The character of Mark Watney in The Martian from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

The Martian

Watney is The Martian’s protagonist, and he narrates large sections of the novel. A NASA astronaut on the Ares 3 mission, Watney is accidentally left behind on Mars by the rest of the crew and must find a way to survive on the planet alone. As the mission’s botanist and engineer, Watney is the lowest-ranked member of the crew, but his botany and engineering background give him the skills he needs to survive on Mars. Watney avoids writing about his emotions—instead, he cracks jokes. Over the course of the novel, he mentions a few things about his childhood and his family (for example, he grew up in Chicago and he considers Martinez to be his best friend), but for the most part, Watney avoids writing about his emotions. Instead, he cracks jokes and keeps himself occupied with work and the media files his crewmates left behind on Mars.

Mark Watney Quotes in The Martian

The The Martian quotes below are all either spoken by Mark Watney or refer to Mark Watney. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Broadway Books edition of The Martian published in 2014.
Chapter 1 Quotes

LOG ENTRY: SOL 6 I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked. Six days into what should be the greatest month of my life, and it’s turned into a nightmare. I don’t even know who’ll read this. I guess someone will find it eventually. Maybe a hundred years from now.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Martian quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 3 Quotes

Why did NASA send twelve whole potatoes, refrigerated but not frozen? And why send them along with us as in-pressure cargo rather than in a crate with the rest of the Hab supplies? Because Thanksgiving was going to happen while we were doing surface operations, and NASA’s shrinks thought it would be good for us to make a meal together. Not just to eat it, but to actually prepare it.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Potatoes
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 6 Quotes

Today was the memorial service for Mark Watney. The President had given a speech, praising Watney’s bravery and sacrifice, and the quick actions of Commander Lewis in getting everyone else to safety […] The administrator had given a speech as well, reminding everyone that space flight is incredibly dangerous, and that we will not back down in the face of adversity.

Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“Okay, consider this: Sympathy for Watney’s family is really high. Ares 6 could bring the body back. We don’t say that’s the purpose of the mission, but we make it clear that would be part of it. If we framed it that way, we’d get more support in Congress. But not if we wait a year. In a year, people won’t care anymore.”

Related Characters: Venkat Kapoor (speaker), Mark Watney, Teddy Sanders
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

This was going to be rough and Annie knew it. Not only did she have to deliver the biggest mea culpa in NASA’s history, every second of it would be remembered forever. Every movement of her arms, intonation of her voice, and expression of her face would be seen by millions of people over and over again. Not just in the immediate press cycle, but for decades to come. Every documentary made about Watney’s situation would have this clip.

Related Characters: Mark Watney, Annie Montrose
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 7 Quotes

The RTG is a generator. It’s a paltry amount of power, compared to what the rover consumes, but it’s not nothing. It’s one hundred watts. It’ll cut an hour off my total recharge time. Why not use it? I wonder what NASA would think about me fucking with the RTG like this. They’d probably hide under their desks and cuddle with their slide rules for comfort.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Related Symbols: The RTG
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 8 Quotes

“What about the RTG? Does the public know about that yet?” Teddy asked. Annie leaned forward. “So far, so good,” she said. “The images are public, but we have no obligation to tell them our analysis. Nobody has figured it out yet.” […] “How dangerous is it?” Teddy asked. “As long as the container’s intact, no danger at all.”

Related Characters: Venkat Kapoor (speaker), Teddy Sanders (speaker), Annie Montrose (speaker), Mark Watney
Related Symbols: The RTG
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“When facing death, people want to be heard. They don’t want to die alone. He might just want the MAV radio so he can talk to another soul before he dies. If he’s lost hope, he won’t care about survival. His only concern will be making it to the radio. After that, he’ll probably take an easier way out than starvation. The medical supplies of an Ares mission have enough morphine to be lethal.”

