Thursday, July 30, 2015

What happens to a person without a Spacesuit in Space

Imagine you were thrown out of the space station airlock without a spacesuit. You can panic and desperately trying to escape. How much time do you have to find the source of air and atmospheric pressure needed? Spoiler: very little. But more than you think.

The first is to say that you did not explode and your blood boils. Your body does not lose its integrity just because of the fact that you are in a vacuum. You may have noticed something useful that covers you from head to toe - it's your skin. It perfectly copes with his work: keeps your insides in. It is elastic and very durable, so you can not worry about that burst like a balloon. In addition, your skin will maintain the internal pressure at a sufficiently high level to ensure that your blood does not boil.

Temperature - or rather, lack of it - and do not immediately kill you. The cold water is not subcooled person quickly because the water temperature and due to the fact that it is a very good conductor of heat. All the heat generated by your metabolism immediately "pulled" out of your body. In vacuum there is no convection - and heat conduction are not. The only way to lose heat radiation remains. Everyone glows in the infrared spectrum, the heat radiating capacity of about 100 watts. The light bulb was a beautiful analogy of human generated energy until we switched to energy-saving and LED light bulbs; but the meaning you still understand. Usually we do not even notice the loss of this energy: wrapped in a layer of insulating air, heated by the Sun above his head and the ground beneath their feet, we get back all the heat that is lost. So we can happily radiate energy day long.

In space, as you have nothing to isolate, so that in the end you will freeze to death. Fortunately, the loss of 100 watts of heat is very small compared with the mass of your body. The vacuum will pass a lot of time before you turn into a Popsicle.

The weakest link is your treacherous circulatory system. In space there is no air and, therefore, there is no oxygen. But your blood does not know. It circulates through your lungs to pick up a "hitchhiker" - another batch of O2 - and continues on his way, with or without a passenger. Your heart keeps beating, and devoid of oxygen the blood disperses throughout the body. In particular, it goes to the brain.

If your oxygen starvation "the CPU" goes into power-saving hibernation mode. After about 15 seconds after you leave the Gateway Space Station, you lose consciousness. Nevertheless, you will still be alive. If any Good Samaritan pick up your space and within a minute or two will bring to a safe place, you'll be fine. It's not very nice, but you can live.

If you stay in space for more than two minutes, the other organs and "Cuts" due to lack of oxygen - in medical terms, this is called "death."

And again, in the name of Armstrong, do not hold your breath! Your lungs and airways are not designed to contain atmospheric pressure in a vacuum. If you hold your breath, you will encounter the same problem faced by the divers at too rapid ascent to the surface: the broken light.

It sounds terrible, but nobody thought that a walk in the open space will be nice, right?

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