The Martian

Major Rick Martinez Character Analysis

A former Air Force pilot, Martinez is still military personnel but is now the pilot for the Ares 3 mission. His precision as a pilot is noted repeatedly by Watney and other characters throughout the novel. Martinez and his wife Marissa have a young son, David. Late in the novel, the usually-stoic Watney describes Martinez as his best friend.
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Major Rick Martinez Character Timeline in The Martian

The timeline below shows where the character Major Rick Martinez appears in The Martian. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
...into oxygen. All he needs is hydrogen. Because the pilot of the Ares 3 mission, Martinez, made a smooth landing with the MDV, he didn’t use all of the hydrazine fuel... (full context)
Chapter 4
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...only flammable thing in the Hab—splinters of wood from a religious cross that belonged to Martinez—and ignites it using an electric spark and pure oxygen. Watney turns on a slow stream... (full context)
Chapter 14
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...in his patched EVA suit, he relied on his arm camera to see. He finds Martinez’s suit, but it’s pinned under a table that he can’t lift with just one arm.... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 121. Watney refills the EVA suit’s oxygen tanks, replaces the patched helmet with Martinez’s helmet, returns to the Hab, and brings the rest of Martinez’s suit back to the... (full context)
Chapter 16
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The chapter opens with a message from Watney to Martinez. Dr. Shields has asked Watney to send personal messages to each crewmember in order to... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...NASA’s orders. To do the maneuver, Johanssen will have to hack the ship’s control panels. Martinez and Lewis would likely be court-martialed upon their return. Lewis asks the crew to take... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...that the crew mutinied—which will make it difficult to fire him or court-martial Lewis and Martinez. (full context)
Chapter 19
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
...Teddy at work in a Jiuquan office, then cuts back to a video chat between Martinez, his wife Marissa, and their young son, David. Marissa is angry that Martinez volunteered to... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
On The Mark Watney Report, Venkat is speaking live from China. Venkat explains that Martinez will remotely guide the supply probe to Hermes, and that Beck will do an EVA... (full context)
Chapter 22
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Aboard Hermes, Lewis and Martinez are discussing the fact that Watney entered the dust storm the day before. Lewis is... (full context)
Chapter 25
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Aboard Hermes, Lewis is telling Martinez, “You killed Watney.” It quickly becomes clear that Watney is not actually dead—Lewis and Martinez... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...infamously accident-prone Soviet space ships. Meanwhile, Lewis and the Hermes crew review the rescue plan. Martinez will pilot the MAV while Johanssen monitors the computer systems. Beck and Vogel will wait... (full context)
Chapter 26
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...the open nose of the ship flapping. It’s not supposed to do that. On Hermes, Martinez can’t figure out why the MAV is moving slower than it should. Lewis radios Watney,... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
On Hermes, Martinez is relieved to find the MAV is now steadying. Johanssen tells Lewis the MAV will... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...nose of the ship. The escaping air will thrust the ship in the opposite direction. Martinez calculates that this would slow the ship enough to make the rescue risky, but possible.... (full context)