Monday, November 3, 2014

Packing for Mars

by Mary Roach
321 pgs

In Stiff Mary Roach gave an enlightening and entertaining account of the "life" of cadavers. In Spook it was the afterlife she explored, and in Bonk it was the always-enjoyable process of making life that she reveals more information on than you even thought existed. This time around she focuses her enjoyable research style on mankind's quest for life in space, and once again what results is an informative, humorous, and very enjoyable read.

There is more thought given and more experiments conducted to determine how mankind can exist in the weightless environment of space than most of us could ever get our brains around. What happens in zero gravity if an astronaut throws up in his or her spacesuit? How does zero gravity affect the early warning signs of a full bladder?  And it's not just the various bodily functions and how they're dealt with in no gravity that must be thought of, tested, and accounted for. There are a host of other things that have to be taken into consideration if mankind is going to continue it's quest to go where no one has gone before.

What Mary Roach does so well, in this book and in each of her previous ones, is identifying an aspect of popular science that has universal appeal, and then asking the types of questions about it that few of us would ever think to ask (and to be honest, those of us who would, would probably be too embarrassed to). The books that she writes after she's finished with her research are fascinating, thought-provoking, and laugh-out-loud funny at times.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

No comments:

Post a Comment