×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

481 comments

fp (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20143789)

Well! That settles that, then.

FR of FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20143815)

First reply of zhe firzt post! Beat ya to it!

Moving right along . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20144461)

We've known this since 1965 and the topic has been discussed on /. before, so:

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, PLEASE MOVE ALONG.

SG-1 had a similar scene (5, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143793)

In the episode where they were experimenting with a captured ship, T'lk and O'Neill were flung out to Jupiter and left without a way to get home.

Carter's dad, herself and Daniel are able to rescue them but the two have to eject from their ship and float in space for a few seconds before the ring transport can be used.

I do believe that the two had a spacesuit of some type on but not one that was designed for space. More of a general cover suit.

Re:SG-1 had a similar scene (4, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143911)

Lots of SF shows have done it. Battlestar Galactica did it as well.

Re:SG-1 had a similar scene (1, Informative)

mattatwork (988481) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144109)

I remember an episode of Farscape [wikipedia.org] where Crichton had to escape a space station and did so by jumping out of the station and flying a great distance to land on another station. The show depicted him doing it with no burns from nearby stars or the absolute zero cold of space or showing him explode after he took in a big breath before making the jump. It was cool but very unrealistic....

Re:SG-1 had a similar scene (4, Funny)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144491)

I liked how Outland [imdb.com] dealt with the subject; just have the guys explode making a mess in their spacesuit.
Can you imagine being the next guy to use that suit?

"Uh, sorry but Jeff thought that tarantulas were crawling in his suit so he pulled his air line and exploded. We cleaned it the best we could."

Re:SG-1 had a similar scene (3, Informative)

d0rp (888607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143913)

Also in an episode of Battlestar Galactica where the Cheif and Cally were trapped in a cargohold and they had to blow open the door and catch them with a Raptor.

Re:SG-1 had a similar scene (4, Informative)

Mr.Fork (633378) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144125)

Didn't Chief and his wife (Cally?) have to go into hyperbaric chambers? I think that is the most accurate portrayal of recovery from space exposure. Didn't Outlander as well with Sean O'Connery deal with this too? I think the guy exploded from the inside out from rapid decompression - but I think that could of been a little Hollywoodish.

I think that the injuries the dude form Event Horizon also were pretty real too - his eyes were damaged, frost, and the bubbling of gas from his blood "the bends".

So did Farscape (3, Funny)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144141)

So did Farscape ... and if it happened on Farscape, well its 100% believable.

Re:So did Farscape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20144407)

On Farscape it wasn't humans, and they were very clear about the difference. Humans are lame.

Re:SG-1 had a similar scene (2, Interesting)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144421)

And let's not forget Event Horizon [imdb.com]. (Hey! I wish I could forget EH... my friend had Sam Neill's decapitated bonce, with realistic gory holes where he'd supposedly torn out his own eyes, on her (street-facing) windowsill for months after working on the effects at Cinesite in London (next door to the Private Eye offices, trivia fans!) I believe he was usually used as a stand for sunglasses during the daytime... but I like to think he freaked a few people out after dark :)

"Space Hickey"? (1, Funny)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143803)

...I think I found my new band name...

Re:"Space Hickey"? (1, Offtopic)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144029)

Not off topic. Space hickey is from TFA. Unfunny, sure, but not off topic

Vacuum Rose and the Vacuum-breather's club (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20144209)

The term for the capillary damage is "vacuum rose"

There was a series of novels back in the 90s about near-future cis-lunar space development. The blue-collar types had a 'vacuum-breather's club' for people who had survived just such events where they had to transfer from a damaged module to another without a suit.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20143813)

That is good to know.

Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your breath (5, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143821)

This has been dealt with [sff.net] many times before and there is even a case of a NASA tech who was exposed to vacuum in 1966. He lost consciousness in about 12-14 seconds and was regained consciousness without injury after they restored pressure at about 30 seconds.

The conscensus seems to be consciousness for 10-15 seconds, no serious injury for 60 seconds to 2 minutes.

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (1, Informative)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143919)

You can't forget about the extreme cold. Space is a very, very cold place. [nasa.gov] One might think frostbite could be an issue.

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (4, Informative)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143969)

It would take nearly forever for you to cool off that much, you would explode due to pressure differential long before you would cool down, as any cooling would be due to releasing radiant heat. There is neither conductive nor convective heat loss as there is nothing cooler than you there, as there is nothing but you.

