Broadcast 2353 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Andy Weir. Topics: We engaged author Andy Weir in a thorough discussion of his best selling book, "The Martian" along with the essential engineering & needed technology for survival. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed best selling author Andy Weir to the program to discuss his book "The Martian." For more information, visit his websites, and During the first segment of our 100 minute show, Andy started out by telling us how he came up with the story idea, & his three years spent in writing the book. I asked if he used consultants, NASA, or other aerospace experts. He said no & that most of the feedback and help came through suggestions from people who read the chapters he put up on his website. Andy also did his own research, math work, physics, and engineering analysis. He talked about a few errors that were pointed out to him & indicated that the most challenging work were the times and orbits regarding Mars and the missions described in the book. During the show, Andy got lots of email questions and phone calls regarding certain story lines and sections of the book. He was also asked about life on Mars but that issue was not relevant to his story. He did get questions about the human waste recycling carried out on Mars & why he chose Mars and not the Moon or another destination. Sandra asked him about the private space company plans to visit and/or settle Mars given how hard it was for Andy's character, Watney, to survive. Andy had very interesting comments on this question including the Elon Musk Mars plans and then Mars One. Human factors were brought up including radiation, microgravity, vision problems, and more. Andy did address these issues in the book so listen to his reply to this line of questioning. As the segment ended, we talked about using Phobos and Deneb for Martian navigation along with Watney's trek to get to Pathfinder to use its parts for communication. NASA came up several times in the segment as readers get a pretty good "view" of NASA problem solving, information, data, and PR control, plus amazing creativity. In the second segment, we had lots of listener emails and phone calls. Andy was asked what science fiction had influenced him, then he got an interesting email from Andrew in Tucson who had actually worked on the Pathfinder hardware. Andrew said Andy was spot on accurate! Dr. Doug called on many topics including using the Hohmann Transfer Orbit which Andy did not use as he designed Hermes, the big spaceship, to work with constant acceleration using ion propulsion. The Aldrin Cycler was also mentioned. Listeners mentioned the new movie Interstellar and made some comparisons if they had read "The Martian" and seen the move. In both segments, we talked about "The Martian" being made into a film for release in a year. Andy said so far the scriptfollowed the book but he did say he has no editorial input to the movie. We got a call from Curt in Taiwan who wished there was a PG version of the book given he wants his kids to read it and some of the language is course. Sara emailed us from Denver asking if Andy had considered making the hero character Watney a woman instead of a man. Tim was the last caller & he wanted to know if the hard science & engineering would be in the movie. During this final segment, Andy was asked about how he got to Mars without a transfer orbit. He suggested we view his animated video on this at In addition, he referred us to his Google talk. You can easily find it by searching for "Andy Weir Google Talk." Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Andy through his websites or me.



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10 Nov 2014 Andy Weir
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