What happens to you in space without a space suit? (NASA)
What happens to you in space without a space suit?
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Bad things happen, my friends. Lots of bad things.

Our bodies depend on Earth's atmosphere to survive. Not just for oxygen. The atmosphere protects us from ultraviolet radiation. It regulates temperatures. And it wraps us in a cocoon of lovely, lovely air pressure. In the vacuum of outer space, all that protection goes away. The most serious danger is asphyxiation. After about fifteen seconds, your body has used up all the oxygen in your blood, and your brain loses consciousness.

Now, you might be thinking - I can hold my breath for a minute! That might work underwater or under our atmosphere, but in outer space, there's no outside pressure. With no outside pressure air expands and can rupture the tissues in your lungs. Meanwhile, the water in your body turns into vapor beneath your skin, causing the mother of all bloating. Youll swell to about twice your normal size. Your body wont explode like you see in some movies, but you will be in a world of hurt.

After a few minutes, if the lack of oxygen hasn't killed you, the damage from depressurization will.

Outer space has other hazards - freezing temperatures, lethal radiation. But here's the good news you won't live long enough to have to worry about them. Despite all the dangers, if youre rescued within 60 seconds, you'd probably survive. You wouldnt be in good shape, but youd be alive. And you'll have first hand knowledge of why you never go to outer space, without dressing up in a nice looking space suit.

Critical thinking challenge: What does the atmosphere provide, in addition to oxygen, so we can survive?
 

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COMMENTS (59)
  • El9699
    5/23/2014 - 08:38 a.m.

    Why would anyone go into space without a space suit?But i did have this question before.So i was surprised to see what happens to someones body.

  • im23nolife
    5/23/2014 - 08:39 a.m.

    Like it said in the text it provides air pressure to keep your body in its shape. Also, it provides protection from the sun's radiation. Within the atmosphere is the only place that you can survive without a space suit so it's safe to say it provides inhabitable conditions,

  • cm10red
    5/23/2014 - 08:43 a.m.

    If they want to do an experiment on this, I wouldn't want to be the one. I wouldn't want to feel all this pain, and than be rescued, because I would probably be hurting for a long while after that. If they do an experiment on this, I feel bad for whoever is the person testing it. This is cool to know, though. I knew you would die, but I didn't know how you would die. This was interesting to learn.

  • Mark126
    5/23/2014 - 09:48 a.m.

    the atmosphere provides us with cover from danger and keeps our air in if the atmosphere didn't exist humans would not exist. nor would any oxygen associated life.

  • DominicK711
    5/23/2014 - 10:24 a.m.

    I think it is crazy that all that can happen. I thought that the only reason you had to wear a space suit was to provide oxygen. I didnt know space was that dangerous

  • Quay_Gucci_Sosa
    5/23/2014 - 10:26 a.m.

    I think it is crazy that all that can happen. I thought that the only reason you had to wear a space suit was to provide oxygen. I didnt know space was that dangerous

  • jesseM-1
    5/23/2014 - 10:27 a.m.

    This article is informing the reader on what happens when you go into space without a space suit. You can lose all the oxygen in your body and you could freeze to death, or swell up twice your size, and organs in your body will tear apart and collapse.

    I think this article is very interesting, because i've always wanted to know what really happens when you go into space without a suit. It's very weird to think about if that happened to you.

  • Samanthad5
    5/23/2014 - 10:30 a.m.

    Our bodies depend on Earth's atmosphere to survive. Not just for oxygen. The atmosphere protects us from ultraviolet radiation. It regulates temperatures. And it wraps us in a cocoon of lovely, lovely air pressure. In the vacuum of outer space, all that protection goes away. The most serious danger is asphyxiation. After about fifteen seconds, your body has used up all the oxygen in your blood, and your brain loses consciousness.. Outer space have other hazards - freezing temperarures, lethal raditation. But here's the good news - you won't live long enough to have to worry about them,.

  • escobar2550
    5/23/2014 - 10:32 a.m.

    Who:nasa
    What: they want to know what would happened to you in space
    Where: space
    ] When:it takes a few minutes
    Why: they want to know if there other ways
    How:work underwater

  • francesca12345
    5/23/2014 - 10:33 a.m.

    who: NASA
    what: What happens to you in space without a space suit
    where: space
    why: if the lack of oxygen hasn't killed you, the damage from depressurization will.
    how: you won't live long enough to have to worry about them. Despite all the dangers, if youre rescued within 60 seconds, you'd probably survive.

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