NASA’s Monday announcement that Mars appears to have flowing streams of salty water might not be a cosmic conspiracy to boost ticket sales, as some have asserted on social media, but the possible finding is good news for Ridley Scott’s The Martian.
The announcement has a lot of people talking about the film, which is set to premiere this Friday and stars Matt Damon as a stranded astronaut who must find, among other things, a source of water to survive.
Writing at Yahoo News, Dylan Stabelford posed the question late Monday, “Did NASA time its Mars announcement to coincide with the film’s release?”
The journalist took a shot at answering his own question, writing, “It would be a bit hard to imagine the space agency sitting on major Mars news in order for it to collide with a Hollywood movie,” but just for good measure, Yahoo reached out to NASA for comment.
“No, the timing was dictated by the publication of the Nature Geoscience article, which was released today,” agency spokeswoman Laurie Cantillo said on Monday.
Still, the movie’s media team is enjoying the free press brought on by the impeccable timing of the news:
— The Martian Movie (@MartianMovie) September 28, 2015
And despite Cantillo’s statement, some refuse to buy that NASA and Hollywood aren’t in bed together on this one:
So water is discovered on Mars the same week that Matt Damon's movie The Martian comes out? I smell conspiracy, NASA
— Micah Marroquin (@MicahMarroquin) September 28, 2015
— RaoulFOX5 (@RaoulFOX5) September 28, 2015
Honestly think NASA's "Big Mars" announcement is a sketchy paid tie-in to the movie The Martian with Matt Damon #conspiracy
— Billy Sakmann (@BillySakmann) September 28, 2015
So there's a new Matt Damon film called The Martian out. And now NASA says there's water on Mars. #conspiracy
— Lex van Woerkom (@LexvanWoerkom) September 28, 2015