Month: January 2016
(This entry is cross-posted from IntLawGrrls: http://ilg2.org/2016/01/12/international-space-law-in-the-martian/)
So it took me a while to catch up, but I finally watched the film “The Martian”, in which the main character, Mark Watney, is left behind on Mars when the rest of his crew makes an emergency departure, assuming he is dead at the time. I expected yet another drama-filled sci-fi film, complete with intense music and an apocalyptic scenario, and instead I was treated to a story about problem solving and co-operation, accompanied by a fun disco soundtrack, since this is the only music left behind for Watney to listen to. It struck me that the book by Andy Weir, and the film based upon it, were written to inspire a new generation of space scientists and policy makers, about what’s possible if we set our minds to it. (And that even a woman might be the scientist who makes an important discovery, in the depiction of satellite operator Annie Montrose.)
As an international space lawyer I am also excited to see some elements of space law come to the surface. Without wanting to spoil the film for anyone who has not seen it, I want to comment on a few such issues which arose in the film.