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

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How would you feel if you couldn’t take a walk in the sun, watch TV, drive to the Starbucks, or have sex for a year? How about five? How about for the rest of your life? How would you feel about being stuck in a room with two other people for two weeks or more without a shower?

Questions like these are asked by NASA scientists as they choose astronauts, design spacesuits, and put food into sealed pouches for space missions. Things we take for granted, like eating, washing, and, yes, going to the bathroom, are a lot more complicated in space, and if humans are going to colonize other worlds, we have to figure some of that stuff out.

I love Mary Roach’s writing, and Packing for Mars does not disappoint. Facts and whimsy in a pretty even proportion fill this book that expresses hope for humanity’s future among the stars.

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