You might not speak perfect Klingon… But you’re probably familiar with science fiction. And you probably know why it’s called ‘fiction.’
What would really happen if you went into space without a suit? Would your blood boil? Would your eyes pop from their sockets? Would you explode?
What are the odds of survival? Vacuums are pretty neat, aren’t they? But do you know why?
Because they are able to create an internal air pressure that’s lower than the air pressure outside. Leaving a void that needs to be filled, generating suction, and pulling up all dirt and dust in its path.
The vacuum, then, can be considered a very small, very rudimentary simulation of outer space. And here’s why.
With an average of only a few hydrogen atoms per cubic meter, outer space lacks molecules, atmosphere, and pressure.
If you introduce molecules into an area without an atmsophere, they’ll spread out as much as possible in order to fill the void.
So what do you think would happen to your molecules in Outer Space?
For now, let’s ignore the lack of oxygen that would kill you in about 60 seconds. We’ll start with Ebullism instead.
Ebullism refers to the gas bubbles that form in bodily fluids in low environmental pressure.
At sea level, water boils at 100 degrees celsius (212 °F), but in space, the boiling point is below human body temperature.
That means your blood would boil, and so would your eyeballs, but no, you wouldn’t explode. Luckily, Human skin is much too stretchy for that… so you’d probably just swell up to twice your size. Returning to the oxygen issue, yours would be gone in about 15 seconds, causing you to pass out.
Looking to fill the deep void of space, the oxygen molecules in your body would escape very quickly.
And even if you tried holding your breath – they’d still find a way out.
Looking beyond your body for a moment, there’s also a giant ball of piping hot plasma that can cause you a lot of damage, even if it is 150 million kilometres away…
On Earth, we’ve got an atmosphere to protect us. But in outer space, there isn’t much that can help you against the Sun’s 15 million degree heat.
Not only would you suffer a wicked sunburn, but the UV rays and the radiation would cause your genes to mutate, and you’d almost certainly get cancer.
But there is an upshot! Despite the intense coldness of space – minus 270 degrees Celsius, to be precise – you wouldn’t freeze to death, since the vacuum of space would slow the heat transfer from your body.
It’s possible you could even survive this whole ordeal – as long as someone got you to safety within the first two minutes…
So if you’re someone who likes to take their time to learn, explore, and understand, maybe an unprotected space walk isn’t for you.
Maybe this is a mission best experienced from the comfort of your home computer, or the palm of your hand.
But now that you can take a selfie in space, what other crazy things will we get up to?[expand title=”Sources”]