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Download Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Mary Roach
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (14,053 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Roach Narrator: Sandra Burr Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2010 ISBN:
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Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can't walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it's possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA's new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 2/14/2014

    " I liked this book. The writing style is very casual and she explains everything in a pretty idiot proof manner. Not for those who don't want to think about body functions! It's generally witty but sometimes I wish she assumed that I knew more stuff... Overall, would recommend to a friend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rusty | 2/7/2014

    " I chose this book more out of an appreciation of the author than the subject matter. I thought that "Stiff" was almost a five star book for the first 2/3rds. This time around, it felt like Roach was really going out of her way to explore the random and wacky aspects of space travel. Trying a little too hard. Regardless, it's pretty interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa | 2/6/2014

    " Thanks, Carla, for recommending this eye-opening book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Yen | 2/4/2014

    " so much fun! well-written, entertaining, and popcorn-ily educational. extra points for amazing footnotes! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 2/4/2014

    " LOVE Mary Roach. In this book, Mary Roach describes many of the issues NASA faces in sending people to Mars. Very interesting--and very funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana13 Jucha | 1/28/2014

    " Mary Roach makes science so very interesting and funny! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Woodge | 1/21/2014

    " This is the fourth book I've read by this author. I've been a fan since reading Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers back in 2004. This book is full of fascinating details about the nitty gritty life of astronauts in zero gravity. It doesn't take long to realize that the life of an astronaut is far from glamorous. In fact, the problem of waste management (i.e. going pee and poo) in zero gravity is a real... mess. Astronauts have a term for floating bits of fecal matter: "escapees." And you can't open a window to help with the smell either. Astronauts on a short trip generally hope to be a little constipated just so they don't have to deal with it. Dealing with it actually takes about a good 45 minutes too. Anyway, there's more to this book than astronauts having to take a crap. And the author brings her sense of humor to bear on numerous occasions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Daley | 1/12/2014

    " A kindred spirit. Roach has dug up the interesting behind the scenes details of human space exploration that I find so fascinating. I did my own searching while writing my sci-fi novel for kids, Shanghaied to the Moon, including finding the tid-bit about the flag being blown over by the Eagle's lift-off from the moon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed Ronco | 1/11/2014

    " Roach does it again: Asking the questions one dare not ask (Do people have sex in space? Do they really like that food they use? Do they ever go batty up there?) while making it also an informative work about the science and practicality behind space exploration. I love, love, love her work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 12/19/2013

    " Once again, Mary Roach entertains, educates and enlightens with this book. Curious indeed, though not as intriguing as her previous book Bonk. The bottom line: some rather crazy and bizarre stuff is done to learn about space and, ultimately, to enhance our lives here on Earth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 12/9/2013

    " Fascinating and hilarious. Had me laughing quite a bit. The chapters on space elimination and space nutrition were golden (the mission transcripts are a particular delight). Great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura de Leon | 12/3/2013

    " An interesting look at the logistics of space travel. It is possible it spent a little too much time on the logistics of eating and, um, associated activities. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pancha | 11/15/2013

    " I sometimes find Roach's jokes to be intrusive (Stiff), but they weren't as annoying this time. Plus, the information was really interesting. A mix of the history of space flight, and were the industry is heading next. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 J.m. Strother | 11/1/2013

    " It was well enough written, but really did not deal with the topic the book title suggests. It was more of a history of the NASA Apollo years than any real forward looking study of how to actually get to, and survive on, Mars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 8/11/2013

    " Mary Roach has a gift for making science interesting. She has a great sense of humor and a very odd way of thinking about things. She tends to ask the REALLY awkward questions that many of us have thought about, but which none of us would actually dare utter aloud. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cian | 6/29/2013

    " This book was witty and fact-filled. I laughed constantly and left with a much better understanding of the complexity -- and sometimes the oddities -- involved in research and preparation for human space travel. Well worth the read, even if you are not a space nut! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ayu | 6/28/2013

    " Would've been a great read if it weren't for all the footnotes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb Chaffin | 6/23/2013

    " Great book. It was interesting enough to be able to read parts of this book to my non-science husband. Many, many funny parts and things that are just not usually discussed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olivier Fuchs | 5/16/2013

    " Full of facts that are wonderful and interesting but also many that are not. Space travel puts daily experiences in a different perspective, makes them less self-evident. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 2/4/2013

    " This book is awesome! Once you sit down to read, it will be hard to put the book down. It is so well written that you feel like you are sitting with the author and having a conversation. The humor reads like an Erma Bombeck novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 elexaish | 11/15/2012

    " Too much poop. :-P "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Miranda | 10/8/2012

    " Abandoned sadly. But I've passed I to my a space-obsessed friend who will hopefully like it more. I really enjoyed Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers though, so I'll keep reading her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ali | 5/31/2012

    " Mary Roach is my favorite person to learn about random things from. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina Hsu | 11/2/2011

    " Excellent book. A page turner non-fiction book. Extremely funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 5/22/2011

    " Amazing! This book is part history of aeronautics, part sassy observation of the rare life of an astronaut. Loved it so much! It's surprisingly very funny! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 5/22/2011

    " An accessible look at the space program that goes beyond the Apollo missions. Read this before the last space shuttle takes off this year and realize the incredible accomplishments from the first animals in space to today's astronauts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 5/19/2011

    " Fantastic. Funny. Loses sight at times of the Mars focus, and *way* too many footnotes¹, but well worth the time, entertaining, and informative. Will definitely read more by the author.

    ¹ Seriously. The footnotes are actually worthwhile enough to just be included in the text. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dee | 5/18/2011

    " Did not finish. Def do not want to be an astronaut from what I did read. Would not reccommend but for someone who has an interest in the glossed over aspects of being and training to be an astronaut. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grace | 5/16/2011

    " Man, I really need to finish this book at some point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/16/2011

    " Interesting stuff about traveling in space that no one talks about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 5/15/2011

    " Fascinating! However, it left me with no desire whatsoever to participate in space travel.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gevera | 5/13/2011

    " I think this is a must-read for anyone who wants to be an astronaut or just admires them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 5/12/2011

    " A+. as usual, roach leaves me laughing and realizing there are many aspects of what she's discussing that i've never even considered before. i feel both amused and more informed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/11/2011

    " Not as good as "Stiff," but that same distinctive humor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 5/10/2011

    " It was pretty long, considering it was a book completely de-glorifying space. It was really interesting, but "space is more boring than you think" seemed to be the theme... "

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About the Author
Author Mary Roach

Mary Roach is the author of several books, including Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary CanalPacking for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications. She lives in Oakland, California.

About the Narrator

Sandra Burr is an AudioFile Earphones Award–wining narrator. She has read more than one hundred books in her career, including the New York Times bestselling Cedar Cove romance series by Debbie Macomber.