Jerry Smith'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
Aug 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: space-aviation, 2010-read
Read from November 20 to 23, 2010

Mary Roach approaches topics that you may have wondered about but never dared to ask - nuances of topics that are everyday for those living them, but fascinating once they are revealed.

Here she turns her attention to the day to day problems of spaceflight and living for extended periods in space, ostensibly in consideration of flying to Mars.

She writes with an irreverent, in my opinion hilarious style. This book is interesting and also laugh out loud funny at times. It is hugely enjoyable even though you shouldn't expect to find anything by way of a serious look at the space race of the technical problems of a two year mission to Mars - at least not in any depth.

However if you have ever wondered, even in passing how astronauts eat, sleep, excrete, and simply live in space this is for you.

The reason for not giving more than 4 stars is that the style of editing is tedious and ultimately annoying and by that I mean a hyge number of footnotes, marked in the text with tiny asterisks that are all too easily missed. This leaves the reader hunting back through the page to identify the source to which the footnote refers. Given that there are footnotes about every other page and this becomes annoying.

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