Rod Hilton's Reviews > Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
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's review
Sep 23, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: science, audiobooks
Read from September 23 to October 11, 2010

Mary Roach's latest book is, like her other books, fascinating, informative, and highly entertaining. There really isn't much to say beyond that - if you like Stiff, Spook, or Bonk, you'll probably like this.

As usual, Mary talks of her subject with humorous candor, answering the questions (no matter how strange) the reader is likely asking as the book progresses. Ever wonder what happens if you puke in your helmet in space? It's a real problem, since an astronaut that vomits due to motion sickness could choke on the vomit and die. Not to worry, helmets are designed to push the puke out of vents to prevent death. Who the hell thinks to even ask these kinds of questions to the NASA engineers? Mary Roach, that's who.

In Packing for Mars, Roach tackles the subject of space travel, dealing with the effects of zero gravity on the human body, the kinds of food that astronauts can take into space, and even how human waste disposal works in space. I learned a lot about space travel reading this book, and both fascinated and disgusted my wife summarizing a lot of it for her over dinner one night.

Packing for Mars ranks among Roach's best books, so I highly recommend it for any fans of her work.

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