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20144287)

No, you would also lose heat as the water on the surface of your body boiled away. In fact, I'd guess you would lose a lot of heat very quickly through your lungs.

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144341)

Finally, someone else who realizes that space has very little matter! Don't you think the Human body would generate more heat than it could get rid of?

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (5, Informative)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144347)

It would take nearly forever for you to cool off that much, you would explode due to pressure differential

No, you would not. Standard air pressure is about 15 PSI. Thus, being in vacuum can never apply more than 15 PSI to your internal organs, unless you came from a substantially pressurized environment.

SCUBA divers experience sudden pressure changes in the realm of 15 PSI all the time. They don't "explode," they just get the bends. It's something you want to avoid, definitely, but you aren't going to blow your guts just because the ambient pressure drops by 15 PSI.

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143975)

But there is almost nothing to conduct the heat. You can survive a long time in 40F degree air. Now just in 40F degree water and see how long it takes before hypothermia sets in. The difference is conduction. There would be (almost) nothing to carry away your body heat in space.

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (4, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144089)

Exactly. The pressure differential is what will more likely kill you, though even that will take time, given the tension of cell membranes. Combine the temperature and pressure differential and you're looking at a short window of maybe 30 - 60 seconds where you get by without major physical damage and perhaps 1 - 2 minutes with some sort of major but survivable damage. And don't forget long term effects, as you will be exposed to intense solar radiation with only minimal protection.

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (4, Insightful)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143993)

As per the article:

What about the frostbite? That's actually the least plausible result of Sunshine's suitless spacewalk. The cold wouldn't cause Mace too much harm in just 15 seconds, even if he encountered the very lowest temperatures in space. That's because heat leaves the body very slowly in a vacuum.

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20144085)

we should have a new mod: -1 RTFA

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144005)

FTFA:

What about the frostbite? That's actually the least plausible result of Sunshine's suitless spacewalk. The cold wouldn't cause Mace too much harm in just 15 seconds, even if he encountered the very lowest temperatures in space. That's because heat leaves the body very slowly in a vacuum. The more likely damage would be a "space hickey"--caused from the swelling and bursting of the skin's small blood vessels--which would look more like the effects of freeze-drying a wart than a case of frostbite.

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (4, Insightful)

pegr (46683) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144025)

You can't forget about the extreme cold. Space is a very, very cold place. One might think frostbite could be an issue.
 
It's not quite that easy. Space is not cold (nor warm). Things in space may be warm or cold. How do you lose heat in space? Well, there's no convection because there's no air. You would only lose heat via radiation, a much slower process. For the purposes of this discussion, I think you could ignore temperature, as you would perish well before a drop in heat got ya...

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (4, Insightful)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144159)

Actually no, frostbite isn't an issue. In vacuum, there is no heat transfer through convection [wikipedia.org]. The only way to lose heat is through thermal radiation [wikipedia.org].

Convection is what will freeze you when you fall in ice-cold water.
Radiation is what will cool the beer you put in the reflective satellite dish at night.

In fact, human space modules (such as the ISS, but the ISS has to cope with atmospheric drag too, IIRC), have trouble dealing with excess heat, and have to use large surfaces to maximize radiation output

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (5, Informative)

jschrod (172610) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144201)

From http://www.sff.net/people/Geoffrey.Landis/vacuum.h tml [sff.net]:

Would You Freeze?

No.

A couple of recent Hollywood films showed people instantly freezing solid when exposed to vacuum. In one of these, the scientist character mentioned that the temperature was "minus 273"-- that is, absolute zero.

But in a practical sense, space doesn't really have a temperature-- you can't measure a temperature on a vacuum, something that isn't there. The residual molecules that do exist aren't enough to have much of any effect. Space isn't "cold," it isn't "hot", it really isn't anything.

What space is, though, is a very good insulator. (In fact, vacuum is the secret behind thermos bottles.) Astronauts tend to have more problem with overheating than keeping warm.

If you were exposed to space without a spacesuit, your skin would most feel slightly cool, due to water evaporating off you skin, leading to a small amount of evaporative cooling. But you wouldn't freeze solid!

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (4, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144087)

After he came to, they asked the tech what the last thing he remembered was. He told them the last thing he remembered before blacking out was the saliva on his tongue boiling away (due to the extremely low pressure lowering the boiling point of the saliva)

Re:Imagine drowning if you couldn't hold your brea (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144227)

What was the temperature when that NASA tech was exposed? I would imagine in space the extreme temperature would have adverse effects on the eyes and skin.

