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  • If you were exposed to the harsh depths of space,

  • you'd lose consciousness in 15 seconds,

  • and be dead within 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  • But what if you're wearing an advanced, powerful spacesuit?

  • Well, that would buy you about 6 hours before your oxygen runs out,

  • and then you'd still be dead.

  • Or would it just keep floating through space forever?

  • This is WHAT IF,

  • and here's what would happen if you died in space.

  • The human race has only lost 18 people in more than 50 years of space exploration.

  • But with upcoming plans for civilian space travel

  • and journeys to Mars,

  • odds are that we're going to be seeing a lot more space deaths.

  • So how would we hold a funeral in zero gravity?

  • And what complications would be involved?

  • Every time astronauts launch into space,

  • death is a genuine possibility.

  • They are essentially strapping themselves to giant rockets, after all.

  • But because astronauts have to be in top-notch health for a mission,

  • the odds of one of them dying on the International Space Station are pretty low;

  • so low that NASA doesn't even have an official policy for how to handle the situation.

  • According to former astronaut Chris Hadfield,

  • it would be up to the commander of the ISS to decide what to do.

  • The first problem at hand would be that there's nowhere to store the body,

  • space stations don't come with built-in morgues.

  • One solution would be to keep the body in a pressurized suit,

  • and move it somewhere cold;

  • dead bodies are biohazards

  • so you'd want to keep the bacteria as far away and contained as possible.

  • But what if you don't like the idea of sharing your quarters with a stiff?

  • Well, there are other solutions.

  • In 2005, a Swedish company proposed a system that essentially freeze dries bodies,

  • and breaks them up into tiny pieces of frozen tissue, kind of like a cremation.

  • This would take up far less space,

  • eliminate the whole biohazard threat,

  • and allow for an easier return to Earth.

  • If you don't happen to have any liquid nitrogen aboard the ship to do the freezing,

  • the ice cold temperature of space will do the trick.

  • Actually, now that we mention it,

  • could the most obvious solution have been staring us in the face this whole time?

  • Sailors used to bury their dead at sea,

  • so couldn't astronauts do the same and send their dead off into space?

  • Theoretically yes, but space is a little more complicated than the sea.

  • Unless you strapped a mini rocket to the deceased,

  • they would end up following the trajectory of the spacecraft from which they were ejected.

  • And if you did that with more than one person,

  • it would make for an unpleasant journey when you decided to turn back home.

  • Okay so maybe that's not the best option,

  • so what if we waited until we reached our destination?

  • We bury people on Earth, so surely we can do the same thing on other planets, right?

  • Well, the digging would be a little different, but that wouldn't be our biggest problem.

  • Human bodies, especially the non-living variety,

  • are full of Earthly microbes and bacteria

  • that would contaminate any potentially habitable locale.

  • Even the spacecrafts exploring Mars

  • have to be repeatedly cleaned and sanitized

  • to protect the alien planet from Earthly bugs;

  • so the only surefire way to safely dispose of a body there

  • would be through cremation.

  • I hope this hasn't ruined the majesty of space travel for you but

  • it's a reality we have to consider as we move further into the age of space exploration.

  • Maybe next time we'll focus on something a little more upbeat,

  • like if cats' hair never stopped growing,

  • that's a topic for another WHAT IF.

If you were exposed to the harsh depths of space,


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B1 中級

如果你死在太空中怎麼辦? (What If You Died in Space?)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日