Broadcast 1404 (Special Edition)

08 Aug 2010 Mary Roach
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Guest: Mary Roach. Topics: Mars, space medicine, microgravity, human spaceflight issues. We welcomed Mary Roach, author of "Packing For Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void." You can purchase this book from Amazon by using the One Giant Leap Foundation (OGLF) book page and Amazon then contributes to OGLF/The Space Show. Please use This program was specially formatted for one hour without a break. Ms. Roach started our discussion by letting us know why she wanted to write about space and the impact visiting the Neutral Buoyancy Tank at JSC as part of a Discover Magazine story had on her. As you will hear, Mary traveled extensively for her research on the book, including Japan, Russia, NASA centers, even Devon Island. She recounts her experiences and tells her story with great humor but she also addresses the facts and the very serious nature of human spaceflight and exploration. She said she focused on long duration missions and much of our discussion was targeted to that subject. There are some great stories in her book, some of which she told us during our discussion. For example, her stories about drinking "urine" at NASA Ames, inquiring both to NASA and the Russians about sex in space and seeing how each group responded, her telling us about the bowel sounds monitor and what happened with that study, plus the bed rest gravity studies are hilarious and most interesting. As you will hear, Mary Roach is funny, informative and her book is a great read that I strongly recommend for you. She did not address private sector space or the entrepreneurial movement but she did say she was interested in space tourism, going to the Moon but did not think we were ready for going to Mars at this time. You will certainly want to hear her comments about these components of space development. Get her book, check it out, and if you have any questions or comments, please visit her website at You can email her using



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