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Watch 'The Martian' astronauts struggle with isolation training

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 5, 2015
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One of the greatest challenges for any manned Mars mission isn't surviving the planet itself, but remaining mentally sound on the way there -- you don't want to freak out during a months-long space voyage. And it looks like the producers behind the movie adaptation of The Martian are well aware of this practical reality. They've posted a teaser clip showing how the fictional NASA crew copes with 10 days of isolation training meant to simulate the disconnection they'll likely experience during the journey. As you'll see below, some of them handle it better than others. A few are practically itching to go on the expedition, while others clearly... suffered a bit. Why does Aquaman have control over whales?

It's a frequently silly video meant to drum up attention ahead of The Martian's October 2nd theatrical premiere. However, it's also a rare instance of movie creators offering a semi-serious take on the psychological effects of space travel -- that is, using them as more than just explanations for the villains' behavior. Moreover, it suggests that Ridley Scott and his team are staying true to novelist Andy Weir's careful balance between humor and realism. While there's no certainty that the full movie will live up to the expectations set by the teaser, this is a good early sign.

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