Ridley Scott’s latest space movie, “The Martian,” is long on drama but short on romance, except for the moment astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, sees the object of his desire.
For half a century, we thought space travel had to do with leading-edge technology, cool gadgets and something called telemetry, but no, it’s all about planting tubers.
At Space Station Idaho, he rigs up a greenhouse of plastic sheeting, fills the floor with the native dirt of the red planet and gets about the business of cutting his potatoes.
A third of the way into the movie, you reach an inescapable conclusion: I gotta get me a community plot on Mars.
Growing food in space takes all the acting talents of a Hollywood star such as Damon to make it compelling, but the movie and its mother book contain a solid truth:
The news last month of seasonal water – possibly – on Mars seems to make this cosmic cultivation more than a pipe dream. …read more