In The Martian the whole story is about the Ares 3 crew, and we know from the book and movie that on the next mission (which I believe was a delayed by 2 years because their MAV was destroyed), Ares 4, there is a Chinese astronaut from The CNSA and the movie also shows Martinez as the pilot (maybe even commander) along side the Chinese guy.

I also know from the short story prequel (Diary of an AssCan: A Mark Watney Short Story)

I called Karen Rhodes (mechanical engineer for Ares 1) and asked how she handled Missed Orbit Scenario testing. She groaned and told me it was just as bad as I’d had it.

Ares 1 had a mechanical engineer named Karen Rhodes, but who else was in the Ares 1 crews as well as the Ares 2 crew and the Ares 4 and Ares 5 crews?

  • 1
    0.o there was a prequel? Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 8:46
  • @Gallifreian - Note to self. Acquire sequel.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 11:51
  • @Valorum - huh? Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 12:06
  • @Gallifreian - Note to self, turn off auto-correct.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 13:16
  • 1
    @Santa - I mailed Andy Weir and he says it's his writing. Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 14:38

1 Answer 1


Except for Karen Rhodes and Rick Martinez, we know none

You pointed out Karen Rhodes from the prequel. This is all Weir has to tell about the backstory of The Martian. From an interview on Reddit:

Reddit: Someone came up with the idea that it would end with "Welcome to CNN's Watney report. On today's Watney report we're joined in the studio by Mark Watney...."

Did you consider an ending with him arriving back on earth?

Weir: I did. But I decided against it. When a story's over I want to end it. I'd rather leave the reader wanting more than getting sick of it.

Reddit Q&A

In the film Rick Martinez is shown to go for another space mission, presumably (given his qualification) Ares IV. Also, the rest of the Ares ground crew (Venkat, Teddy, Mindy, and Rich) probably went on with their jobs in NASA. The former two most probably went on to supervise further Ares missions.

This is all we can gather from the film and the writings. From an interview:

I didn't define anything that happened after the book ended. So you can feel free to use your imagination for that stuff. :)

Edit: after some digging I was able to find another Reddit Q&A with Weir, where he posted the original epilogue. Some excerpts:

He would be meeting the Ares-6 Engineer. He had read her file, but had never met her in person.

Sadly, her name is never stated.

  • damn. Thanks for the info. I wish Andy would just give them names and jobs but I guess it's kind of true to life in that no one cares about the other people when Ares III are the new NASA celebs. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 2:05

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