A Serious case of YMMV (5, Interesting)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144357)

A long time ago I took a pressure chamber ride at NASA to 27,000 ft. I lasted about 15 sec until uselessness (the crew master didn't let us go all the way to LOC), and 27,000 is not a particularly extreme altitude. Generally, 50,000 ft is considered the altitude at which the partial pressure of oxygen is no longer adequate to maintain consciousness. You can survive up to about 80,000 if you "pressure breathe", i.e have a rig that forces oxygen into your lungs at a lightly higher pressure than ambient, but not enough to bust your lungs.

And as TFA pointed out you will embolize if you hold your breath above that more or less 80,000 ft altitude.

So if the acronum YMMV ever applies, it's here.

next time (4, Funny)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143825)

good thing to remember next time you're in space:

Of course, on Earth, you could hold your breath for several minutes without passing out. But that's not going to help in a vacuum. In fact, attempting to hold your breath is a sure way to a quick death.

Re:next time (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143897)

I haven't RTFA'd yet- but IIRC, the "Asmovian" version of this required that for maximum survival, you had to hyperventalate (to maximize oxygen storage in the bloodstream), empty the lungs, and be in shadow since the sun puts out so much energy that without an atmosphere you risk a pretty bad sunburn.

Re:next time (3, Funny)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143985)


There's only really one person who might sit in the intersection of "been in space" and "reads slashdot", so unless Shuttleworth is reading this you just wasted a minute of your life that you will never get back ;)

Re:next time (1)

d3matt (864260) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144333)

There's only really one person who might sit in the intersection of "been in space" and "reads slashdot", so unless Shuttleworth is reading this you just wasted a minute of your life that you will never get back ;)
The real intersection ought to be "going to space" and "reads slashdot" since this information is no longer pertinent to people who have been in space.

Re:next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20144063)

In fact, attempting to hold your breath is a sure way to a quick death.


Yes, sir. You're correct. I don't know what I'd do without knowledge like this from caffeinemessiah,

Explosive decompression. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20144077)

"In fact, attempting to hold your breath is a sure way to a quick death."

So are the exploding nuts. And if you're a woman with implants...

Spoilers by design? (2, Informative)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143845)

Is it just me or does that Sunshine page prominently feature separate videos to show every single character dying? Is this some kind of gimmick?

Usually I don't want to know how the movie ends until, you know... the end of the movie. //confused

Re:Spoilers by design? (2, Interesting)

Renaissance 2K (773059) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144521)

It's a very odd marketing tactic. They have web banners using the tagline "EVERYONE DIES" on various Internet sites.

But, the bigger question - which applies to all cold-hearted marketing drones - can we trust them?

I saw the movie last Sunday. The tagline and the campaign aren't as cut-and-dry as they appear. The movie, however, is quite unfortunately the victim of a beautiful universe and an intriguing scenario hampered by a drier-than-sandpaper script and a "jump the shark" moment about 2/3 through the movie that will make everyone in the theater shake their heads disapprovingly.

Battlestar Galactica (2, Informative)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143859)

The Chief and his wife also survived in open space for about 5-10 seconds on Battlestar Galactica, Season 3, "A day in the life" [wikipedia.org].

-Eddie

Also, on the Simpsons (2, Funny)

Normal Dan (1053064) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143931)

two presidential candidates survived in space for a few moments after they were jettison from an alien space craft in a Halloween episode. I think. My memory is a bit fuzzy on this one.

You can survive for 30 seconds (5, Funny)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143893)

But the odds of being picked up by a passing space ship in that time are two to the power of 2079460347 to one against.

Re:You can survive for 30 seconds (3, Funny)

retro128 (318602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144427)

That's why I always make sure there's a ship somewhere in the universe that has an infinite improbability drive before I jump out of an airlock without a space suit.

Re:You can survive for 30 seconds (1, Informative)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144511)

So that makes your number (+44) 0207 (inner London code) 946 0347... but that's giving "the number you dialled has not been recognised"! (yes I tried it... I am that sad.)

Actually 946 wouldn't be the code for Islington anyway... I've friends just down the road and they're 0207 836.

Aaaand now back to the topic....

2001 Movie. (3, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143901)

Well in 2001 Dave wasn't in open space. He put his ship right next to the hanger doors creating as much as an airtight seal he could then he opened the door and all the air left his ship and filled the hanger area giving some pressure for him so his head doesn't explode but the air was rapidly thinning because it wasn't completly air tight so he only had a couple of seconds to get in. He wasn't in openspace but a low pressure envrioment, with only a few seconds of useful time.

