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

by Mary Roach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,3502052,676 (4.01)366
  1. 41
    A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts by Andrew Chaikin (Othemts)
  2. 64
    The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (Othemts, nessreader)
    nessreader: The shift in corporate mentality in NASA between the testosterone drenched fighter pilots of Wolfe's era and the team orientated and PR-paranoid present is instructive. The terrifying discipline required seems equal; in any case, interesting to compare.
  3. 10
    What's It Like in Space?: Stories from Astronauts Who've Been There by Ariel Waldman (bragan)
    bragan: Packing for Mars is definitely the book to read if you're interested in the odd quirks of life in space (at least if you're OK with reading about bodily functions), and What's It Like In Space? makes for a fun little companion volume to it.
  4. 10
    Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut by Mike Mullane (itbgc)
  5. 10
    The Martian by Andy Weir (sboyte)
    sboyte: One is fiction and one is nonfiction, but the subject matter is similar and I think both will appeal to anyone who enjoys science with a dash of humor.
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» See also 366 mentions

English (204)  Dutch (1)  All (205)
Showing 1-5 of 204 (next | show all)
Mary Roach makes every subject interesting, and space travel is no exception. In this book, she describes all of the challenges that come with traveling in outer space, especially with a destination as far away as Mars. Roach doesn't shy away from any details. She covers how astronauts eat and take care of other personal needs. If you like knowing obscure facts about a range of subjects, you will enjoy Mary Roach. ( )
  porch_reader | Jan 21, 2017 |
Subtitled “The Curious Science of Life in the Void,” this book allows the reader to explore the technology, the psychology, and the politics surrounding space travel and life in space without leaving the planet. Readers for whom the pull of space still sparks imaginative dreams of being an astronaut will find much to satisfy their curiosity in this quirky, humorous look at the everyday considerations of long-term living in space.

Highly recommended. ( )
  jfe16 | Dec 31, 2016 |
This book starts out pretty blandly, but by the end, parts are laugh-out-loud funny. I highly recommend this book for science lovers with zany senses of humor. But haters of fart jokes, beware! Lol ( )
  beckyrenner | Dec 29, 2016 |
This book is packed with weird/fun/unusual facts about space and space exploration. You get an unconventional look on space exploration history and pretty much all aspects of it. You'll also experience the author's humor as a bonus.
Recommended for anyone curious about space travel. ( )
  d3vr | Dec 28, 2016 |
It's official: I will read anything Mary Roach writes, and chances are I will laugh throughout.

Applying the same off-the-beaten-path route to space travel that she trod so memorably (and hilariously) with Bonk, Roach asks the questions you've always wanted to know the answer to but were too polite (or embarrassed) to ask. Astronaut food, space potties, sex in space—the details about all this and more are awaiting you in Roach's charming company. ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 204 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Roachprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burr, SandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cipriano, EllenDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Druskin, JuliaProduction managersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garrett, ScottCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keenan, JamieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nickolls, LeoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiemer, FredCopyeditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Jay Mandel and Jill Bialosky, with cosmic gratitude
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COUNTDOWN
To the rocket scientist, you are a problem.
Quotations
If you stumbled onto Building 993 at Ellington Field airport, you would have to stop and wonder about the things inside. The sign on the front is as evocative and preposterous as the engraved brass one that says Ministry of Silly Walks in the Monty Python sketch of the same name. This sign says REDUCED GRAVITY OFFICE. I know what is in there, but even so, I have to stand for a moment and indulge my imagination, through which coffeepots are floating and secretaries drift here and there like paper airplanes. Or better still, an organization devoted to the taking of absolutely nothing seriously.
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Contents:

He's smart but his birds are sloppy: Japan picks an astronaut -- Life in a box: the perilous psychology of isolation and confinement -- Star crazy: can space blow your mind? -- You go first: the alarming prospect of life without gravity -- Unstowed: escaping gravity on board NASA's C-9 -- Throwing up and down: the astronaut's secret misery -- The cadaver in the space capsule: NASA visits the crash test lab -- One furry step for mankind: the strange careers of Ham and Enos -- Next gas 200,000 miles: planning a moon expedition is tough, but not as tough as planning a simulated one -- Houston, we have a fungus: space hygiene and the men who stopped bathing for science -- The horizontal stuff: what if you never got out of bed? -- The three-dolphin club: mating without gravity -- Withering heights: bailing out from space -- Separation anxiety: the continuing saga of zero-gravity elimination -- Discomfort food: when veterinarians make dinner, and other tales of woe from aerospace test kitchens -- Eating your pants: is Mars worth it?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393068471, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2010: With her wry humor and inextinguishable curiosity, Mary Roach has crafted her own quirky niche in the somewhat staid world of science writing, showing no fear (or shame) in the face of cadavers, ectoplasm, or sex. In Packing for Mars, Roach tackles the strange science of space travel, and the psychology, technology, and politics that go into sending a crew into orbit. Roach is unfailingly inquisitive (Why is it impolite for astronauts to float upside down during conversations? Just how smelly does a spacecraft get after a two week mission?), and she eagerly seeks out the stories that don't make it onto NASA's website--from SPCA-certified space suits for chimps, to the trial-and-error approach to crafting menus during the space program's early years (when the chefs are former livestock veterinarians, taste isn't high on the priority list). Packing for Mars is a book for grownups who still secretly dream of being astronauts, and Roach lives it up on their behalf--weightless in a C-9 aircraft, she just can't resist the opportunity to go "Supermanning" around the cabin. Her zeal for discovery, combined with her love of the absurd, amazing, and stranger-than-fiction, make Packing for Mars an uproarious trip into the world of space travel. --Lynette Mong

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity. 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 the author 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), she takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393068471, 0393339912

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