I watched The Martian on TV last night. I missed it when it was in the theaters. It was gorgeous on the big screen, I am sure, but finances and other commitments conspired to keep me from seeing it there. It was a rare thing, a film that captured the spirit and the patina of the original book. Sure, there were things left out but it inspired most of the same feelings that the book did. Now that I’ve seen the movie I understand that much of the renewed enthusiasm for Mars missions are traceable to this movie. I can never thank Riddley Scott enough for sharing this marvelous vision of a possible near future with us. I suspect the actual Mars missions will look somewhat different from what we saw in this movie but their very existence may be thanks to it.