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Thread: No spacesuit on mars

  1. #1
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    No spacesuit on mars

    How would an astronaut die without his/her spacesuit while on mars/in space?
    Last edited by ErinBensen; 2019-Jul-27 at 06:37 AM. Reason: Additional question

  2. #2
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    Suffocation and boiling blood.

    https://youtu.be/VcocBi_j3hg

  3. #3
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    Presumably, you could suffocate while breathing out continuously (as more and more gas and then water vapour enters the lungs from the bloodstream).

  4. #4
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    Yes, the atmospheric pressure is sufficiently low everywhere on Mars we can treat it more or less as vacuum.
    Because there's no oyxgen, a person's lungs would reverse diffusion of that gas, moving it out of the blood and into the atmosphere. So you lose consciousness in an anoxic atmosphere very quickly - various experimental and theoretical results converge on a period of useful consciousness of about 10 seconds. Trying to hold your breath (or even being caught at the peak of a deep breath in) will result in a pressure gradient across the lung tissue that blows bilateral pneumothoraces and compresses the heart - so you'll faint almost immediately with two deflated lungs.
    Meanwhile, bubbles begin to form in the venous side of the circulation, accumulate in the right ventricle and pulmonary artery, and cause a "vapour lock" pump failure. This also occurs on a time scale of around 10 seconds, after which the heart continues to beat, repeatedly compressing the same volume of gas while it runs out of oxygen. This is called pulseless electrical activity (PEA), and while it persists repressurization will allow recovery from cardiac arrest.
    Somewhere between a minute-and-a-half and two minutes after the onset of PEA, the heart muscle becomes so hypoxic that asystole supervenes, and it's then difficult-to-impossible to effect resuscitation. Round about that time, irreversible brain damage will also be occuring - there's at least one case in the literature of someone spending "one to three minutes" at an ambient pressure below the Armstrong Limit (the threshold for water vapour formation in the circulation), and making a full neurological recover with the help of hyperbaric oxygen, but that's probably pretty close to the wire.

    There's actually quite a lot of theory and evidence telling us exactly what will happen when humans are totally or partially exposed to vacuum or near-vacuum. Most sources available on the internet get the physiology wrong, are apparently unaware of the evidence from experiment and accident, and are in places actively misleading. If anyone's interested in knowing more, I have written by far the most detailed and thorough review of the theory and evidence currently available on-line:
    Theory:
    https://oikofuge.com/human-exposure-to-vacuum-part-1/
    Evidence:
    https://oikofuge.com/human-exposure-to-vacuum-part-2/

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #5
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    Now, let us say this astronaut--who took off his helmet, collapses on the Martian soil and dies.

    What does this one-person body farm look like over time?

    A zone of life spilling out of the helmet onto the Martian surface--maybe a green spot?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Now, let us say this astronaut--who took off his helmet, collapses on the Martian soil and dies.

    What does this one-person body farm look like over time?

    A zone of life spilling out of the helmet onto the Martian surface--maybe a green spot?
    In the near-vacuum of Mars atmo, the water will be quickly lost. Anything that isn't lost will freeze.
    The ecosystem of flora inhabiting the dessicated corpse will rapidly follow suit.

  7. #7
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    Freeze-dried astronaut.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Freeze-dried astronaut.
    yup: in one of the old R.A.Heinlein's stories, future astronauts dry-cleaned their workwear by simply exposing it to the void outside for a minute



    (back then, i found irresistible his blending of future, alluring space science with mundane home science )

    Quote Originally Posted by John Clute
    his presentation of the future as a venue where people actually lived was innovative and definitive; his pre-eminence from 1940 to 1960 was both earned and unassailable. In a style which exuded assurance and savvy, his early writing blended slang, folk aphorism, technical jargon, clever understatement, apparent casualness, a concentration on people rather than gadgets, and a sense that the world described was real
    Last edited by Barabino; 2019-Jul-30 at 07:32 AM.

  9. #9
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    And then he started taking himself seriously.

    Grant Hutchison

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