Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Packing for Mars" by Mary Roach

I selected this book as it looked like an interesting book on space travel and the possibility of sending humans to Mars.

Summary:  This book is an exploration of all the questions you wanted to ask regarding space travel, but couldn't seem to find a NASA article on the subject. Mary interviews several people connected to the Japanese, American and Russian space programs in order to learn more about the effects of zero gravity, astronaut selection and the engineering of spaceships. Most of the book is historical, in that it uses information from the Gemini, Apollo missions and related research from that time period. 

Roach covers a variety of topics including space food, space toilets, space sex, space clothes, space bathing and much more. She also explores rumors of space scandals that NASA has tried to downplay. This is a book written by someone genuinely excited about space travel, but bored with the press releases and official statements. Roach wants to know all the dirty details about life in a spacecraft and shares her findings in this book.

What I Liked: This book is full of side comments in the footnotes. Roach can't help but add little tidbits here and there, like this excerpt from a discussion on drinking while in a spacesuit: "Consumed intravenously, Tang causes joint pain and jaundice, though fewer cavities."

What I Didn't Like: This book did not really look at the possibility of going to Mars. It should have been titled "Packing for the Moon (or ISS)". I had thought it would look into the science of a Mars colony.

Rating: Highly recommended, but for mature readers only as it includes topics that are generally considered inappropriate for children.

Also Read by this Author: None.

Reviewed by: Nick

No comments:

Post a Comment