Difference between revisions of "Out the airlock"

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===Oxygen===
 
===Oxygen===
 
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You won't pass out until you run out of oxygen (or faints preventatively, which is a mechanism that should not apply here).
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You won't pass out until you run out of oxygen.
  
  
At any time, you would have about a dozen seconds worth of oxygen in your bloodstream. Also, your mucles have a little buffered ATP so will temporarily function without immediate oxygen.
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At any time, you would have about a dozen seconds worth of oxygen in your bloodstream.
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Also, your muscles have a little buffered ATP so will temporarily function without immediate oxygen.
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You may have a little usable air in your lungs too, but this won't help much.
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At close to zero pressure, your lungs do not function (water 'boils' at a temperature lower than the human body, and your lung's membranes rely on that water being there that to function).
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Even if you had an oxygen hose pumping air into your lings, you could not absorb the oxygen.
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At low-to-no pressure, an oxygen mask would need to present high enough partial pressure for you to actually absorb any present oxygen.
  
You may have a little usable air in your lungs too - with footnotes, particularly that lungs at lower pressure do not function well at all, and in fact at zero zero pressure, water 'boils' at a temperature lower than the human body, and your lung's membranes rely on that water being there that to function. Even if you had an oxygen hose pumping air into your lings, you could not absorb the oxygen.
 
  
  
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In space it's terrible, because there's no no oxygen, you'll probably lose useful air,
 
In space it's terrible, because there's no no oxygen, you'll probably lose useful air,
 
and you probably won't regain consciousness by yourself.
 
and you probably won't regain consciousness by yourself.
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The body's reflexes are mostly good if you get it to a regular atmosphere.
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Even if you pass once you're there there, you are likely to recover -- assuming it's brief.
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And these are relevant because both are fairly usual for space suits.
 
And these are relevant because both are fairly usual for space suits.
 
But even so, there's not a large difference.
 
But even so, there's not a large difference.
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===Gases and ebullism===
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===Gases, expansion, and ebullism===
 
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The formation of bubbles in bodily fluids is called ebullism.
 
The formation of bubbles in bodily fluids is called ebullism.
  
Aside from what that gas is and does, it means swelling, on a scale somewhere between uncomfortable and very painful (similar to what divers call the bends), yet not the immediate problem survival-wise.
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Aside from what that gas is and does, it means swelling, on a scale somewhere between uncomfortable and very painful (similar to what divers call the bends), yet not the immediate problem survival-wise.  
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You would look something like a body builder (more than a balloon).
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Since many many of your tissues swell, the increased pressure may cause many things to hemorrage - lungs first because they are some of your more delicate tissue, because they contain gas already{{verify}}), and because while your skin is actually great at protecting you from large pressure differences, lungs are open to the air so not part of that protection.
 
Since many many of your tissues swell, the increased pressure may cause many things to hemorrage - lungs first because they are some of your more delicate tissue, because they contain gas already{{verify}}), and because while your skin is actually great at protecting you from large pressure differences, lungs are open to the air so not part of that protection.
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At the same time, swelling can reduce bloodflow in arteries enough to slow delivery of the oxygen you still have.  
 
At the same time, swelling can reduce bloodflow in arteries enough to slow delivery of the oxygen you still have.  
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This is why [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_counterpressure_suit counterpressure suits], as used in high altitude airplanes, are a thing high low enough that your lungs can still absorb oxygen, but high enough to make you swell: it means the blood will not only flow into your extremities, but also back.
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If not, it means your bloodflow, and thereby oxygen delivery, slows down to a near-halt.
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Hypoxia means your limbs but particularly brain doesn't work so well, lowering chances you can get yourself to safety.  If you are unconscious because of low oxygen, even less so and a brain starved of oxygen probably won't regain consciousness.  Your chances are a better when there's other people to care for you.
 
Hypoxia means your limbs but particularly brain doesn't work so well, lowering chances you can get yourself to safety.  If you are unconscious because of low oxygen, even less so and a brain starved of oxygen probably won't regain consciousness.  Your chances are a better when there's other people to care for you.
  
 
Still, low oxygen in general make it likely that tissues everywhere, but particularly the brain, are damaged unless there is safety and oxygen and specific care very soon.
 
Still, low oxygen in general make it likely that tissues everywhere, but particularly the brain, are damaged unless there is safety and oxygen and specific care very soon.
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Note that your blood does not boil - because while it's in your body, it's in a closed pressurized system.
  
  
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The swelling means extra pressure, but not enough for explosion or rapture, that's just a dramatic effect for the movies.
 
The swelling means extra pressure, but not enough for explosion or rapture, that's just a dramatic effect for the movies.
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That said, skin is effectively protecting your body, and makes your body fairly gas-tight,
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and is somewhat fine with being in space - it's what inside that isn't.
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{{comment|(which is why at low pressure, a compression suit (counteracting the expansion) goes a long way, and there are mechanical pressure suits for space[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_counterpressure_suit] that basically just add a bubble on the head, instead of an atmosphere around your whole body).}}
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So while it will be very uncomfortable, none of that is likely to kill you, and if exposure is quite short may not even cause permanent damage.
 
So while it will be very uncomfortable, none of that is likely to kill you, and if exposure is quite short may not even cause permanent damage.
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Revision as of 15:42, 5 June 2021

This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)

Oxygen

Nitrogen

Gases, expansion, and ebullism

Bloodflow

Skin

Freezing

Immediate damage

Heat

So what's the verdict?

What happens on the longer term?