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NASA astronaut Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer, is left stranded on Mars when the crew of the Ares 3 mission are forced to evacuate their landing site in Acidalia Planitia due to a dust storm with high winds. Watney is impaled by an antenna during the evacuation, destroying his flight space suit's bio-monitor computer, and his five crewmates believe him to be dead. His injury proves relatively minor, but with no way to contact Earth, Watney must rely on his scientific and technical skills to survive, growing potatoes in the crew's Martian habitat (or Hab) and burning hydrazine to make water. He begins a log of his experiences for some future archeologist who might discover it long after his death. NASA discovers that Watney is alive when satellite images of the landing site show evidence of his activities; they begin working on ways to rescue him, but withhold the news of his survival from the rest of the Ares 3 crew, on their way back to Earth aboard the Hermes spacecraft, so as not to distract them.
is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific accuracy or technical detail, or on both
Hal Clement, Mission of Gravity (1953)
John Wyndham, The Outward Urge (1959)
Arthur C. Clarke, A Fall of Moondust (1961), Rendezvous with Rama (1972)
Stanislaw Lem, Solaris (1961)
Poul Anderson, Tau Zero (1970)
Joe Haldeman, The Forever War (1974)
James P. Hogan, The Two Faces of Tomorrow (1979)
Robert L. Forward, Dragon's Egg (1980)
Robert Silverberg (editor), Murasaki (1992)
Stephen Baxter, Ring (1996)
Charles Sheffield, Between the Strokes of Night (1985)
Carl Sagan, Contact (1985)
Kim Stanley Robinson, The Mars trilogy (Red Mars (1992), Green Mars (1993), Blue Mars (1996))
Ben Bova, Grand Tour series (1992–2009)
Catherine Asaro, Primary Inversion (1995, 2012)
Linda Nagata, The Nanotech Succession (1995-1998)
Nancy Kress, Beggars in Spain (1993)
Greg Egan, Schild's Ladder (2002)
Alastair Reynolds, Pushing Ice (2005)
Paul J. McAuley, The Quiet War (2008)
Andy Weir, The Martian (2014)
Neal Stephenson Seveneves (2015)
Mission of Gravity
A Fall of Moondust
Rendezvous with Rama
The Forever War
The Mars trilogy