Book Review: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach | Science News

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Book Review: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

Review by Camille M. Carlisle

By
10:30am, August 27, 2010

Consider everything you do in 24 hours. Now consider doing it without gravity. Roach’s new book explores just that, unveiling the “man” in “manned space exploration.” She’s not interested in heroes, but in humans — the dirty, hungry, sleep- and stimulus-deprived souls shot into the isolation of space, and the scientists who test every contingency to put them there. The resulting tale is a humorous and irreverent look at the innards of space travel.

Take the Apollo 12 astronauts, who were so plagued by sharp, clingy moon-dust particles that they took off their long johns and flew naked half the way home. Or the volunteers who, in ongoing experiments, are confined to three months of bed rest for studies of their shrinking bone mass. (Don’t feel too bad for them:

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