Related Characters: Dr. Irene Shields (speaker), Mark Watney, Cathy Warner
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 9 Quotes

It’s a strange feeling. Everywhere I go, I’m the first. Step outside the rover? Frist guy ever to be there! Climb a hill? First guy to climb that hill! Kick a rock? That rock hadn’t moved in a million years! I’m the first guy to drive long-distance on Mars. The first guy to spend more than thirty-one sols on Mars. The first guy to grow crops on Mars. First, first, first! I wasn’t expecting to be first at anything. I was the fifth crewman out of the MDV when we landed […] Man, I miss those guys. Jesus Christ, I’d give anything for a five-minute conversation with anyone. Anyone, anywhere. About anything. I’m the first person to be alone on an entire planet.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 10 Quotes

For the first time, I think I might get off this planet alive. With that in mind, I’m taking soil and rock samples every time I do an EVA. […] It just feels nice to be an astronaut. That’s all it is. Not a reluctant farmer, not an electrical engineer, not a long-haul trucker. An astronaut. I’m doing what astronauts do. I missed it.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Page Number: 105-106
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 11 Quotes

Earth is about to set. Resume 08:00 my time tomorrow morning. Tell family I’m fine. Give crew my best. Tell Commander Lewis disco sucks.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker), Commander Melissa Lewis
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“I need something, Venkat,” Annie said. “You’ve been in contact for twenty-four hours and the media is going ape shit. They want an image for the story. It’ll be on every news site in the world. […] This is all anyone cares about right now. In the world. This is the biggest story since Apollo 13.”

Related Characters: Annie Montrose (speaker), Mark Watney, Venkat Kapoor
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 12 Quotes

“Holy shit,” Beck laughed. “Holy shit! Commander! He’s alive!” “I left him behind,” Lewis said quietly. The celebrations ceased immediately as the crew saw their commander’s expression. “But,” Beck began, “we all left togeth—” “You followed orders,” Lewis interrupted. “I left him behind. In a barren unreachable, godforsaken wasteland.”

Related Characters: Commander Melissa Lewis (speaker), Beck (speaker), Mark Watney
Page Number: 145
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 13 Quotes

Now that NASA can talk to me, they won’t shut the hell up. They want constant updates on every Hab system, and they’ve got a room full of people trying to micromanage my crops. It’s awesome to have a bunch of dipshits on Earth telling me, a botanist, how to grow plants. I mostly ignore them. I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the best botanist on the planet.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

But my favorite email was the one from my mother. It’s exactly what you’d expect. Thank God you’re alive, stay strong, don’t die, your father says hello, etc. I read it fifty times in a row. Hey don’t get me wrong, I’m not a mama’s boy or anything […] It’s totally manly and normal for me to cling to a letter from my mom. It’s not like I’m some homesick kid at camp, right?

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker), Watney’s mother
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 16 Quotes

“Space travel is dangerous,” Mitch said. “We can’t make this a discussion about what’s safest.” “I disagree,” Teddy said. “This is absolutely a discussion about what’s safest. And about how many lives are at stake. Both plans are risky, but resupplying Watney only risks one life while the Rich Purnell Maneuver risks six.”

Related Characters: Teddy Sanders (speaker), Mitch Henderson (speaker), Mark Watney, Rich Purnell
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 17 Quotes

There’s still soil everywhere. No point in lugging it back outside. Lacking anything better to do, I ran some tests on it. Amazingly, some of the bacteria survived. […] it only takes one survivor to stave off extinction. Life is amazingly tenacious. They don’t want to die any more than I do.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Potatoes
Page Number: 224
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 20 Quotes

Since Sol 6 all I’ve wanted to do was get the hell out of here. Now the prospect of leaving the Hab behind scares the shit out of me. I need some encouragement. I need to ask myself, “What would an Apollo astronaut do?” He’d drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the Launchpad, then fly to the moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Page Number: 268
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 22 Quotes

“The edge of the storm isn’t a magic line. It’s just an area where the dust gets a little more dense. […] It’ll be really subtle; every day will be slightly darker than the last. Too subtle to notice.” Venkat sighed. “He’ll go hundreds of kilometers, wondering why his solar panel efficiency is going down, before he notices any visibility problems. And the storm is moving west as he moves east. He’ll be too deep in to get out.”

