15 Times The Martian Made Science Nerds Look Totally Bad-Ass

How do we sign up for NASA?

By Seija Rankin Oct 01, 2015 4:00 PMTags
The Martian, Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate MaraTwentieth Century Fox Film

Score one for science this weekend.

The Martian is billed as a big-budget action-adventure in which Matt Damon, Movie Star, fights against the odds to escape death time and time again after being stranded on Mars and, well, left for dead. And it is that movie—kind of. Matt Damon does go straight into Movie Star mode, the 3-D special effects are top-notch and there are several moments where audience members can't help but cringe and flinch. But at its core, it's just a feel-good movie about science nerds.

This isn't your average Interstellar-like tear-jerker, after all; this is an all-out love letter to math. And chemistry. And physics. And botany. And again (and most importantly) nerds. Argue what you will about the scientific accuracy of each and every plot line (although chances are experts won't find too many moments to discredit), but The Martian officially makes it cool to be a nerd.

In fact there were so many moments that made us want to stand up and high-five our neighbor over a math problem that we decided to collect a few of our favorites. But don't worry about spoilers, because this movie has almost no secrets—if anyone finds it a surprise that Damon gets stranded on Mars, well, we don't know what to tell you. 

1. Matt Damon. If all the astronauts look like him, sign us up for NASA stat. (See also: Sebastian Stan. Hubba hubba.)

2. Matt Damon's space suit. In the super futuristic world of The Martian (where they've discovered how to, you know, send people to Mars), NASA uniforms are basically the cosmos version of baseball pants: Tight in all the right places. 

3. The time that Damon's character (otherwise known as Astronaut Mark Watney) casually performs amateur self-surgery, sans anesthesia. There's nothing like stapling your own stomach to prove that you're a badass.

4. Food ration calculations. Who knew that a scene in which a guy literally uses math to figure out how long he can eat would be so climactic? It turns out counting is super cool on Mars.

5. The time Watney coined the catch phrase "I'm gonna science the s--t out of this." Consider it the new "Show me the money."

6. The time Watney figures out how to plant potatoes on a planet where nothing grows...

7...and makes water by lighting Hydrogen on fire.

8. When NASA scientists use a computer language on a sundial to communicate across planets.

9. When Watney blows himself up—and laughs it off. That's superhero-level stuff.

10. The NASA supercomputer...it's a computer that takes up an entire room and basically has the intelligence of a straight-up human being.

11. The fact that Watney pretty much fashions a spaceship out of nothing but tarp and duct tape. Now that's science-ing the s--t out of the situation.

12. We learned that you can use your own poop to grow potatoes. Very cool...and very, very gross.

13. The fact that NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory comes off as a sexier workplace than the magazine in The Devil Wears Prada.

14. Every scene where somebody is flying outside of a spaceship. If you can use science to literally free-fall in space, it doesn't get more badass than that.

15. The fact that the entire world gathers to watch the Mars drama unfold like it's the best Super Bowl of all time. There's no better way to show nerd prowess than getting 10,000 people to collectively high-five.

Watch: Matt Damon: Boxers or Briefs?