08 October 2010

Day 195: Packing for Mars

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach.  ISBN: 9780393068474.

So, I think the main thing this book taught me is how much I freakin' love gravity. It makes most bodily functions easier and cleaner.  It also prevents me from becoming a spinning ball of misery and vomit.

In space, no one can hear you scream, because you're more likely to be horking your lungs out.  People apparently get motion sickness without gravity because our brains are designed to find up and down, which is no doubt useful on a planet, but space does not give a damn about your silly "up and down" notions.

I'm not one to get sick very easily, but I somehow doubt my stomach is any stronger than those of people who routinely ride something called a vomit comet.  I've been on boats, airplanes, and tiny prop planes before, but you can easily fix the motion sickness by getting to a place where you can see the horizon.  Motion sickness stems from your inner ear telling you that you're moving, while your eyes are telling you a much different story.  In space, your inner ear is constantly trying to reorient itself and figure out where the hell you are.  You do apparently get used to it eventually, but in the meantime...lots and lots of puking, and usually with almost no warning.

So not only are there likely to be floating turds, but you can expected unexpected astro-yak in the mix.  Thankfully even puking in your space suit has been accounted for.  This is awesome, because of all the ways I don't want to die, drowning in my own vomit is somewhere near the top of the list.  On the other hand, it means having your space spew blown down into your suit.  It's away from your face...but...yeah.

Once again, I think I'll leave space exploration to the professionals.  In the meantime, me and Walt will hang out in the cryochambers and be sent up later when things aren't so messy.

A good review can be found over at one of my favorite book blogs, eclectic/eccentric.


  1. Interesting side note: when you Google image search "astro yak" you get some pretty interesting images, although only two of them are actual yaks, and exactly zero are yaks in space.

  2. Awww...thanks so much for that last comment there. How freaking awesome do I feel?!?!

    Who knew it was gravity that kept us so clean, right? I always thought it was grandma's but turns out gravity kicks grandma's patootie in the cleanliness department.

  3. Dayna,
    I am a little too terrified to even try.

    You should feel as awesome as you are. Gravity is definitely really awesome and I appreciate it far more now than I did before I read Packing for Mars. Lessons learned.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...