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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void Hardcover – Illustrated, August 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Lexile measure : 1070L
- Item Weight : 1.07 pounds
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0393068471
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393068474
- Dimensions : 5.9 x 1 x 8.6 inches
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Illustrated edition (August 2, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #219,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But the best part is Roach herself. Her wit and unabashed curiosity are in plain sight, boldly going where decorum and press releases dare not go. There's just enough science here to give the layman an idea of what's going on--and presenting it in clear terms--without overwhelming him with forensic detail. She interviews astronauts and scientists, historians and charlatans, and when research isn't enough, she bravely participates in experiments (flying aboard a C-9, drinking recycled urine). Despite being confronted with the unpleasant facts of space travel, Roach doesn't flinch. She satisfies our curiosity while satisfying her own.
Space travel has always fascinated me and the idea of moving to Mars permanently, so I was especially excited about this book.
I love this book - but if she decided to write about mouse droppings, car parts, or the history of nails, I would grab those books too.
Roach certainly did her homework - she snags a ride on the “vomit comet” to experience zero-G first hand, and travels to remote outposts to see how astronauts might live on Mars. The book is carefully researched, and she frequently peppers the text with amusing footnotes and details she discovered along the way. It’s a good read if you’re not squeamish.
A note about the audio edition: Roach is a talented public speaker, so it's really unfortunate she doesn’t read her own book. The “narrator’s” harsh, school-marm voice unfortunately drains much of the humor and wit from Roach’s text. I also wish the audio book came packaged on an MP3 disk. I had to manually rip and copy onto one myself, because "stop to change the disk" doesn't work while you're driving.
Top reviews from other countries
Packing for Mars combines a perfect blend of comedy combined with factual truth. The anecdotal form of writing and referencing throws a friendly perspective over the scientific and social challenges which plagued spaced travel since its inception. The number of hidden away stories and facts that I had never seen written before and that had only been found by great investigatory work made this book truly worth the read.