Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

by

The best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity.

Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.

Title:Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Edition Language:English
ISBN:0393068471
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:334 pages

    Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void Reviews

  • Will Byrnes
    Aug 20, 2010

    Maybe she could have titled the book The Right Stiff. I needed to have tissues handy while reading Mary Roach’s latest. No, it is not because it made me sad, but because I was laughing so hard my ey...

  • Kemper
    Aug 03, 2010

    I’m a big space geek and have spent countless hours reading or watching documentaries about manned space flight. I’ve seen a space shuttle launch and been through the Kennedy Space Center a couple...

  • Petra Eggs
    Dec 28, 2010

    Note: the dolphin-sex thing appears to be a hoax. Shame that. I like the idea of space sex having to be a threesome.Why the Space Program Costs so Much. Because its run by a load of backward-thinking ...

  • Richard Derus
    Sep 16, 2010

    Rating: 4.5* of fiveThe Publisher Says: Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an ...

  • Carol.
    Mar 15, 2011

    Roach is well known for her earlier books, Stiff (about human cadavers), Bonk (science and sex) and Spook (the afterlife). In Packing, she takes on the US space program, and how it’s dealt with many...

  • Melki
    Nov 03, 2011

    I did not expect to be so captivated by this book. After all, I barely paid attention when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969. I was a very mature seven year old, and I had seen better space "m...

  • Cassy
    Apr 17, 2011

    There was a rule in my house growing up: no talking about “bodily functions”. When my older sister would start going on about how she clogged the toilet or an episode of smelly burps, my very Sout...

  • Trevor
    Sep 23, 2010

    I’ve read two other Roach books and have really loved them. They tick all of the boxes – they are witty, wise, fascinatingly interesting and written by someone with an eye that unfailingly spots h...

  • Stephanie
    Dec 15, 2010

    When I was in the sixth grade we had a science project. I remember this well, we had to learn all about rockets and space travel. When we were to reach the end of all the information, we were going to...

  • David
    Jan 22, 2011

    There's a bit of space science in this book, but it's mostly a humorous, immensely scatalogical romp through the space program. By reading this book, you will gain a treasure trove of trivia, ranging ...

About Mary Roach

Mary Roach

Mary Roach is the author of the New York Times bestsellers STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers; GULP: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, PACKING FOR MARS: The Curious Science of Life in the Void; and BONK: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Her most recent book, GRUNT: The Curious Science of Humans at War, is out in June 2016. Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, Discover