How long could you survive in Space without a Spacesuit?
survive in Space without a Spacesuit Contrary to popular belief, and numerous Hollywood movies, you could survive unprotected in space for over a minute – provided you could get back to medical care immediately after. There are one or two things you need to think about if you found yourself in this situation:
- Breathe out: Just like an ascending scuba diver, if you hold your breath, the gas expanding in your lungs due to reduced pressure would cause them to rupture.
- Stay out of the sun: without protection, serious sunburn can ensue.
- You are going to swell up: In the vacuum of space, your body fluids will vaporise, causing tissues to swell up.
- You have ten seconds: Of useful consciousness that is. Due to oxygen depletion, you will also start to lose your vision after this time
NASA has limited experience of this phenomenon, but experience from training accidents suggests that injuries can be reversed. if astronauts are returned into a pressurized oxygen environment within 90 seconds.
Fast Fact: 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the few films to deal with vacuum exposure correctly. The film’s human protagonist, Dave, jumps out of a space pod to re-enter his spacecraft. At no point does his head explode.