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In Mars S01E05, Dr. Paul Richardson in a state of hallucination opens the airlock from the greenhouse to the Mars atmosphere, causing catastrophic failure to a portion of the habitation in the chasm.

Was any of the following addressed in the show:

  1. Why would there be an air-lock in the greenhouse?
  2. Why would it not be connected to a second depressurization?
  3. Why would it be left unlocked for someone to simply accidentally/deliberately trigger and kill 7 people before Dr. Leslie Richardson sealed off the section?
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Why would there be an air-lock in the greenhouse?

Why do you have doors between rooms, or hatches in submarines? So you can close them in case of emergency.

In this case, in a hostile environment such as Mars sealable airlocks between sections would be required as is evidenced by the sealing of the other airlock by Leslie Richardson to save the rest of the base.

Why would it not be connected to a second depressurization?

Because it wasn't intended to be an airlock to the outside, it was intended to be a door between sections.

Unfortunately, the section it was supposed to connect to was under construction and had not yet been completed. Indeed, we see the construction in the same episode.

Why would it be left unlocked for someone to simply accidentally/deliberately trigger.

It wasn't. It was locked and Paul unlocked it. I supposed you mean why was it possible for it to be unlocked in the first place.

It's designed that way. They would be no obvious need for additional security measures like that in what would be considered a secure facility.

Certainly opening the door is not something that could be done accidentally, but it's clear that Paul was under severe mental strain and basically broke down and, in a "confused" state, killed himself.

Planning to prevent deliberate suicide is chasing an almost impossible standard. Sadly, people will find a way, they'll go to extraordinary lengths to achieve their goal.

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  • Thanks for the insight! I had proposed the same idea that it was likely a door to an unconstructed hab area and wasn't intended as being an airlock to outside. But good to know about the construction materials, that confirms it. Working at sea on vessels, there are definitely redundencies that only have engineering level access to them, you don't want just anyone that could be feeling blue or feeling inquisitive to be opening places that could kill 7 people or the whole colony. Mars has done a great job for keeping tech real/possible, just feel like this was an oversight. Thanks again! – cts Jul 5 at 16:15

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