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Mary Roach

Packing for Mars

Life in space is very different to life on Earth. Many problems have needed to be solved to enable people to travel in space, and for longer trips there are going to be even more problems to be faced In Packing for Mars: the curious science of life in the void Mary Roach gives a glimpse into the studies which have been done to help make living in space more like normal life.

Being cooped up in a box in close proximity to a few companions for months on end is stressful enough. Then there's Zero G - fun for a while, but over the long term not likely to be good for your health. If you can take that then there's the high G experience on take off and landing. If something goes wrong, what are the chances of escape? Even everyday things can be a problem - keeping clean, having a healthy diet and going to the toilet. Is sex in space a possibility?

One thing which Roach highlights is the large number of simulations of living in space which have been undertaken - every procedure carried out in space is first simulated on earth, and some people have spend months lying down to simulate the health effects of weightlessness.

If you're looking for a serious look at the problems of space travel then this book might not be for you, as it does play for laughs quite a bit, and often becomes rather scatological. But it does have answers to the sorts of questions which you've probably wondered about, and provides an excellent way of amusing yourself for a few hours.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 336 pages  
ISBN: 0393339912
Salesrank: 12198
Weight:0.55 lbs
Published: 2011 W. W. Norton & Company
Amazon price $9.73
Marketplace:New from $6.00:Used from $1.87
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 312 pages  
ISBN: 1851687807
Salesrank: 693168
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: 2010 Oneworld Publications
Marketplace:New from £49.12:Used from £0.01
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 336 pages  
ISBN: 0393339912
Salesrank: 16440
Weight:0.55 lbs
Published: 2011 WW Norton
Amazon price CDN$ 15.47
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 8.85:Used from CDN$ 6.27
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Product Description

“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) returns to explore the irresistibly strange universe of life without gravity in this New York Times bestseller.

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.