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

Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2011-04-04
Publisher(s): W. W. Norton & Company
List Price: $18.08

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Customer Reviews

Mary Roach hits another Home Run for Weird Scienc  April 7, 2011
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As I suspected, Mary Roach's new textbook is rocketing (pun intended) up the best-seller list. She has once again focused her splendid sense of humor on the weird aspects of science to reveal the most human dimensions of preparing for space exploration. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach is a must read for any of us that are curious about space exploration and what it would be like to live in the "void". This is my first Mary Roach textbook and I can already tell that I'm going to have to take a long look at her back-list, especially Stiff. I like shopping from ecampus. I'm very satisfied with the price and convenient service. The book looks as if it is new and the price was good. Thanks.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


-A truly funny look at the less majestic aspects of the space program. (Entertainment Weekly )

-This is the kind of smart, smirky stuff that Roach does so well. (Geoff Nicholson - San Francisco Chronicle )

-Roach provides a highly readable, often hilarious, guide. (Christian Science Monitor )

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

“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) returns to explore the irresistibly strange universe of life without gravity in this New York Times bestseller.

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.

Author Biography

Mary Roach is the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. She lives in Oakland, California.

Table of Contents

Countdownp. 15
He's Smart But His Birds are Sloppy: Japan Picks an Astronautp. 21
Life in a Box: The Perilous Psychology of Isolation and Confinementp. 41
Star Crazy: Can Space Blow Your Mind?p. 63
You Go First: The Alarming Prospect of Life Without Gravityp. 79
Unstowed: Escaping Gravity on Board NASA's C-9p. 95
Throwing Up and Down: The Astronaut's Secret Miseryp. 107
The Cadaver in the Space Capsule: NASA Visits the Crash Test Labp. 129
One Furry Step for Mankind: The Strange Careers of Ham and Enosp. 149
Next Gas: 200,000 Miles: Planning a Moon Expedition Is Tough, but Not as Tough as Planning a Simulated Onep. 173
Houston, We Have a Fungus: Space Hygiene and the Men Who Stopped Bathing for Sciencep. 191
The Horizontal Stuff: What If You Never Got Out of Bed?p. 209
The Three-Dolphin Club: Mating Without Gravityp. 229
Withering Heights: Bailing Out from Spacep. 247
Separation Anxiety: The Continuing Saga of Zero-Gravity Elimiantionp. 265
Discomfort Food: When Veterinarians Make Dinner, and Other Tales of Woe from Aerospace Test Kitchensp. 285
Eating Your Pants: Is Mars Worth It?p. 307
Acknowledgmentsp. 319
Time Linep. 323
Bibliographyp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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