Ask Ethan #77: Humans in the vacuum of space (Synopsis)

Ask Ethan #77: Humans in the vacuum of space (Synopsis)

“A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with.” –Tennessee Williams

The depiction of dying in space — by exposure to its terrifying vacuum — is incredibly varied, from freezing to swelling and bulging to simply exploding.

Image credit: Mike Tyson Mysteries / Adult Swim. Uh oh, looks like I killed another astronaut!
Image credit: Mike Tyson Mysteries / Adult Swim. Uh oh, looks like I killed another astronaut!

For this week’s Ask Ethan, we take on the question of Kerrie Pinkney, who wants to know:

[W]ill you explode if exposed to the vacuum of space? I’ve gone down the “water boils in a vacuum then freezes” road, others have gone down the “tried it on a dog and it lived” approach. The movie Gravity shows buddy lifting his helmet and instantly freezing so… how does it work, Ethan?

So, who’s got it right?

Image credit: Post of Soviet Union.
Image credit: Post of Soviet Union.

Come and find out what happens to the human body in the vacuum of space on this week’s Ask Ethan!