The Martian

Microsoft has partnered with 20th Century Fox to help promote the upcoming film adaptation of the novel "The Martian". One of those efforts is a contest called Hacking Mars, which offers the opportunity for anyone to submit their own ideas on how to keep fictional astronaut Mark Watney, played in the movie by Matt Damon, alive on Mars.

Microsoft says:

"The Hacking Mars Design Challenge invites teams to research and submit a three-to-five minute video about a product, service, app or game that would help Watney: stay alive (grow food, filter air, produce water), pass time (keeping hope alive, dealing with extreme isolation and constant stress) and get home (focusing on communication issues). They can tackle one topic or take on all three. The deadline for entries is Oct. 13."

The team with the best idea will win $25,000 and a trip to Microsoft's headquarters to check out the company's Hololens technology. In addition, Microsoft has launched another website that will allow users to follow Watney's journey on Mars:

" The experience uses real imagery of the Red Planet, Bing Maps API and the Azure platform to track Watney's journey across Mars. Across the map, fans will find points of interest that include videos, search results and other resources that add more context for curious would-be space travelers. In addition, Watney will be sending transmissions of his progress every day from Sep. 15 until he reaches his destination in early October. "

Source: Microsoft; Hacking Mars