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Guest: Mary Roach; Topics: We discussed Mary's new book and first young reader's book, "Packing For Mars For Kids." In addition, our guest fielded questions about settlement, gravity, living on the Moon or Mars, kids and pets in space, a full kids spacesuit and more.
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We welcomed nationally known author Mary Roach back to the show to discuss her first ever young reader's and new book, "Packing For Mars For Kids." In addition to our discussing the book, Mary was asked questions on topics other than her book (see below) plus from time to time show told how she treated a topic in the new book as opposed to the treatment given the subject in the adult version, "Packing For Mars" (see Space Show #1404 from August 8, 2010, www.thespaceshow.com/show/08-aug-2010/broadcast-1404-special-edition). I find it hard to believe that almost twelve years have gone by since Mary was first on TSS but since then, Mary has been a guest for most of her books, even when unrelated to space.
We started our one hour three minute discussion by asking Mary why a children's book and why about Mars. It was an interesting story with a surprise in it, at lease a surprise for me. The idea for a young reader's book from Mary was publisher initiated! Mary received many early emails from listeners. One wanted to know if the book had a pro-space agenda in it. She said yes. Another wanted to know about discernment between government space and commercial or private actor space. As you will hear, that was not part of her focus in this book. In addition, Mary talked about doing book tours, talking to kids and their parents and getting feedback as a result of those presentations. She also said the book was at a basic level. Another listener asked her if she talked about gender differences, especially in using a space bathroom. Mary did talk about the lack of privacy and the challenges NASA had for developing a urinary system for women as compared to men. Don't miss this part of our discussion. She made the comment that early on NASA was exclusively focused on male anatomy.
Listener Sharon wanted to know if Mary discussed the uncertainties of kids in space. She said some of that was in the adult version of the book but not this one. We had a short discussion about reproduction and children in space but it was separate from the kids book. The space bathroom came up and that was discussed in the book. So was being in space without gravity and the fact that the EVA spacesuit continues to recycle air and gasses, including hydrogen and methane so in the book and on the show she talked about flatulence in space and a spacesuit. Later on she was asked if she dealt with the question of kids wanting to go to space but also wanting to take Fido or Spot with them. Mary followed talking about kids living in space with saying a few things about how she researches her books and topics, then we moved to talking in general about living on the Moon or Mars, probably underground.
Fremont John called to ask Mary about the gravity RX and the need to figure it our for humans re settlement. He mentioned orbiting stations but Mary was not familiar with the "High Frontier" book or Dr. Gerard O'Neill. John and Mary talked about those topics, Musk, SpaceX, Bezos and Blue Origin in the context of humans living in space for a settlement or going to Mars for a settlement. Mary briefly brought up climate change, she said she was working on a new book but did not say much about it. We also talked about different space related ideas for her to incorporate into another space book. Before closing down, we talked about injured people, people without the use of their limbs or other parts of their body doing things in space plus using space for therapies, both medical and mental.
Please post your comments/questions on our blog for this show. You can reach Mary through our blog or me here at The Space Show.