Posts Tagged ‘air pressure’

What happens to you in space?

// March 30th, 2010 // 2 Comments » // How Things Work, Just for Fun, Science in the Movies

I have a confession to make. I want to be an astronaut. When I was a kid, I thought it would be SO COOL to be one of the most special people in your field that you’re chosen to represent the world/country and go to the final frontier. “Starman” by Bowie is still one of my favourite songs.

I grew up knowing that if you went to space without a spacesuit, you would explode. Or if not explode, at the very least blood would come exuding from pores in your skin and your eyes would pop and other gruesome things.

I mean, everyone knows you’d explode if you went to space! Except that you don’t.

Nope, you don’t explode, blood doesn’t come through your pores, I don’t even think your eyes would pop.

Don’t get me wrong, space is not a friendly place. If you have a lungful of air, then you might be in trouble. Air will try to move REALLY fast from the high pressure in your lungs to the low pressure in space, causing explosive decompression. If you ever find yourself in space without a suit, you should exhale all the air out of your lungs.

If you do that, your skin does a really good job of keeping the rest of you together. It will keep you in one piece, until you die of lack of oxygen. You might also freeze, or get a really bad sunburn if you get a shot of straight sun. You may also get the bends, caused by nitrogen dissolved in your blood to come out as bubbles – the same thing happens when rising from deep sea diving.

I still remember that scene in Event Horizon when that guy goes into the airlock without a spacesuit and the air starts dropping, and he has to breathe all the air out of his lungs and cover his eyes but blood starts coming out anyway and he gets thrown into space and then rescued! Such a good movie. Seriously. I’ve seen it about twenty times.






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