Study Guide

The Martian Chapter 17

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Chapter 17

  • As you might imagine, Mark gets all "choked up" when he hears about all of this (17.3). Friendship is magic, guys.
  • ¬†Of course, he still has to figure out how to make it to the Ares 4 site and that won't be an easy task.
  • The biggest problem is that the Ares 4 site is still bare-boned, with no air, food, or water. That means that Mark won't only have to figure out how to actually get there, but also how to lug enough supplies to last around one hundred days. Luckily, NASA is on the line at all times giving him instructions and suggestions.
  • Luckily, Mark has a lot of equipment to work with. He'll use both rovers, driving one and pulling the other like a trailer. In order to make this happen, he'll need to reduce trailer's weight by removing parts of the hull.
  • So he grabs a rock sample drill, plugs it into the Hab for power, and get to work. The drill has a tendency to "overheat," so it takes him days to remove even the smallest portion of the hull (17.62).
  • Then everything goes wrong. Suddenly, the drill dies altogether, forcing him to "reset the breakers" (17.102). No harm, no foul, right?
  • Oddly, however, NASA has stopped responding to his messages. After inspecting the Pathfinder, Mark realizes that the power short fried its electronics, cutting off his one line of communication with NASA. Ruh roh, Shaggy.

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