Author: Mary Roach
Title: Packing for Mars
Genre: Science Literature, Space
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads
Mary Roach is something of a delight for me. Way back in the day I’ve read her book “Stiff“, about corpses, their treatment, use, etc. It was very interesting, informative, and yet hilarious. I couldn’t wrap my head around it of how can a book about dead people be this amusing, and perfectly respectful. So when I came across my favorite topic – Mars, by one of my favorite authors of Science Literature – Mary Roach… Well, here we are.
About: We’ve all seen the glory of being an astronaut. You’re a living star, a pioneer of space, almost as famous as Loki or Thor. We even waved the Moon off in want to explore a real planet: Mars.
So, how is your day? What do you eat? Do you exercise? Do you bathe daily, wash your hair? How often does the Nature Call you to the bathroom? Do you have enough clothes to last you a week without washing them, or do you do your laundry more often? And how are all these things done in zero G, in a cramped little space with little to no privacy?
If all these questions can be solved and optimized then, according to this book, a two year voyage to Mars could begin for a human being too. But it really does mean two years of calories that are varied enough to not drive the crew insane for having to eat the same mush day in and day out in a cramped space with no real privacy, not to mention the question of intimacy. All and more will be answered or at least discussed in this book.
Mine: At times I laughed. Other times I hysterically howled. Mary Roach has finessed the art of tackling the less glorious sides of the topics we all love. No one will really tell you how the first astronauts used the bathroom. Mary Roach requested to use one of those herself, since… Well, it takes very specific adjustments. You’ll likely not hear about the ickier experiments either, like how often must you bathe, how much oils does your body produce, when does it stop producing excess of it. From potential rat birth in space, to, ah, different kind of floaters. Truly, if you ever wanted to be an astronaut, or are curious of this topic, give Mary Roach a chance. The book is amazingly written, you’ll never be left to your own devices. She’ll explain everything, joke with you, lead you through it, give you more details, and you’ll have a hell of a time.
This was a fun read. It added to my previous read, Apollo 8 too, since it touched upon those missions, and that smuggled contraband in form of a beef sandwich. Mary Roach remains among my favorites, so this book gets a 5 out of 5 for sure.