtered out the CO2 in air other than the
    lithium canisters? For instance perhaps the solubility of CO2 in water is
    different than in O2 and there could have been a way to separate out the CO2
    from the air that way.

    Bob Clark
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2015 #2


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    Actually, they had enough supplies to last until Atlantis could be readied.
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