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Mary Roach, Thursday, 5-30-13 May 31, 2013

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Mary Roach, Thursday, 5-30-13


Guest:  Mary Roach.  Topics:  We talked about her new book, “Gulp: Adventures On The Alimentary Canal” with extrapolations for HSF & Mars.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information.

We welcomed author Mary Roach back to the program for this 75 minute one segment discussion about her new book “Gulp: Adventures On The Alimentary Canal.”  If you buy the book with this URL, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF:  http://www.amazon.com/Gulp-Adventures-Alimentary-Mary-Roach/dp/0393081575/ref=onegiantlea20.  For the Kindle version, use http://www.amazon.com/Gulp-Adventures-Alimentary-Canal-ebook/dp/B00AN86JZ4/ref=onegiantlea20.  While the book does not necessarily address space issues, the introduction talks about NASA research in the early space age period to determine optimum food and nutrition needs for a two year Mars mission.  You will hear Mary talk about their live animal considerations and the settling for mice for “mouse stew.”  In a later chapter on food, the alimentary canal and gas (flatulence), Mary introduced us to the research of Dr. Michael Levitt who NASA engaged to study the impact of human gas in the space capsule and upon fellow astronauts.  Dr. Levitt concluded that it would not likely be a problem.  We did carry this out topic with extrapolations to long duration spaceflight to Mars, being in a small capsule, and other realistic scenarios.  Our discussion unfolded both in space and on terrestrial terms. For example, myths about chewing food were put to rest in the book.  We learned what might happen were a person to actually be swallowed by a whale or large fish.  We talked about gastric acid and GERD and what this problem might mean for a an astronaut.  A listener asked for a reality check on probiotics both here on Earth and for example, on a deep space Mars mission.  Mary provided us with an interesting perspective regarding the marketing and use of probiotics so don’t miss it.  Another listener wanted to know about stories that were not included in Packing For Mars. Mary mentioned a few throughout our discussion.  We talked about the more traditional human factors such as microgravity and radiation and wondered about their impact on food and digestion over the long haul period in space, especially when considering microgravity and radiation effects.  Both Mary’s book, “Gulp,” and this program go into areas you won’t normally hear discussed, even by the space docs so be prepared for a wild but fascinating and informative ride.  I found her latest book to be very full of great information, laughing out loud hilarious throughout the read, and certainly thought provoking for food, waste, & digestive issues here at home as well as what might unfold on long duration deep space missions.  This coupled with her recent book, “Packing For Mars,” are in my opinion must reads for us all.  Check out “Packing For Mars” here:  http://www.amazon.com/Packing-Mars-Curious-Science-Life/dp/B00AR2BCLW/ref=onegiantlea20 and for the Kindle version, http://www.amazon.com/Packing-Mars-Curious-Science-ebook/dp/B003YJEXUM/ref=onegiantlea20.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Mary Roach through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.



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