The Martian
Credit: Ridley Scott

NASA’s Orion spacecraft was designed to shuttle astronauts to Mars some day. When it made its first successful test flight on Dec. 5 from Florida’s Cape Canaveral, the 11-foot-long capsule didn’t blast anyone to the red planet, but it did keep with the theme, completing two orbits of Earth while carrying the front page of the script for The Martian (above).

Directed by Ridley Scott with a screenplay by Drew Goddard, the film is based on the novel by Andy Weir that tells the story of an astronaut (Matt Damon) stranded on Mars. It was the production’s NASA liaison who came up with the idea of sending a piece of The Martian into space. “NASA has been really involved and incredibly generous in the process of making this movie,” says producer Simon Kinberg, who attended the launch. (Also on board were memorabilia from Star Trek and Sesame Street.) As for the doodles and commentary on the title page, those are the handiwork of Scott (who’s currently shooting the movie in Hungary). “When Ridley reads his scripts he sketches on them,” says Kinberg. “He’s very much an artist.”

Click to enlarge and see the whole page. (Warning: There’s a touch of profanity.)

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The Martian
2015 movie
  • Movie
  • 142 minutes