How Long You Can Survive in Space Without a Suit

Getting blown out of an airlock and into space without a suit is not a pleasant experience. But if it were to happen, just how long could you survive?


In fact, longer than you probably think. While you'll be unconscious within 15 seconds, you might be able to cling on for as long as three minutes if you're somehow placed back into a pressurized space straight away after rescue. In this video, Today I Found Out explains why you can survive quite that long. [Today I Found Out]

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy says that if you hold a lungful of air you can survive in the total vacuum of space for about thirty seconds. However, it does go on to say that what with space being the mind-boggling size it is the chances of getting picked up by another ship within those thirty seconds are two to the power of two hundred and seventy-six thousand, seven hundred and nine to one against.

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 1979