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In order to slow down the ship in The Martian (or bring it closer to the MAV, I don't recall), the crew of the Hermes vent the entire ship – save for the cockpit – in the void. Then they rescue him.

Then... what? Even assuming they could seal the docking door again (side question: why did they have to blow it up, couldn't they just open it normally?), they don't have any air left. How did they survive the lengthy trip back in an oxygen-less ship? Did they all stay in the cockpit the entire time?

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    They had plenty of air left, they simply only vented a small part of the ship and seeled it off the rest (the risk of thius sealing being breched by the explosion is mentioned and would indeed have resulted in the worst-case scenario you describe, but fortunately didn't happen). – Napoleon Wilson Oct 17 '15 at 0:25
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Then... what? Even assuming they could seal the docking door again

It was an airlock door. Airlocks have two doors. They opened one and breached the other. The one that was just opened can simply be closed. The airlock will just not be functional afterwards.

(side question: why did they have to blow it up, couldn't they just open it normally?),

Because airlocks are constructed to prevent both doors from being opened simultaneously under any circumstances. So that the ship isn't vented accidentally. You cannot override the safeguards easily or quickly.

they don't have any air left. How did they survive the lengthy trip back in an oxygen-less ship? Did they all stay in the cockpit the entire time?

From the book:

Once Beck and I got to his quarters, we waited for the ship to repressurize. Hermes had enough spare air to refill the ship two more times if needed. It'd be a pretty shitty long-range ship if it couldn't recover from a decompression.

  • Hehe, feel stupid about forgetting it was an airlock. I also suspected the "unoverridable safety feature thing" but wasn't sure it was the reason. Thanks for the answer! – Timst Oct 11 '15 at 17:30
  • An explosive 5 times a stick of Dynamite, or 7.5 times a standard reference TNT, strong enough to blow that airlock door would destroy both the airlock doors. They likely used an inner hatch instead. Of course the movies shows zero damage to the second airlock door or the compartment aside from the blown door. It's not particularly realistic. The explosion would cause some damage to the compartment doors. – cde Jan 4 '16 at 7:55

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