NASA’s announcement confirming that it found evidence of water flowing on the surface Mars was celebrated by scientists searching for life in the universe — and by publicists at 20th Century Fox looking to promote “The Martian,” the upcoming Ridley Scott film starring Matt Damon.
In the film, Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut who must survive alone on Mars after being left for dead by his crew during a fierce storm on the red planet.
“With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive,” reads the studio’s description of the film, which is an adaptation of Andy Weir’s 2011 novel of the same name.
According to a Yahoo News staffer who read the book, the long-suspected existence of water on Mars was not part of the planet’s hostile environment. And the water found on Mars — a briny liquid perchlorate — isn’t drinkable, NASA said.
No matter. The marketing team running the verified Twitter feed for “The Martian” quickly capitalized on NASA’s announcement.