Related Characters: Venkat Kapoor (speaker), Cathy Warner (speaker), Mark Watney
Related Symbols: The Dust Storm
Page Number: 287
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 23 Quotes

If I could get Opportunity’s radio working, I’d be in touch with humanity again. NASA would continually tell me my exact position and best course, warn me if another storm was on its way, and generally be there watching over me. But if I’m being honest, that’s not the real reason I’m interested. I’m sick of being on my own, damn it!

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Dust Storm
Page Number: 306
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 26 Quotes

They gathered. Everywhere on Earth, they gathered. In Trafalgar Square and Tiananmen Square and Times Square, they watched on giant screens. In offices, they huddled around computer monitors. In bars, they stared silently at the TV in the corner. In homes, they sat breathlessly on their couches, their eyes glued to the story playing out.

Related Characters: Mark Watney
Page Number: 342
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

I think about the sheer number of people who pulled together just to save my sorry ass, and I can barely comprehend it. […] Part of it might be what I represent: progress, science, and the interplanetary future we’ve dreamed of for centuries. But, really, they did it because every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out.

Related Characters: Mark Watney (speaker)
Page Number: 368
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire The Martian LitChart as a printable PDF.
The martian.pdf.medium

Mark Watney Character Timeline in The Martian

The timeline below shows where the character Mark Watney appears in The Martian. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The novel opens with the Sol 6 entry of Mark Watney’s log. Watney doesn’t know who will read his log, but he hopes that someone... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Addressing future readers, Watney explains that the Mars missions use a ship called Hermes. Hermes reaches Earth’s orbit, then... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Watney explains that while the Ares 3 crew was supposed to spend a month on Mars,... (full context)
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
In Mars’ atmosphere, the blood from Watney’s suit dried quickly, and together the antenna and the blood sealed the hole in the... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
In the Hab, Watney tended to his wound and examined his damaged EVA suit. He realized that the antenna... (full context)
Chapter 2
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
On Sol 7, Watney assesses his odds of survival. The crew evacuated the Hab while wearing flight spacesuits, so... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Watney begins to develop a long-term plan for survival and rescue. The Ares 4 mission is... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 10. After spending several days searching the surrounding area in the rover, Watney gives up on finding the communications dish. Watney has enough CO2 filters to last him... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Watney begins thinking about ways to grow food. As the mission’s botanist, he was going to... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 11. Watney writes one sentence: “I wonder how the Cubs are doing.” (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 14. Watney has begun saving his feces and the leftovers from his meals to use as “compost.”... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 16. Watney realizes that the Hab does not have enough water to irrigate the crops he plans... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
While he works, Watney starts thinking about his family in Chicago. Today is Thanksgiving, which means his parents would... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 22. Watney has now covered 2/3 of the 62.5 square meter area with soil. The soil is... (full context)
Chapter 3
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 25. Watney does some calculations. He needs 1387 sols, or 1425 days, of food. To survive until... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 26. Watney continues bringing Martian soil into the Hab to grow his supply of crop soil, and... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Looking for something to kill time, Watney finds Commander Lewis’ data-stick, and discovers she brought many seasons of dated TV shows. He... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 29. Watney still has no source of water, but works on setting up the pop-tents (emergency shelters... (full context)
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
Sol 30. Watney decides he’s going to make water from hydrogen and oxygen (an incredibly dangerous thing to... (full context)
Chapter 4
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 32. Every twenty hours, Watney plans to vent 10 liters of carbon dioxide from the fuel plant into the Hab;... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 33. Watney prepares to make water. He removes the hydrazine tanks and iridium reaction chamber from the... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 33 (2). Watney dons protective clothing and an oxygen mask. He uses duct tape and clear plastic Hefty... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 37. Watney tells us he is going to die. He has fled the Hab and is now... (full context)
Chapter 5
