Study Guide

The Martian Chapter 15

By Andy Weir

Chapter 15

  • It takes him a few days, but Mark manages to get the Hab back online. There's a problem with the water reclaimer, but Mark is convinced that he can fix it.
  • Even so, this disaster throws a huge wrench into the plans. The only way that NASA can send him supplies in time is by sending a probe (dubbed "Iris") within the next forty days, which is all but impossible.
  • Meanwhile, an astrodynamicist named Rich Purnell is up at the dead of night, calculating "a range of twenty-five days during which Iris might launch" (15.31). Suddenly, Rich gets an idea...
  • Elsewhere at NASA, Teddy and Venkat are leading a meeting on the Iris mission. It's going to be tough: in fact, the only way to get it there in time is by skipping inspection. That's some risky business, but they have to give it a shot.
  • Finally, the Iris probe is set for launch. 3... 2... 1...
  • Although the probe launches successfully, it suddenly "experienced a [...] jolt of immense force" (15.221). A few moments later, it explodes into nothingness—along with any hope for Mark's survival.
  • Hoo boy. Things just got bleak.

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