Re:2001 Movie. (2, Informative)

Sibko (1036168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144437)

He put his ship right next to the hanger doors creating as much as an airtight seal he could then he opened the door and all the air left his ship and filled the hanger area giving some pressure for him so his head doesn't explode but the air was rapidly thinning because it wasn't completly air tight so he only had a couple of seconds to get in.
Heads do not explode in a vacuum. The only thing that does any 'exploding' are your lungs, as the air inside them tries to rush out of your body.

Re:2001 Movie. (2, Funny)

BRSQUIRRL (69271) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144537)

He put his ship right next to the hanger doors creating as much as an airtight seal he could then he opened the door and all the air left his ship and filled the hanger area giving some pressure for him so his head doesn't explode but the air was rapidly thinning because it wasn't completly air tight so he only had a couple of seconds to get in.

Sounds like someone needs to take a deep breath. I'm suffering from oxygen deprivation just reading that sentence. :)

Don't forget the film Event Horizon (1)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143917)

This movie featured someone who was flung into space briefly without a suit and survived, however he was stuck in intensive care the remainder of the film.

low-pressure spaceship env. (4, Interesting)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143923)

The decompression effects may be reduced/delayed if the space station uses a 100% oxygen atmosphere at a low pressure, then the pressure delta between what your body is equalized to and the vacuum is reduced so the trauma is delayed a bit.

The ISS uses normal sea-level pressure, but I believe some of the spacecraft used for the moon shots used the low-pressure environment.

Re:low-pressure spaceship env. (4, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144129)

There's a bigger problem with that though -- if you lower the pressure of the atmosphere, but add more O2 to keep the partial pressure the same, you increase the fire hazard. Inert gases like nitrogen act as a buffer and reduce flammability. Fires in spacecraft are a big deal, which (I believe) is why ISS uses higher pressure.

The major problem with exposure to vacuum isn't the pressure anyway, it's the lack of air. Furthermore, you can't hold your breath, because your lungs aren't strong enough to hold in the air. Without any air in your lungs, you get about 10-15 seconds of consciousness.

Yup, this was a major factor in the Apollo 1 fire (4, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144231)

but I believe some of the spacecraft used for the moon shots used the low-pressure environment.
Correct. Apollo used a 100% oxygen atmosphere at a lower pressure (I think 3 psi, which approximates the partial pressure of oxygen in normal air at sea-level). When they tested Apollo 1 on the ground, they decided to use 100% oxygen. But because the test was at sea-level, it was 100% oxygen at sea-level pressure. 100% oxygen at 3 psi creates a fire which burns just like regular air at sea-level. 100% oxygen at sea-level pressure creates an inferno.

ReJust luck none of the Mercury/Gemini burnt (3, Informative)

redelm (54142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144475)

Nope. Still can't use O2 at 3psia. No quench or blanketting effect from Nitrogen. Metals (esp aluminum) burns in 3 psia almost as fast as 14.7 . Plastics become similarly combustible.

Combustion reaction kinetics aren't very pressure sensitive. Oxidant density is not controlling.

Space Activity Suit and more (3, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143927)

The Space Activity Suit [wikipedia.org] is basically the same as jumping out of an airlock, but with pressure protection for your head only. As they say in the wikipedia article - "skin itself is actually quite airtight"

There was at least one sci-fi story back years ago where this jumping out into space thing was done. So it is not a new plot line.

Event Horizon (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143961)

I liked the way they portrayed the issue in Event Horizon [imdb.com]; took me a while to be able to watch Sam Neill in any other film without getting the creeps after that one. They had the guy expel all the air in his lungs that he could, he survived outside for a few seconds, got frozen, and I want to say his eyes didn't survive the vacum, don't remember too well.

Re:Event Horizon (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144047)

The freezing is the most unrealistic part as I understand it. There's nothing to transfer energy to, so the only heat loss should be normal body heat radiation. The problem is the near-0 pressure.

Forget the big problem; important smaller problem (5, Funny)

weak* (1137369) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143965)

Maybe, but once they retrieve you, if your clothing needs to be removed for any reason (e.g. medical), you're going to have shrinkage like you just did the polar bear plunge... and all in front of your unreasonably hot female costar. :(

Re:Forget the big problem; important smaller probl (3, Funny)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144393)

Like mentioned many times already, the cold is not the issue. It is the lack of pressure. So, wouldn't it be like using one of those vacuum pump devices? If so, clothing removal in front of your unreasonably hot female costar could be just what the doctor ordered, if she doesn't mind a bit of discoloration...

