Sunday, June 26, 2011

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Is there any other author who is so willing to throw themselves into their research as Mary Roach? The woman drank recycled URINE for this book, for goodness sake.

As always, Roach's book left me with facts to horrify my friends and family. This is why I love her so. Packing for Mars looks into the space program, and all the very unattractive things the prospective astronauts have to go through in order to be launched into space.

Heroes, yes, they are. Awe-inspiring, yes, they are. Even more so now that I know all the trouble they have to go through just to poop in space. A lot of money is spent researching how astronauts use the restroom, how they eat, down the to tiniest thing. Now I also know that astronauts get steak and eggs on launch day - because those foods are almost 94% digested, which leaves little to be....released later.

Someday, NASA wants to plan a trip to Mars, our closest planet. Which is still millions of miles away. We've landed unmanned vehicles on Mars, but they want a manned mission. Initially, it seems to be a one way trip, which there are volunteers for. Now they are trying to figure out how to get enough food to Mars so that the astronauts can come home. It's incredibly interesting to read.

And I still have plenty of fun facts to scare friends and family.
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