Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 15:06:00 -0800 (PST)

Author: Mike Andersson

Subject: Exposure to Vacuum


The general consensus of the knowledgeable people on the ""
hierarchy is that an astronaut exposed to vacuum would remain usefully
concious for approximately 10-15 seconds, with death due to hypoxia
resulting within ~1 minute. This is assuming that no effort was made to
hold one's breath, 'cause that would result in burst lungs.

One would not "explode" since skin is essentially high-grade leather,
and can hold quite a bit of pressure, although an educated guess is that
there would be a massive all-over hematoma (bruise), due to burst
subdermal capillaries.

Ah, here we go: .

One of the early Soviet space launches developed a leak before re-entry,
but when the capsule landed, the occupants _looked_ OK, so CPR was

--Mike Andersson
University of Washington Physics Department
Freshman Labs Instructional Support