15 seconds? (3, Interesting)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#20143973)

I just expelled all the air out of my lungs as best as I could and it was exactly 24 seconds before it was physically impossible to hold my breath... I felt a weird kind of giddiness -almost a mild 'hit'. Sort of like when you smoke a strong cigar and inhale.

Surely, astronauts ought to have better lung capacity than yours truly?

Cheers!

Re:15 seconds? (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144097)

I don't think you can expel all the air out of your lungs, there's a minimum volume they can contract to.

Re:15 seconds? (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144143)

I agree.. hence the 'as best as I could'... Which probably applied to the NASA guy in near vacuum and will apply any astronaut who is forced to get out into space in an emergency.

Cheers!

Re:15 seconds? (1)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144205)

It has nothing to do with lung capacity. From TFA:

Of course, on Earth, you could hold your breath for several minutes without passing out. But that's not going to help in a vacuum. In fact, attempting to hold your breath is a sure way to a quick death. To make it for even a few seconds, Sunshine's Mace must have expelled the air from his lungs before he ventured into the starry void. If he hadn't, the vacuum would have caused that oxygen to expand and rupture his lung tissue, forcing fatal air bubbles into his blood vessels, and ultimately his heart and brain.

Re:15 seconds? (3, Informative)

LandKurt (901298) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144417)

Not only does vacuum mean truly zero air in your lungs, but your lungs are now working in reverse and dumping all remaining oxygen in your bloodstream into the vacuum. In just five or ten seconds the blood supplied to your brain is completely devoid of oxygen. That's what gets you.

Re:15 seconds? (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144533)

So first the astronaut expels as much air as possible. Then he step into the vacuum and the air escapes through the airways rather than rupture the lungs (because there's not much air in there...) and then the oxygen gets depleted... Guess that explain it - Thanks! Didn't get the part about the lungs working in reverse though... The lungs can't 'extract' oxygen from the blood, can they?

Cheers!

If you don't panic (-1, Redundant)

dodobh (65811) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144045)

and take a deep breath, you can survive for 30 seconds.

Re:If you don't panic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20144237)

Remember what they said though - don't hold your breath, as your lungs would rupture when you hit vacuum.

About 30 Seconds (3, Funny)

batquux (323697) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144049)

But with space being really big and all, the chances of being picked up within that time are 2^2,079,460,347 to one against.

The *real* danger... (1)

postermmxvicom (1130737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144071)

I can't believe Sunshine missed the real danger as pointed out in the article: "space hickies"

Clearly, this would be the undoing of any true Sci-Fi hero. And the fans already know the dangers regular earth hickies:

Mortgages, children, honey-do's and loss of video game time w/"the guys." What horrors must await victims of "space hickies"?

Your blood boils at low pressure and temp (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144073)

the effect of zero pressure is your blood boils at subzero temperature.

Re:Your blood boils at low pressure and temp (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144155)

the effect of zero pressure is your blood boils at subzero temperature.

A common myth. Your blood would boil if exposed to hard vacuum, just like any liquid. But your skin is quite strong enough to contain the pressure required to prevent that from happening. The problems with vacuum are related to the lack of air, and the fact that you can't hold your breath (your lungs aren't strong enough to contain the pressure).

Re:Your blood boils at low pressure and temp (1)

intx13 (808988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144273)

While you're correct that blood would/could/might boil in a near vaccuum at the temperature of space, in actual space there wouldn't be a problem. Human skin is a very good pressure suit, so the pressure inside your veins doesn't really change much. Also your blood does not instantly drop to the temperature of space... in fact the human body would lose heat very slowly in space, due to the lack of convection.

I recall reading that one problem your blood might face is "the bends", like divers get when surfacing too quickly, if you returned to the pressure of the spaceship without adequately slow repressurizing.

Also, on the subject of temperature in space, I read an article on this sort of thing once that said that we really shouldn't even be speaking of localized temperature in space. Temperature comes from the average energy of particles (don't jump all over me, it's been a while since thermo!) - in space these particles are few and far between, so speaking of temperature in any sort of close range is not very practicle, as there aren't that many particles there to begin with.

I would be less concerned with the chill and more concerned with the radiation pelting my body... I'll take an atmosphere over a coat in space any day!

