Today is the 50th anniversary of Americans in space but as the Shuttle program winds down, no one knows when humans will be making future forays into the void. Space is a deadly place lacking in the things we need most to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. So how does a human being survive a stint in space not to mention a bailout at 4,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions and prepare humans for orbital travel, space agencies set up all manner of space simulations — making it possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. In Packing for Mars, author Mary Roach takes us on a surreal trip into the bizarre science of life in space and space on Earth.
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