Exposure to vacuum

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posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 03:28 PM
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What happens when a human is exposed to vacuum (or near-vacuum)? Does he explode or freeze instantly? Does his blood boil?

Here's a video from a documentary about an accident in a vacuum chamber:
www.youtube.com...

Nothing graphic happens. The person feels saliva bubbling on his tongue, then loses consciousness. If not brought back to safe pressure within a few minutes, the person dies of the lack of oxygen.

P.S. although the video concludes with "no astronaut has ever had to face a similar situation", there were fatalities in space from exposure to vacuum. Three cosmonauts in the Soyuz 11 died after a pressure-equalisation valve got lose before they re-entered the atmosphere. en.wikipedia.org...




posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 03:49 PM
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Since we are around 60% water, the vacuum would boil that water instantly and I would imagine a nasty explosion would be the end result...



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 04:18 AM
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reply to post by wildespace
 


I have, regrettably, seen the actual film footage of medics vainly trying to resucitate the Soyuz 11 crew. The bodies & faces were not significantly damaged.

Godspeed Patseyev, Dobrovolsky & Volkov.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 05:10 AM
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In space, your blood and fluids would start to bubble/boil while gasses escaped but as the heat escaped your body into the vacuum, you would freeze rather quickly.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 05:19 AM
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You would surely not explode, the pressure difference is not enough, your skin can protect against it easily. You would also not freeze instantly, it would take a long time until body heat is radiated away.

Water exposed to vacuum on your skin would evaporate, and you would lose consciousness in seconds due to deoxygenated blood from lungs entering your brain. You would die in minutes due to lack of oxygen in brain. If rescued during this time, you would probably survive.
edit on 27/2/11 by Maslo because: (no reason given)
edit on 27/2/11 by Maslo because: (no reason given)
edit on 27/2/11 by Maslo because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 05:21 AM
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I posted this in another thread, and will credit the source.

When the human body is suddenly exposed to the vacuum of space, a number of injuries begin to occur immediately. Though they are relatively minor at first, they accumulate rapidly into a life-threatening combination. The first effect is the expansion of gases within the lungs and digestive tract due to the reduction of external pressure. A victim of explosive decompression greatly increases their chances of survival simply by exhaling within the first few seconds, otherwise death is likely to occur once the lungs rupture and spill bubbles of air into the circulatory system. Such a life-saving exhalation might be due to a shout of surprise, though it would naturally go unheard where there is no air to carry it.

In the absence of atmospheric pressure water will spontaneously convert into vapor, which would cause the moisture in a victim’s mouth and eyes to quickly boil away. The same effect would cause water in the muscles and soft tissues of the body to evaporate, prompting some parts of the body to swell to twice their usual size after a few moments. This bloating may result in some superficial bruising due to broken capillaries, but it would not be sufficient to break the skin.

Within seconds the reduced pressure would cause the nitrogen which is dissolved in the blood to form gaseous bubbles, a painful condition known to divers as “the bends.” Direct exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation would also cause a severe sunburn to any unprotected skin. Heat does not transfer out of the body very rapidly in the absence of a medium such as air or water, so freezing to death is not an immediate risk in outer space despite the extreme cold.

For about ten full seconds– a long time to be loitering in space without protection– an average human would be rather uncomfortable, but they would still have their wits about them. Depending on the nature of the decompression, this may give a victim sufficient time to take measures to save their own life. But this period of “useful consciousness” would wane as the effects of brain asphyxiation begin to set in. In the absence of air pressure the gas exchange of the lungs works in reverse, dumping oxygen out of the blood and accelerating the oxygen-starved state known as hypoxia. After about ten seconds a victim will experience loss of vision and impaired judgement, and the cooling effect of evaporation will lower the temperature in the victim’s mouth and nose to near-freezing. Unconsciousness and convulsions would follow several seconds later, and a blue discoloration of the skin called cyanosis would become evident.

At this point the victim would be floating in a blue, bloated, unresponsive stupor, but their brain would remain undamaged and their heart would continue to beat. If pressurized oxygen is administered within about one and a half minutes, a person in such a state is likely make a complete recovery with only minor injuries, though the hypoxia-induced blindness may not pass for some time. Without intervention in those first ninety seconds, the blood pressure would fall sufficiently that the blood itself would begin to boil, and the heart would stop beating. There are no recorded instances of successful resuscitation beyond that threshold.

Though an unprotected human would not long survive in the clutches of outer space, it is remarkable that survival times can be measured in minutes rather than seconds, and that one could endure such an inhospitable environment for almost two minutes without suffering any irreversible damage. The human body is indeed a resilient machine.


www.damninteresting.com...


Off topic, for some reason I was reading about the weather in Greenland and was a bit surprised to find that the cold doesn't feel as cold as the thermometer would indicate because of the arid dry air. It was said tourists would enjoy a short sleeved comfortable day at 50º F. The part of the space exposure to the cold reminded me of the Greenland thing.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 05:22 AM
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edit on 27-2-2011 by badgerprints because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by DragonTattooz
Since we are around 60% water, the vacuum would boil that water instantly and I would imagine a nasty explosion would be the end result...


So you haven't watched the video.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 10:49 AM
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I have to admit that I missed the link you provided before my post, and I also have to admit a rush of emotions ran through me while watching it, especially when the subject collapsed backwards. So I assume the information in the link I provided is mostly factual?



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 


Wow, incredible explanation, the visual was intensely expressed! Thank you for that, although I must admit that I sort of have the ability to encompass such thoughts where I actually feel like I myself were in the situation. To die for at least 2 minutes, but not to die, and then if not resuscitated in time another 6 minutes of continued death before the brain is gone (thinking of the cosmonauts).

The movement of passing through the atmosphere for the Cosmonauts during this transition into Death must of been incredible, that is to say if during those 8 minutes of consciousness an "acceptance" was blissfully embraced. I always suspect that I would struggle for a second or two and then just hand it over and let it envelope me. What choice do we have? None really, but the rationalization of this process sure gets the mind right there in the driver's seat.

I sort of feel like I was there in some odd way...



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 12:22 AM
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Originally posted by wildespace

Originally posted by DragonTattooz
Since we are around 60% water, the vacuum would boil that water instantly and I would imagine a nasty explosion would be the end result...


So you haven't watched the video.


I did now. Thanks.

I need to get in the habit of checking links before responding.



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 07:29 AM
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While, as we've seen, a simple decompression is not as graphic as assumed, explosive decompression would be very dangerous. Your lungs could rupture if the air isn't escaping them fast enough. I've heard reports of air disasters involving sudden decompression at high altitudes, and supposedly people were found with their guts blown out of them, because of all the gasses in the stomach and intestines.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 07:12 AM
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So doing this in the vacuum on the moon was considered an acceptable practice ?




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