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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. InPacking 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 Marsis 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, makePacking for Marsan uproarious trip into the world of space travel.--Lynette Mong
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ISBN-10:  0393068471
ISBN-13:  978-0393068474
Author:  Mary Roach
Genre:  Professional & Technical, Science
Publisher:  W. W. Norton & Company
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review by . August 28, 2010
Not the triumphs and the tragedies, but the stuff in between
Author Mary Roach has an in-your-face take on science. Her first three books went where not many science writers dare to go; Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (2003), Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife (2005), and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex (2008). Now she entertains us with Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void.       There's no overdose of astrophysics here, but plenty of pragmatic …
Quick Tip by . September 16, 2010
Do you ever dream of being an astronaut? Do you enjoy well written popular science? Do you enjoy a good laugh? Are you unembarrassed or undisturbed by a good fart joke? If this sounds like you, then PACKING FOR MARS is a book that you really must read. PACKING FOR MARS is the story about why man's biology is the sole impediment to a space flight to Mars!
review by . September 16, 2010
The ability to land a spacecraft on Mars is old hat. As a matter of fact, the technology, although it was and remains prohibitively expensive, existed over thirty years ago. The real impediment, indeed, the only impediment to manned space travel to Mars is man himself.      In PACKING FOR MARS, an inexhaustibly curious, incorrigibly irreverent and perennially humorous Mary Roach explores the myriad issues and problems that the biological package known as "man" presents …
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