The Martian

Other mistake: During the storm scene in the beginning of the movie, the astronauts faces inside the helmets are brightly lit, meaning there's a light source pointed directly in their face. That's something that would render them mostly blind and unable to see and appears to be nothing but a dramatic effect for the camera. (00:05:00 - 00:08:00)

Other mistake: When devising the plan to retrieve Watney, it is mentioned that the Hermes crew have had to lash together all the webbing on board to make the longest possible tether. When this tether is used, there is no evidence of any lashing together or other extensions or modifications to lengthen it. The tether is one continuous length and is stored on a reel that was designed for the length of tether gathered on it.


Other mistake: The photo that is taken of Watney doing the Fonz pose is in vertical lines, much like the satellite imagery. However, the camera that took this photo was the pathfinder, which took normal black and white images, as seen in the "Yes" "No" question card scene.

David Atkinson

Other mistake: When Watney is in zero-g there are loose bolts floating around him. There is no way he would have left loose pieces in the MAV's cabin. Things left unsecured in microgravity tend to float around and damage delicate electronics. If something is not being used it's lashed down or secured in a cabinet. He has one chance to to get rescued and he wouldn't risk dying after over a year of surviving on Mars on something so foolish as unsecured equipment in the MAV cabin. He would have cleaned out every last bit of loose gear before launch.

Grumpy Scot

Other mistake: Rich Purnell explains his plan to redirect the Hermes to Mars in order to rescue Watney, positioning people to represent planets and using a stapler to show the trajectory of the vessel. He is talking to experienced, qualified engineers and technologists working at a very high level on the space programme. They don't need drama school play acting to be understand things like this. He could have explained his plan in the most complex and abstruse terms and they would have been way ahead of him.


Other mistake: Upon arriving at the MAV, when Watney opens the door to exit the rover to head to the MAV, the home-made balloon on top of the rover does not deflate, as it should when interior pressure of the Rover is absent.

Other mistake: When Vincent Kapoor first goes to JPL in Pasadena, he gets out of the car and the letters "JPL" are shown on the door. Since the shot is from the inside looking out at Kapoor, the letters should be backwards. No one labels a building for viewing from the inside. (00:43:00)

Other mistake: When Matt Damon is brought back onto the Hermes, he is surrounded by his crewmates who are not in spacesuits. All air from the Hermes outside the control room had been expelled by the explosion, and could not have been replaced in the recovery time frame.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The first priority would have been to only replenish the air in the corridors leading from the bridge to the airlock, since these are the 2 locations the crew need access to. They did not need to replace all the air in the ship at once, just a relatively small area.

Factual error: After Watney patches the blow out of one of the HAB's airlocks with plastic sheeting, tie down straps, and duct tape, he pressurizes the HAB and the plastic sheeting pushes out like an inflated balloon. Assuming the plastic and duct tape would hold this is correct, however the plastic would be much more taut given the pressure difference inside and outside. The real mistake is later in the scene during a sand storm the plastic flops in and out. The plastic would remain tautly inflated, since the inside pressure is much greater than outside, and since the HAB is airtight the storm would have no equalizing effect to cause the plastic to be sucked inward.

More mistakes in The Martian

Mark Watney: I admit it's fatally dangerous, but I'd get to fly around like Iron Man.

More quotes from The Martian

Trivia: The secret project created to use the Hermes to return to Mars to rescue Watney was called Project Elrond, a reference from the Lord of the Rings (also used in the original book of The Martian). Mitch Henderson, played by Sean Bean, was an attendee at the Project Elrond meeting. Sean Bean also played Boromir, who was an attendee at the Council of Elrond in the LOTR movie.

More trivia for The Martian

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.