Jennifer'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
Mar 12, 2011

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bookshelves: non-fiction, audio-books, science
Read in March, 2011

I chose this book on tape for our recent road trip, knowing it would appeal to my husband, one of those former little boys who dreamed of traveling to outer space. After listening to it, he declared, "I'm glad I didn't become an astronaut."

Roach humorously explores the human side of space travel, what it takes to support humans in outer space. Scientific studies of food development, sleep studies, lots and lots about the management of digestive functions and wastes, the long term effects of weightlessness, and other such topics most of do not consider. There were often moments of TMI for me. Often. I could have skipped the entire chapter on sex.

My husband, however, found the book hilariously funny.

Roach is relentless in her research, following all sorts of bunny trails. She tracks down several rumors, some published, some not, to determine whether they are true and where they originated. She quotes liberally from the transcripts of various space missions (note to all space voyagers: everything you say is recorded), which were often the funniest pieces in the book.


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