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 38. Watney comes up with a way to get the hydrogen out of the Hab: Hydrogen only... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 39. Watney realizes the soil bacteria will be OK if he lowers the Hab temperature enough to... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 40. The first steps of Watney’s plan work, but he’s only able to lower the oxygen content to fifteen percent. This... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Watney manages to turn the regulator back on, and the Hab’s oxygen returns to a normal... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 41. Watney is relieved to find that the oxygenator, atmospheric regulator, and the Hab’s other important equipment... (full context)
Chapter 6
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...a future, not-yet-funded Ares 6 mission. Teddy refuses, explaining that the images would likely show Watney’s body. NASA images are in the public domain, and Teddy doesn’t want more bad press... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...at SatCon when Venkat’s images of the Ares 3 site come through. She realizes that Watney’s body is not in the images. She calls Venkat Kapoor at home, and he comes... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...again. Venkat has just told Teddy and NASA’s director of media relations Annie Montrose that Watney is still alive. Annie knows this will be a PR nightmare. Venkat explains Mindy’s findings,... (full context)
The Media Theme Icon
...to release the images. They’ll make an official statement. In the meantime, Teddy will visit Watney’s parents in Chicago and fill them in. Though they’ll be happy to hear Watney’s alive,... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The scene shifts again. Venkat’s new task is to find a way to communicate with Watney, but his team is unable to come up with a solution. Chuck and Morris explain... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...and she is determined to get it exactly right. Annie announces to the pressroom that Watney is still alive and explains that she will give a full press conference in an... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
The novel then jumps a week forward in time. Watney’s miraculous survival is the top news story in the world. At a press conference, Teddy... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...rescue plan, in which the Ares 4 crew, when it arrives at Mars, could rescue Watney using a modified MDV, then fly to the Ares 4 site, complete the mission, and... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Teddy wonders aloud what Watney must be thinking and how alone he must feel. Weir cuts to Watney’s Sol 61... (full context)
Chapter 7
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The novel once again takes up the log-entry structure. It is Sol 63. Watney has finished making water and the potatoes are growing. He describes things as “stable.” His... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Watney can double Rover 2’s battery life by wiring Rover 1’s battery into it. Watney decides... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 64. Watney begins modifying Rover 2. Using extra canvas and resin meant for Hab repairs, Watney makes... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 65. Watney begins disassembling the solar cell array. Since there’s only Watney in the Hab now (not... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 66. Watney decides that he’ll call his trips with the rover Sirius missions (it’s a dog pun).... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Sol 68. Watney decides that he’ll heat the rover using the RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generator), a box of... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 69. Driving towards the RTG, Watney is out of sight of the Hab for the first time. He is struck by... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Sol 70. Watney tests the Rover using the RTG for heat and uses its 100 watts to boost... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 71. Watney starts planning for Sirius 4, which will be a twenty-day trip. He can easily bring... (full context)
Chapter 8
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...She’s extremely nervous—she feels out of place. Mindy has been put in charge of tracking Watney using satellite imagery. Mitch wants Bob, the director of SatCon, to be charge of the... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
The managers discuss the RTG—from satellite images, they’ve realized that Watney is using it for heat, but they decide not to make this analysis public. The... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...JPL is still working on a way to use the Ares 4 MDV to rescue Watney and then fly to the Ares 4 MAV site. Teddy asks Mindy to adjust satellite... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Though Teddy and Venkat have already decided not to tell the Ares 3 crew that Watney is alive, Mitch challenges this decision. He argues that the information would improve morale, and... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Next, the team discusses how to keep Watney alive long enough for rescue. The best option is to send the Ares 4 pre-supply... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...office, writing a letter to ask a congressman to support emergency funding to help rescue Watney. Mindy knocks at the door. Venkat notes to himself that her outfit isn’t very put-together—she... (full context)
The Media Theme Icon
...interviewing Marcus Washington from USPS. He explains that the post office issued commemorative stamps when Watney was first believed dead, then discontinued them when he was found alive. Watney is the... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
The Watney Report’s next guest is Dr. Irene Shields, flight psychologist for the Ares missions. She tells... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...drop a bunch of bright green ribbons that say, “MARK: TURN ON YOUR COMM.” When Watney finds one, he’ll turn on his radio and be able to find his way to... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Soon after the call, Mindy notifies Venkat that Watney is continuing his trip. As they examine his coordinates, Venkat realizes that Watney is headed... (full context)
