Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.
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A Conversation with SpaceGeek and Science Fanatic Andy Weir, author of The Martian
So it seems you're a bit of a science geek. You list space travel, orbital dynamics, relativistic physics, astronomy, and the history of manned spaceflight among your interests. How did you incorporate these passions into your debut novel The Martian?
Those interests allowed me to come up with the story in the first place. I love reading up on current space research. At some point I came up with the idea of an astronaut stranded on Mars. The more I worked on it, the more I realized I had accidentally spent my life researching for this story. Early on, I decided that I would be as scientifically accurate as possible. To a nerd like me, working out all the math and physics for Mark's problems and solutions was fun.
In one sentence, tell us what your novel is all about.
It's the story of an astronaut trying to survive after being accidentally left behind on Mars.
Explain how the science in The Martian is true to life.
The basic structure of the Mars program in the book is very similar to a plan called "Mars Direct" (though I made changes here and there). It's the most likely way that we will have our ...
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