NASA's love for The Martian movie is seemingly endless. In another publicity stunt for the sci-fi film, the space agency posted images taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, showing where the stranded astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, would have been staying on the Red Planet. The images show the Ares 3 site, where Watney's habitat would supposedly be located, as well as the different types of terrain he would have needed to cross to reach salvation.NASA has been super excited about the release of The Martian movie for the past few months. Leading up to the film's premiere, the space agency has done numerous interviews with the cast, highlighted the real-life technologies used by Matt Damon's character Mark Watney, and incessantly reminded everyone that NASA plans to go to Mars for real sometime in the 2030s.
All of the images were taken with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE — the main imaging instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. To find the exact location of the fictional Ares 3 site, the author of The Martian, Andy Weir, provided the precise coordinates he wanted to the HiRISE team.
- Acidalia Planitia In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney spends most of his time in southern Acidalia Planitia, where his habitat is set up. The area is filled with many craters, and perhaps even ancient volcanoes.
- Ares 3 Landing Site A close-up shot of the exact coordinates of the fictional Ares 3 site. The coordinates were provided by Andy Weir, the author of The Martian.
- Changing with age The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter take pictures of the same Ares 3 site, a few months later. Can you spot any changes?
- Ares 4 Site In The Martian, Mark Watney must travel from his habitat to where the Mars Ascent Vehicle is located — at the Ares 4 site. This image shows where that rocket would have been located.
- Western Edge of Marth Crater While traveling to the Mars Ascent Vehicle, Watney gets stuck in a dust storm around the edge of Marth Crater.