Towards the end of The Martian movie, right before

being rescued,

Mark Watney is shown to take a shower and shave. Both the book and the movie make it quite clear that the "living" space inside the rover is quite cramped. Yet Mark is shown standing upright, and even walking a bit. Seeing how he already

stripped the Ares 4 MAV to its bones,

where exactly was he showering?

2 Answers 2


He doesn't have a shower in that scene. Shortly after being rescued, he comments that he hasn't had a shower in some considerable time, which explains his ripe odour.

Martinez: [Eww]There a little smell going on there, bud...

Watney: [laughing] Well, I haven't had a shower in a year and a half!

He appear to be dry-shaving in the MDV (MAV) rather than the Rover. He also seems to have a number of items around him that he's preparing to jettison. One assumes his shaving kit will be leaving via the porthole shortly, to save weight.

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This is indirectly mentioned in the novel

After Johanssen gave us the all clear, Dr. Bossy-Beck made me wait while he first took off his suit, then took off mine. After he pulled my helmet off, he looked shocked. I thought maybe I had a major head wound or something, but it turns out it was the smell. It’s been a while since I washed…anything.

  • 1
    It's not clear why the MAV would have that space, even in the lower stay-behind platform. It's clearly shown that the MAV is an Apollo-like cone, and I would have assumed all else was the two-stages of engines and fuel tanks and so on. The MDV isn't there. And the Rover was the size of a "van" and didn't have any room for him to stand up (in the books he builds a hab-fabric "bedroom" to give himself standing-up room). I think ... this scene (which is in the movie, not the book) is a bit of dramatic license that doesn't actually fit the facts. They wanted to (briefly) show him emaciated.
    – davidbak
    Feb 12, 2016 at 1:04
  • He mentions he hasn't showered in a year and a half, but he left the hab on sol 461 and I think the intercept took place on sol 561, only 100 sols later. Even accounting for additional earth time, that is considerably less than a year and a half.
    – BKH
    Jan 15, 2017 at 1:54

In the movie he showers in the habitat at the Ares 3 landing site before setting off for the Ares 4 MAV. It is also suggested in the film that this journey takes several days.

Considering he has to wear his survival suit for this entire journey and exerts himself quite a lot, he would have sweated considerably.


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