Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Popular-science writer Roach entertainingly addresses numerous questions about life in outer space....A delightful, illuminating grab bag of space-flight curiosities." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Roach brings intrepid curiosity, sauciness, and chutzpah to the often staid practice of popular science writing....An impish and adventurous writer with a gleefully inquisitive mind and a stand-up comics 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
"[Roach] is part serious science journalist, part human guinea pig, part class clown, part stand-up comic. The combination of her topics, her research and her writing style is hard to resist." Oregonian
"[A]n often hilarious, sometimes queasy-making catalog of the strange stuff devised to permit people to survive in an environment for which their bodies are stupendously unsuited." New York Times
The best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity.
About the Author
Mary Roach is the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, and Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. She lives in Oakland, California.