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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 Cover

ISBN13: 9780393339918
ISBN10: 0393339912
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

If you like your science served up with a side of humor and a little bit (okay, sometimes a lot) of the gross-out factor, Mary Roach is the lady for you. In Packing for Mars, we explore the less-discussed aspects of space travel and how the astronauts are affected by things such as shuttle bathrooms and their lack of privacy, not being able to shower for the duration of the flight, and less-than-mouth-watering meal options. (There's no pizza or beer in space, guys, so think twice before signing up for flight...) We also get to learn about the tests that are conducted right here on Planet Earth before we ever even leave the ground — like the study that tests what lying on your back for three straight months would do to your bones (nothing good, by the way, but the cash incentive for participating in these studies draws people in every time; some even come back for more).

Mary Roach never fails to teach us something new while simultaneously making us laugh. Packing for Mars will delight even those only mildly interested in space travel.
Recommended by Koa, Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"[Roach's] style is at its most substantial — and most hilarious — in the zero-gravity realm that explores....As startling as it is funny." Janet Maslin

Review:

"Roach's strange enthusiasm for all things oddball...makes Mars a more than worthy destination." Time

Review:

"Cool answers to questions about the void you didn't even know you had." People

Review:

"An utterly fascinating account, made all the more entertaining by the author's ever-amused tone." BookPage

Review:

"An impish and adventurous writer with a gleefully inquisitive mind and stand-up comic's timing." Booklist

Review:

"It's all about those things NASA doesn't delve into at press conferences." BoingBoing

Review:

"A delightful, illuminating grab bag of space-flight curiosities." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A more realistic view of life in space than we have ever gotten from a NASA broadcast." The Daily Beast

Review:

"The author's writing comes across as reportorial, but with a clear sense of humor; even the footnotes are used to both informational and comedic effect." Time Out New York

Synopsis:

"America's funniest science writer" returns to explore the irresistibly strange universe of life without gravity in this bestseller.

About the Author

Mary Roach is the author of four previous books: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. She lives in Oakland, California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Michael C, May 26, 2015 (view all comments by Michael C)
Pshaw. Nobody is ever going to Mars, as any competent science writer would know. The reasons are cost and radiation exposure. Roach is merely an exploiter who has figured out a clever way to use sciency-sounding factoids to sell her tripe. This pathetic book should never have been published. It is a trick on the gullible child who still thinks like it's 1959 here on our troubled planet.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Chloe Leback, May 23, 2015 (view all comments by Chloe Leback)
I would love to meet Mary Roach. Her books are informative, well-researched, and funny. In 'Packing for Mars,' as in all of her books, Roach answers your questions about the topic and questions you didn't know you had.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
MK Karni, December 26, 2012 (view all comments by MK Karni)
Read this book! It's fun and funny and amazing and even a bit shocking to discover what really goes on where no man has gone before. Much more than everything you ever wanted to know about space travel and life in a low gravity environment. Mary Roach leaves no stone unturned in her quest to understand what astronauts experience moment to moment outside Earth's gravitational pull.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780393339918
Subtitle:
The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Author:
Roach, Mary
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Astrophysics & Space Science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void Used Trade Paper
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$10.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393339918 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

If you like your science served up with a side of humor and a little bit (okay, sometimes a lot) of the gross-out factor, Mary Roach is the lady for you. In Packing for Mars, we explore the less-discussed aspects of space travel and how the astronauts are affected by things such as shuttle bathrooms and their lack of privacy, not being able to shower for the duration of the flight, and less-than-mouth-watering meal options. (There's no pizza or beer in space, guys, so think twice before signing up for flight...) We also get to learn about the tests that are conducted right here on Planet Earth before we ever even leave the ground — like the study that tests what lying on your back for three straight months would do to your bones (nothing good, by the way, but the cash incentive for participating in these studies draws people in every time; some even come back for more).

Mary Roach never fails to teach us something new while simultaneously making us laugh. Packing for Mars will delight even those only mildly interested in space travel.

"Review" by , "[Roach's] style is at its most substantial — and most hilarious — in the zero-gravity realm that explores....As startling as it is funny."
"Review" by , "Roach's strange enthusiasm for all things oddball...makes Mars a more than worthy destination."
"Review" by , "Cool answers to questions about the void you didn't even know you had."
"Review" by , "An utterly fascinating account, made all the more entertaining by the author's ever-amused tone."
"Review" by , "An impish and adventurous writer with a gleefully inquisitive mind and stand-up comic's timing."
"Review" by , "It's all about those things NASA doesn't delve into at press conferences."
"Review" by , "A delightful, illuminating grab bag of space-flight curiosities."
"Review" by , "A more realistic view of life in space than we have ever gotten from a NASA broadcast."
"Review" by , "The author's writing comes across as reportorial, but with a clear sense of humor; even the footnotes are used to both informational and comedic effect."
"Synopsis" by , "America's funniest science writer" returns to explore the irresistibly strange universe of life without gravity in this bestseller.
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