Mary Roach, author of SF Chronicle’s Bestseller “Packing for Mars,” spoke in the Eagle Theatre yesterday, February 29.
Roach, who has written a number of books, discussed her books and read some passages. In “Packing for Mars,” Roach takes her readers along the path of learning about a “hostile, surreal, and fascinating world” of space travel. Through whimsical and quirky topics such as human fecal stimulants and the challenge of anchoring the flag during the first lunar landing, Roach explained these seemingly odd topics and how small nuances were important in preparing for the journey to outer space.
Posing questions such as “What happens to the human body when you wear a space suit for 24 hours?” and “What if you throw up in your spacesuit while in zero gravity?,” Roach answered these humorous questions and shared knowledge about the steps in preparing for space programs.
“I don’t have a science degree,” Roach said. “But I have an overactive curiosity about things. Science is a way for me to travel and see the world … to engage with other human beings in their world.”
After a reading of a passage from “Packing to Mars,” the audience was able to ask some questions about the book and her interests in an odd variety of subjects, ranging from cadavers to orange juice in spacesuits.
“My books are all about the human body in unusual circumstances,” Roach said. “It’s just like how human beings find themselves in the unusual world of science. It’s a way to give my curiosity free reign.”