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2 Hawthorne Astronomy- General

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

by

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void Cover

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

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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:

andldquo;An engaging exploration of the depths of the worldand#39;s oceans and the human connection to the rapidly changing world below. This is popular science writing at its best.andquot; andmdash; Christian Science Monitor

andldquo;The reader could not wish for a better guide andhellip; Deep is a fascinating, informative, exhilarating book.andrdquo; andmdash; Wall Street Journal

andldquo;The deeper [Nestor] ventures into the ocean, the more dramatic and unusual the organisms therein and the people who observe them ... Itandrsquo;s

a journey well worth taking.andrdquo; andmdash; David Epstein, New York Times Book Review

Fascinatedand#160;by the sport of freedivingandmdash;in which competitors descendand#160;great depths on a single breathandmdash;journalist James Nestor embeds with a gang of oceangoing extreme athletes and renegade researchers. He finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away, sharks that swim in unerringly straight lines through pitch-black waters, and other strange phenomena. Most illuminating of all, he learns that these abilities are reflected in humansandrsquo; remarkable, and often hidden, potentialandmdash;including echolocation, directional sense, and the profound physiological changes we undergo when underwater. Along the way, Nestor unlocks his own freediving skills as he communes with the pioneers who are expanding our definition of what is possible in the natural world, and in ourselves.

Synopsis:

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

Synopsis:

The ocean's depths contain wondrous biology and clues to unimagined human abilities, as intrepid researchers and athletes are now discovering.

Synopsis:

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.

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

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

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.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
JDB, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by JDB)
Who hasn't wondered about some of the more *ahem*, personal, aspects of space travel? It's not all bouncing around in zero gravity, mugging for the camera back home. How do you eat without getting crumbs everywhere? Can you have sex in space? And of course, the biggest question of all - how do you poop in zero gravity? Really - think on the logistics of that for a moment.

This book explores these subjects, as well as things you wouldn't even consider, unless you were a rocket scientist, of course. And it's all written with a lighthearted touch, so that even those who failed physics in high school will find the science fascinating and easy to follow.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Kevin Hogan, January 31, 2012 (view all comments by Kevin Hogan)
Unlike Mary Roach's prior books to this point (Stiff, Spook, Bonk), the subject of space exploration is one that I am quite familiar with. I have read much non-fiction (and fiction) on the subject -- for decades. And yet she is able to find angles (humorous ones, at that) that I had never even thought of, much less heard before. The problems of elimination in space (to take one large and obvious example) are devilishly complex. She covers them well, humorously, and in great detail (bibliography available). At this point, I believe I would read a Mary Roach book on any subject. When Packing For Mars, even though space is tight, make room for this book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780393339918
Author:
Roach, Mary
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Author:
Nestor, James
Subject:
Astrophysics & Space Science
Subject:
General-General
Subject:
Oceans & Seas
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
12 b/w images
Pages:
312
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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$9.95 In Stock
Product details 312 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.

"Synopsis" by , "America's funniest science writer" () returns to explore the irresistibly strange universe of life without gravity in this bestseller.
"Synopsis" by , The ocean's depths contain wondrous biology and clues to unimagined human abilities, as intrepid researchers and athletes are now discovering.
"Synopsis" by , 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.
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