Spacesuit testing goes wrong - man exposed to total vacuum after pressure hose disconnects - video

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Spacesuit testing goes wrong - man exposed to total vacuum after pressure hose disconnects - video

In the 1960's when they were developing the first spacesuits a malfunction during testing in a vacuum lab saw Jim LeBlanc exposed to the vacuum for a short time. This is the video of the event and shows the bravery of the men involved in developing the space program.

Jim LeBlanc was the test subject for a dangerous NASA test in 1965 designed to test if space suits could withstand a zero-pressure vacuum, just like there would be on the moon. But when the tube pressurizing his suit became disconnected, disaster almost struck.

"As I stumbled backwards, I could feel the saliva on my tongue starting to bubble just before I went unconscious and that's the last thing I remember," recalls LeBlanc.

"Essentially, he had no pressure on the outside of his body and that's a very unusual case to get," explains Cliff Hess, the supervising engineer. "There's very little in the medical literature about what happens when you have that. There's a lot of conjecture, that your fluids will boil."

Another report on the incident....
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.

 http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.go...



 http://www.huffingtonpost.c...

How long can a human live unprotected in space?

If you don't try to hold your breath, exposure to space for half a minute or so is unlikely to produce permanent injury. Holding your breath is likely to damage your lungs, something scuba divers have to watch out for when ascending, and you'll have eardrum trouble if your Eustachian tubes are badly plugged up, but theory predicts -- and animal experiments confirm -- that otherwise, exposure to vacuum causes no immediate injury. You do not explode. Your blood does not boil. You do not freeze. You do not instantly lose consciousness.

Various minor problems (sunburn, possibly "the bends", certainly some [mild, reversible, painless] swelling of skin and underlying tissue) start after ten seconds or so. At some point you lose consciousness from lack of oxygen. Injuries accumulate. After perhaps one or two minutes, you're dying. The limits are not really known.

You do not explode and your blood does not boil because of the containing effect of your skin and circulatory system. You do not instantly freeze because, although the space environment is typically very cold, heat does not transfer away from a body quickly. Loss of consciousness occurs only after the body has depleted the supply of oxygen in the blood. If your skin is exposed to direct sunlight without any protection from its intense ultraviolet radiation, you can get a very bad sunburn.

 http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.go...
By netchicken: posted on 25-8-2010








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