Chapter 9
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Weir returns to Watney’s log. It’s now Sol 79, and Watney has been driving for eight days. He’s saving... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 80. Watney is 100 km from Pathfinder. He had hoped to navigate by landmarks, but the landscape... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 81. Watney has run out of battery power just 22 km from Pathfinder. While waiting for the... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 82. Watney has found the Pathfinder lander and the Sojourner rover that accompanied it to Mars. He’ll... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 83. To get the Pathfinder lander onto the roof, Watney builds a ramp out of rocks and sand next to the rover. Then he carries... (full context)
Chapter 10
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 90. Watney has followed his rover tracks back through Lewis Valley, but now that he is in... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
On Sol 92, Watney gets the Hab’s signal for a moment, then loses it. He notes that he’s still... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Sol 94. Watney is thrilled to be back in the Hab, where he has room to move around.... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 95. Watney spends the day cleaning and repairing Pathfinder and Sojourner. He suspects NASA lost contact with... (full context)
Chapter 11
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 97. Watney sees that the lander’s antenna angle has changed and knows Pathfinder is working. Even if... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...Cathy Warner, Marty West of NBC News, and Jill Holbrook of BBC. Venkat explains that Watney can write notes and hold them up to the lander’s camera, but they need to... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
...console, Venkat, Tim, and Bruce receive a panorama from the lander showing a note from Watney that says, “I’ll write questions here—Are you receiving?” Another note to the side says, “Point... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 97 (2). Watney is overjoyed to receive NASA’s “yes.” He starts thinking about communication techniques. The most efficient... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...software engineer, approaches Venkat with an idea: NASA can update Pathfinder’s operating system and instruct Watney on how to hack the Rover software so that the rover will be able to... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
Annie calls Venkat asking for a photo of Watney. Venkat says this is ridiculous—it’s a waste of time and energy, and because Watney will... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
Sol 98. Watney receives instructions on how to hack the Rover and decodes them. Then, for Annie’s photo-op,... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...further discuss hacking the rover. This could happen faster, Jack says, if Johanssen could radio Mark and explain the process; Hermes is much closer to Mars than Earth is, so the... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 98 (2). Watney tries taking a laptop outside to speed up the process of decoding messages, but the... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...online. Then the structure of the novel shifts again—this time, to messages between JPL and Watney. The messages are formatted with time stamps. Venkat informs Watney that JPL is adjusting Ares... (full context)
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...the door and, once again, makes his case that NASA should inform the crew that Watney is alive. There’s hope of rescuing Watney now, and Mitch insists that, as flight director,... (full context)
Chapter 12
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
...to the morning of Sol 6, the day that the Ares 3 crew evacuated Mars. Watney complains about waking up early and cracks jokes. Lewis tells the crew that there’s a... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...or do an emergency takeoff if ordered by NASA. Just as they reach the MAV, Watney is hit by the satellite antenna and is carried away by the wind. Johanssen’s computer... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...with emails from home. Today’s includes a voice message from Mitch informing the crew that Watney is alive and a rescue plan is in progress. Mitch emphasizes that the crew was... (full context)
Chapter 13
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 114. Watney complains that NASA is micromanaging his work on Mars. However, Watney enjoys reading emails from... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...explaining another step in the process of making Hab canvas. In his Sol 114 entry, Watney writes that he has enough food to last to Sol 900, and that NASA is... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 116. Watney harvests, freezes, and stores his potatoes. Watney receives an email from Venkat advising him to... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...the Ares 3 pre-supply probe (carrying the Hab canvas) reaches Mars safely. On Sol 117, Watney writes that the water reclaimer is slowing down. He’s not too concerned, but NASA is... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 119. A minor sandstorm hit the Hab the previous night. Watney gets ready to clean sand off of the solar cells, and as he does so,... (full context)
Chapter 14
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The structure of the novel switches to an audio log transcript of Sol 119. Watney curses the airlock, the Hab, and Mars. Then he pulls himself together gets to work... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Watney’s next task is to find a way to patch his EVA suit. He has a... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 120. Watney is back in the rover and once again writing in the standard log. As he... (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... (full context)
