Top positive review
4.5 stars for witty yet real examination of the effects of space travel on the human body
Reviewed in the United States on June 25, 2017
Roach strips away the glamor and heroics to offer us a look at the grittier, and messier, aspects of space travel as it relates to the human body. It's all here: food, sex, personal hygiene, motion sickness, claustrophobia, physiological changes, defecation. While we may snicker at some, these are aspects of the human condition which are glossed over as we defiantly insist that we will conquer other worlds. Fortunately, scientists the world over are not ignoring these aspects. It's just that they don't make for good PR. Roach presents them here.
But the best part is Roach herself. Her wit and unabashed curiosity are in plain sight, boldly going where decorum and press releases dare not go. There's just enough science here to give the layman an idea of what's going on--and presenting it in clear terms--without overwhelming him with forensic detail. She interviews astronauts and scientists, historians and charlatans, and when research isn't enough, she bravely participates in experiments (flying aboard a C-9, drinking recycled urine). Despite being confronted with the unpleasant facts of space travel, Roach doesn't flinch. She satisfies our curiosity while satisfying her own.