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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
 
 
Author
Mary Roach.
Publisher Norton/QPB  
Format paperback, QPB
Product Dimensions 8.25 x 5.5 x 0.95 inches
ISBN 9781611293753
Pages/Publication Date 334/2010
Daedalus Item Code 33295
This item is not available.
Description
Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive—air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer—as the author of Stiff, Spook, and Bonk reminds us here. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human, says Mary Roach. 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? Or have sex? Or smell flowers? And what happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? To answer such questions, space agencies set up all sorts of bizarre simulations; it's possible to preview space, as Roach entertainingly reveals, without ever leaving Earth.

"Roach brings intrepid curiosity, sauciness, and chutzpah to the often staid practice of popular science writing. With the human body as her endlessly intriguing subject, she not only investigates but also participates in strange goings-on behind laboratory doors. Following her wildly popular Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Roach explores the organic aspects of the space program, such as the dangerous bane of space motion sickness and the challenges of space hygiene (the early capsules stunk to high heaven). Roach happily goes weightless on a parabolic flight on a McDonnell Douglas C-9 in a NASA zero-gravity research project, and test-drives a pressurized rover on a lunar landscape in the High Arctic. She devotes one chapter to space food and another to zero-gravity elimination, which is a serious matter, even with a term like 'fecal popcorning.' An impish and adventurous writer with a gleefully inquisitive mind and a stand-up comic's timing, Roach celebrates human ingenuity (the odder the better), and calls for us to marshal our resources, unchain our imaginations, and start packing for Mars."—Booklist

 
 
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