Chapter 15
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The chapter begins with an exchange between Watney and Venkat—Pathfinder is back online. Watney explains he’s patched the Hab and re-pressurized it, but... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...staff. The dead potato farm has changed their timeline: for a supply probe to reach Watney by Sol 584, JPL will have to make it in 48 days. The probe will... (full context)
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...managers, led by Teddy. Annie explains she’s giving daily press updates, and that CNN’s The Watney Report is the number one show in its time slot. Teddy sees the public’s focus... (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... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...enough fuel for a Mars injection orbit—the probe could be modified to send supplies to Watney. Because of the Chinese government’s security protocol, NASA doesn’t know that the CNSA has booster... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...diplomats are responsible for negotiating an agreement, it won’t be resolved in time to save Watney. He decides to contact NASA and negotiate with them directly. In exchange for the booster,... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Watney says very little of substance in his note to Johanssen. He asks her how she... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...They have to finish the probe in 28 days; it will arrive six weeks after Watney runs out of food. Meanwhile, Rich finds Venkat and tells him that he has found... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
In his message to Vogel, Watney reminisces about training, when Vogel bought him a beer for breakfast. He jokes that Vogel... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...Sol 549. The “Rich Purnell Maneuver” uses Taiyang Shen to send Hermes a resupply probe. Watney would have to get to the Ares 4 MAV, modify it, and use it to... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
In his note to Beck, Watney advises him to “tell Johanssen how you feel” once the Ares 3 mission his over.... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...coward and accuses him of trying to cut NASA’s losses rather than attempting to save Watney’s life. In any case, Mitch argues, the crew should have the right to decide whether... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
In Watney’s message to Lewis, he tells her once again not to blame herself for leaving him... (full context)
Chapter 17
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Sol 192. Watney is moved to learn that the Hermes crew has turned around to rescue him, and... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 193. Watney wires the drill to Hab power and marks the line he’s going to cut onto... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 194. Watney spends his entire day drilling. He wants to spend ten hours a day working, but... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 196. Watney opens the log entry by telling us he’s made a potentially deadly mistake. He spent... (full context)
Chapter 18
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 197. Watney writes that he keeps endangering himself through his own “stupidity.” He decides he’ll continue with... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 198. Watney realizes that because he is one person, not six, the oxygenator is only working one-sixth... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Sol 200. Watney loads the rover and “trailer” with rocks and tests how much weight they can haul... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 207. Watney has spent a week resting his back. He figures out that if he can take... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 211. Watney cleans out the rovers, removing everything he won’t need on the trip, then moves in... (full context)
Chapter 19
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...American and Chinese engineers celebrate together. Zhu Tao tells Venkat that, though he’s glad that Watney will survive, he’s saddened that the exploratory probe he spent years building will likely never... (full context)
Chapter 20
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 376. Watney has finished the rover modifications to move in the “big three.” Sol 380. Watney makes... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 385. Watney starts designing a ‘bedroom” that he’ll attach to one of the rover’s airlocks using one... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 390. The rover is fully prepared for the trip to Shiaparelli, leaving Watney with 59 sols to run extra tests. He reflects on the fact that, though he... (full context)
Chapter 21
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
Sol 431. Watney works on packing efficiently, placing the things he most needs in the rover. Weir cuts... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 434. Watney moves the “big three” into the rover and leaves them running overnight to test that... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
...NASA, Teddy, Venkat, Mitch, Annie, Mindy, and Martian meteorologist Randall Carter meet. Mindy explains that Watney has modified the rover and built a room that attaches to the rover’s airlock—she and... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 444. Watney has now packed the rover and spent five sols test-driving near the Hab. The bedroom... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 449. Watney is about to leave for Shiaparelli. To avoid eating raw potatoes, he’s microwaved them all... (full context)
