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

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

Mary Roach has basically killed my desire to ever be an astronaut.

However, that’s not to say this book is bad. It’s actually a quick, very enjoyable, and entertaining read. But she tackles many of the less glamorous things astronauts must do or cope with — from having every second of their lives and missions pre-planned, to the difficulties involved in going to the restroom, or even eating the specialized food.

She walks us through the history of the space program while packing in quirky stories and mission transcripts ("Here’s another goddamn turd. What’s the matter with you guys?"), from its inception post World War II and sending monkeys into space to testing the effects of zero gravity environments on humans.

There were a number of times that I laughed out loud while reading this book on the bus or in a train and I noticed passengers sitting next to me would try to steal glances of the book I was reading. I can only imagine what kind of freak the person thought I was when they read something like, "Then along came Joseph Tash and his sea urchin splooge."

Anyway, the book is a great read for anyone interested in the space program and presents the finer, less glamorous details in an amusing and fun to read manner.

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