Packing for Mars

Interested in a new vacation destination? Well Packing for Mars will tell you what you need to join the US space program and what exactly you will be doing during training. And I mean exactly.

This little book covers everything from space food to sex in zero gravity. It gives the history of the issue and then some anecdotes about the training the real astronauts had. The chapter on gaining your equilibrium in zero gravity is especially detailed. So is the one on "human waste disposal" and the zero gravity toilet.

Roach, who put her body where her mouth is, had experienced many of the trials of fledgling astronauts. And she does it with some amount of grace. With a wry sense of humor Roach takes to the sky in the "vomit comet" and sacrifices her taste buds for experimental space food among other things. She gives the reader information that is not on any official NASA website.

This book has been on my "to read" list for some time. I suggest all the adults who still dream of going into space give this book a read. It has some laugh out loud passages as well as some that will give the reader pause. The book moves quickly. The chapters are short and subject specific. Roach takes the reader through the early days of the space program - from unmanned flights, through the chimp phase to manned flight. Each step shows that the real glitch in all the technology is the human body. But that the humans who aspire to be astronauts are willing to put up with almost certain death to participate.

You, lucky reader can enjoy the thrills, trials and tribulations vicariously through reading this book.

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