So, What Would It Be Like to Be In Space Unprotected?

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Humans can't survive out in the vacuum of space. At least not for long. But what would those 14 seconds or so be like? Not fun, it turns out!

Here's what'll happen, according to NASA:

At NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center (now renamed Johnson Space Center) we had a test subject accidentally exposed to a near vacuum (less than 1 psi) in an incident involving a leaking space suit in a vacuum chamber back in '65. He remained conscious for about 14 seconds, which is about the time it takes for O2 deprived blood to go from the lungs to the brain. The suit probably did not reach a hard vacuum, and we began repressurizing the chamber within 15 seconds. The subject regained consciousness at around 15,000 feet equivalent altitude. The subject later reported that he could feel and hear the air leaking out, and his last conscious memory was of the water on his tongue beginning to boil.


Well, shit. [NASA via Acts of Volition via Kottke]