A former NASA scientist says 'The Martian' movie 'is completely doable.' But Elon Musk's city on Mars is another story.

Business Insider | 5/5/2018 | Dave Mosher
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A former NASA scientist says "The Martian" sci-fi book and movie "is completely doable."

The movie depicts a temporary Mars outpost with pre-delivered supplies and habitats.

Elon - Musk - Founder - SpaceX - Rocket

But Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, rallies his rocket company around the idea of colonizing Mars.

Building a self-sustaining city on the red planet is a far greater challenge than a stay of a year or two.

Blockbuster - Movie - Martian - Mark - Watney

In the 2015 blockbuster sci-fi movie "The Martian," astronaut Mark Watney lands on Mars with five other explorers.

The crew of the Ares III mission, arrives at a pre-assembled outpost, complete with enough food, water, and air to last them about a month. There are also tube-shaped rovers and a nuclear-powered mothership.

Amount - Fiction - Movie - Book - Fans

There's good amount of fiction in the movie as well as the book it was adapted from, but fans and scientists alike hailed the setup as delightfully realistic — and maybe even inevitable.

"The scenario in 'The Martian' is completely doable," D. Marshall Porterfield, the former director of NASA's Space Life and Physical Sciences Division, told Business Insider.

Porterfield - Researchers - Lot - Questions - Elon

However, Porterfield and other researchers have a lot of questions for Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, about his ambitious long-term plans for sending people to Mars.

If you apply to work at SpaceX, you'll see the following statement at the top of every job description:

SpaceX - Belief - Future - Humanity - Stars

"SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars."

Musk has gone further in some interviews and talks, saying it's crucial that we try to colonize Mars in case something goes seriously wrong on Earth.

Presentation - Musk - People - Mars - Years

During a 2016 presentation, Musk said it's possible to put 1 million people on Mars within 100 years...
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