One evening in October 2015, my Russian friend Valera and I went to the movies in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. There was a multiplex not far from his apartment, and with a dozen movies to choose from, we decided to see “The Martian.”
As we walked out of the movie, I asked how he liked it. To my surprise, he began fuming about a scene I hadn’t thought twice about: a plot point in which the Americans ask China, not Russia, for help in getting a powerful enough rocket to return to Mars.
“Why would the Americans ask …read more