Book Spotlight: PACKING FOR MARS: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

About the Book: Non-fiction


Source: Goodreads


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. (Source: Goodreads)

About the Author:

Mary Roach is the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife. Her writing has appeared in such publications as SalonGQVogue, and the New York Times Magazine. She lives in Oakland, California. (Source: Goodreads)


My Thoughts:

Mary Roach has a quirky, humorous voice that lends interest and comic relief in her scientific investigations. The first book I read that was written by this author was STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Despite the gruesome context, I actually enjoyed learning about what happen to our bodies once we are dead. Sounds…wrong, don’t you think? But Mary Roach has a way of diving into difficult questions and coming out of it with practical answers, and then presents it in an unoffensive, realistic platter with a side of humor to keep it digestible.

And so it is with this book. Space and space travel get romanticized a lot, but Mary Roach gives us the lowdown on what it really means to live in a void. If you’re curious, pick this one up for an educational and entertaining read.


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