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What would happen if you were to die in space?

by on March 6, 2014

What-would-happen-if-you-were-to-die-in-spaceDecomposition occurs mostly due to microbes digesting your body. Reactions not coming from other organisms are minor and slow compared to active consumption.

Microbes used to Earth conditions will not survive in space very long. Very cold, lots of radiation, no oxygen. They’ll be able to salvage a few joules and a few breaths from your body before you pass, but it won’t last them very long.

Now, there are extremophile bacteria that can survive radiation and low oxygen and crushing cold and all that. But, those won’t be the ones that are living under your nails. Also, they likely won’t have evolved to break down human flesh since human flesh doesn’t usually exist under such extreme conditions.

Here’s what will happen: Very quickly, the gases in your body will evacuate through your not-sealed orifices (mouth, nose), and your not-quite-sealed orifices (tear ducts, etc). Fluids will follow shortly afterwards, because in a vacuum they will quickly evaporate and then go the same way as gases. Your remains will therefore be a dehydrated mummy. We don’t think you’ll shrivel up because there won’t be air pressure to force you into a smaller configuration.

Your body will retain heat for a while because vacuum does not conduct heat very well. You will lose it mostly to black-body radiation (like what you see with infrared goggles). By the time you’re frozen, you’ll have already lost your water so there won’t be ice crystals or anything. Once you’re cold, non-bacterial decay will be slowed down as well.

So basically you’ll be preserved as a non-shriveled mummy. Spaaace mummyyyy!

After you become a space mummy you will eventually get ripped to shreds by space dust.

If your a huge space buff like us we recommend that you pick upĀ Space: A Visual Encyclopedia on Amazon.

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