Last night we had the pleasure of hosting the incomparable Mary Roach as she tours the country for her book about outerspace and the people who go there, Packing for Mars, which is now out in paperback (we have signed copies, as well as signed copies of Stiff, Spook, and Bonk, FYI.) Here are some things we learned from Mary last night:
~Astronaut dandruff in zero gravity turns a space shuttle into a snow globe.
~Before the first moon landing, a team of NASA officials spent many hours in many meetings across many months simply figuring out how to plant the flag in the moon dust. (When the shuttle blasted off back to Earth, it’s likely the flag was knocked over.)
~If you have questions about sex in space, ask a Russian astronaut.
~Farts issued in zero gravity will NOT propel an astronaut’s body through the air. They know because they’ve tried.
~If humans make it to Mars, they’ll be drinking recycled urine along the way.
~Those space pens that are supposed to write upside down in outer space really do work.
~Transcripts of communications between NASA and space shuttle missions are available to download, for free, by anyone who wants them.
~Mary Roach is awesome. But we already knew that.