Hear Andy Weir Talk About The Martian

It’s billed as “the best movie on this or any other planet,” and millions of folks will be lining up outside their local multiplex this week to experience the troubles Matt Damon confronts when abandoned on the Red Planet.

Andy Weir

The Martian is fiction, although Andy Weir – the author of the book-that-is-now-a-movie – proudly describes himself as a nerd with a serious interest in the technical challenges of someone who finds himself tens of millions of miles from home – stuck on a planet with little air, little water, and no food.

No one has yet been to Mars, but many SETI Institute scientists have up-close-and-personal knowledge of this world.  In fact, Mars is the subject of more Institute research than any other topic.

The SETI Institute’s national radio show and podcast, Big Picture Science, regularly covers the science and technology related to Mars exploration.  Above is an interview with author Andy Weir who was in the BiPiSci studio at the SETI Institute to discuss his book and the film.  He also grilled Seth Shostak about aliens and SETI radio telescopes – topics that may factor into his next science fiction adventure. 

Author Andy Weir began his novel as serialized blog postings.  Then a publisher came calling, and soon after, Hollywood.  Now his Red Planet adventure is splashed across the big screen with actor Matt Damon as Mark Watney – an astronaut who, when abandoned by his colleagues, has to figure out a way to get back home.