An answer from the eighties ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144191)

... by Geoffrey A. Landis [sff.net], "I first starting putting together this information as a list of references back in the late 80s, when I was a postdoc, and then posted much of it as a contribution to the sci.space FAQ (along with contributions from several others, most notably Henry Spencer). Then when the FAQ was offline for an extended period, but people kept asking the same questions, I put this page online as a web page to which I could refer questions. Since then a number of other sources of information have popped up on the web (many of them quoting from this page), but I've tried to keep this up to date.".

Quote [wikipedia.org]: "Landis holds undergraduate degrees in physics and electrical engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in solid-state physics from Brown University. He works for the NASA John Glenn Research Center, where he does research on Mars missions, solar energy[1], and advanced concepts for interstellar propulsion. He holds seven patents [2], and has published more than 300 scientific papers[3] in the fields of astronautics and photovoltaics. He was a member of the Rover team on the Mars Pathfinder mission, and is a member of the science team on the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission. In 2005-2006, he was the Ronald E. McNair Visiting Professor of Astronautics at MIT."

How history repeats itself.

CC.

A question (1)

Mylakovich (1101285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144293)

People are saying that skin is fairly airtight. So what if you somehow found yourself in space without any kind of suit, and you had an open wound or deep cut on your arm or something, what would the effect be?

Umm... pressure? Fluids? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144317)

Could someone tell me why the blood should not boil immediately due to zero atmospheric pressure but having essentially body temperature? I could imagine this might be an issue, at least for veins close to the skin, or in areas less protected by "dead" skin, like eyes and mouth.

So 'Outland' was baloney? (1)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144327)

In 'Outland' (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082869/) de-pressurization meant instant death through rapid expansion/explosion. Movies, eh?

Floating Act (1)

nevermore94 (789194) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144353)

Not new to anime either. In the episode Heavy Metal Queen of Cowboy Bebop; Spike performed his "floating act" ejecting from his ship and using gun shots to get him back to V.T.'s ship.

Wow .. this is news ? (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144381)

And for nerds ?


Any nerd should know by now that spectacular explosive decompression of the human body in a vacuum is a Hollywood special effect that has nothing do with reality. If you didn't know that ... you're not a nerd. Turn in any nerd or geek license you may have in your possession.

Well then... (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144433)

*MAYBE A SPOILER*

the movie was still inaccurate because in a part of the movie, a guy gets sucked into space and turns to ice in less than 30 seconds.

Don't they know about shrinkage? (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144435)

If it's as cold as I can't imagine it could be, then Don't they know about shrinkage?

Honestly how many male astronauts would put themselves through that?

It also happened in A Fall of Moondust bA C Clarke (1)

jmhowitt (212498) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144449)

One of the Planetary Federation ships is badly damaged when the Earth Government in the 'Fortress' on the Moon fire at it with a bolt of liquid metal. The ship is heading out of the solar system but they rendezvous with a passenger liner and a large number of people are ferried across into the liners cargo holds without suits. They are all made to take breathing exercises to flush their blood with oxygen and then they empty their lungs when the doors open so they are not ruptured. Some get sunburnt and one panics and is left outside.

Saliva boils! (3, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144517)

From TFA:

"One NASA test subject who survived a 1965 accident in which he was exposed to near-vacuum conditions felt the saliva on his tongue begin to boil before he lost consciousness after 14 seconds"

sounds like after a few seconds in empty space, things get painful and gross!

Wow, and TFA is wrong, too ! (3, Interesting)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#20144527)

At most, an astronaut without a suit would last about 15 seconds before losing conciousness from lack of oxygen. (That's how long it would take the body to use up the oxygen left in the blood.)

First piece of BS. No, your body doesn't use up the oxygen left in the blood in 15 seconds. In a vacuum (or, more broadly speaking, in any condition where the partial pressure of oxygen is lower in the lungs than in the blood), the gas exchange in the lungs is reversed - your blood will actually become deoxygenated while passing through your lungs. After 15 seconds, your brain will get hit by a blood supply that is pretty much completely deoxygenated - it's lights out then.

And then the part about air embolism - the pressure difference from going from the inside of a spacecraft (which is most likely pressurized at less than one atmosphere) to a vacuum is much lower than the pressure difference experienced by a scuba diver surfacing from a depth of, say, just 12 meters. "Vacuum" might sound nasty, but it's the pressure difference that is the problem here.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...