Chapter 22
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 456. Watney has reached Mawrth Vallis! He has settled into a routine. Every day, he folds up... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
On the Mark Watney Report, Cathy asks Venkat if Watney is doomed—the dust storm in Arabia Terra will... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 462. Watney’s journey is going smoothly. He’s finding his latitude using a homemade sextant to navigate by... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 466. It’s Watney’s fourth air day. He has entered Arabia Terra, which has rocky terrain and quite a... (full context)
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 worried, but Martinez tells her he... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 474. Watney has navigated badly and ended up on the ridge of the Marth Crater. He decides... (full context)
Chapter 23
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 476. Watney decides he’ll measure how far he is into the storm in terms of “percent power... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 477. Watney will record the solar cells’ wattage per day by attaching a power meter to each... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 480. Watney is on his way out of the storm—his percent power loss each day is decreasing.... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 487. Watney realizes he is within four sols travel of the Mars exploration rover Opportunity—he could potentially... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 492. Watney starts thinking about a way to leave the bedroom set up all the time once... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
The Betrayal of the Familiar Theme Icon
Sol 497. It’s an Air Day, and Watney will be at the entrance to Schiaparelli tomorrow. He is elated. In the next passage,... (full context)
Chapter 24
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...Mitch, Mindy, Venkat, and Bruce examine satellite images of the crash for any sign that Watney is alive. Watney’s Sol 498 log entry reveals that he is not injured, and nothing... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 499. Watney connects a long power cable to the rover, then uses the sample drill to anchor... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Back on Earth, Mindy informs Mitch, Bruce, Venkat, and Annie that Watney’s Morse code message indicates he’s fixed everything. Venkat asks Bruce about the plan for MAV... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 502. Watney reminisces about how slowly and cautiously his father used to drive. Now, to avoid rolling... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 504. Watney’s radio briefly catches a signal from the MAV. Weir switches to the third-person narrator, who... (full context)
Chapter 25
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Sol 505. Watney is writing from the rover. He has already run a systems check and a boot-up... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Back on Earth, Bruce and Venkat meet to discuss MAV modifications. They’ll have Watney electrolyze his 550 liters of water and turn it into 80 kg of hydrogen. To... (full context)
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 are running a... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
Sol 526. Watney has been busy modifying the MAV following NASA’s instructions. Sol 529. Watney is turning his... (full context)
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The narration shifts to a transcript between Johanssen on Hermes and Watney in the MAV. NASA has approved direct communication between Watney and the Hermes crew. Watney... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 543. Watney has finished the MAV modifications. He notes that the MAV is now far more dangerous... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Sol 549. Watney is sitting in the MAV in his EVA suit, awaiting the launch. He’s leaving behind... (full context)
Chapter 26
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
...by describing how people around the world have gathered around computers and TVs to witness Watney’s rescue. In Chicago, Watney’s parents are watching, a NASA representative standing by to answer their... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...Beck and Vogel wait in the airlock. Beck tells Vogel that if he can’t reach Watney, he wants Vogel to release his tether so he can go a bit further. Vogel... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Weir’s third-person narrator describes Watney’s experience of the launch. As the MAV accelerates faster than any other manned ship in... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
...ion engines and altitude thrusters to bring them close enough to the MAV to reach Watney at intercept, but they’ll be traveling much too fast. Lewis orders Martinez to use the... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
In the MAV, Watney comes to. He can see Mars through the hole in the front of the ship,... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Bureaucracy vs. Human Endeavour Theme Icon
...that Beck will run out of tether in 8 seconds. Beck clips his suit to Watney’s. They float out of the MAV and Beck uses his thruster to accelerate towards Hermes.... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
The Media Theme Icon
...aboard Hermes. The NASA control center bursts into applause. While people celebrate around the world, Watney’s parents in Chicago embrace one another. Mitch and Venkat look at each other and sigh... (full context)
Science, Human Ingenuity, and the Fight to Survive Theme Icon
Solitude and the Human Need for Connection Theme Icon
Log Entry: Mission Day 687. It’s Sol 549 on Mars, but Watney is now making log entries in reference to mission days. Watney explains that he broke... (full context)