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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: Kristopher on July 16, 2010, 09:53:34 pm

Title: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Kristopher on July 16, 2010, 09:53:34 pm
Ermmm ... onel danger involved in opening his suit to get the communication device out is a chance of a case of the bends. This would be the equivalent of a crash ascent from 33 feet ... not a good idea, but not horribly dangerous. You may want to review the pod bay scene in "2001, a Space Odyssey" for an accurate depiction of such an emergency.

His head won't explode, and his lungs will be fine provided he empties them and continually tries to exhale while his suit is opened. Cold won't get to him, as vacuum is a pretty damned good insulator ... as long as he doesn't touch objects that have been in shadow for a long period of time, he won't freeze.

Another danger is taking too long to get the device out and losing consciousness from lack of oxygen while stressed ... if he doesn't trust his partner to suit him back up in that event, he might be hesitant to do it. Another one is keeping air in lungs. Any amount of breath-holding will result in burst aevoli and foam in the blood. Bad news that.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: SandySandfort on July 16, 2010, 10:15:51 pm
Ermmm ... onel danger involved in opening his suit to get the communication device out is a chance of a case of the bends...

How about the danger of not being able to close his suit? The dangers clearly outweigh the benefits. Space is vast. Even if they had comms, the chances of anyone being close enough to get to them in time is very small. Compared that to the certainty of dying if the suit cannot be closed.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: wdg3rd on July 17, 2010, 12:46:18 am
Ermmm ... onel danger involved in opening his suit to get the communication device out is a chance of a case of the bends. This would be the equivalent of a crash ascent from 33 feet ... not a good idea, but not horribly dangerous. You may want to review the pod bay scene in "2001, a Space Odyssey" for an accurate depiction of such an emergency.

The difference between two atmospheres of pressure (the 33-foot ascent you mention) and one atmosphere of pressure and between one and zero are not the same.  It's not a linear relationship, plus there can be phase changes.  Boyle early on realized that Boyle's law is not constant.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: J Thomas on July 17, 2010, 08:44:40 am
Ermmm ... onel danger involved in opening his suit to get the communication device out is a chance of a case of the bends...

How about the danger of not being able to close his suit? The dangers clearly outweigh the benefits. Space is vast. Even if they had comms, the chances of anyone being close enough to get to them in time is very small. Compared that to the certainty of dying if the suit cannot be closed.

It looks to me like something to try if they can't find anything better.

They are assuming that their opponents want them to die. There's always the possibility that the bad guys will show up and say "See, we could have killed you but if you give your word you'll do nothing against us then we'll rescue you". Not something I'd want to depend on....

If they can't find any better plan, he could open his suit and try to survived, and even if he dies the other guy can use the comm. It's a chance to get their story out and maybe cause trouble for their killers, even if nobody is close enough to rescue either one of them.

I'd sure look hard for a better plan first, though.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Kristopher on July 17, 2010, 11:24:43 am
How about the danger of not being able to close his suit? The dangers clearly outweigh the benefits. Space is vast. Even if they had comms, the chances of anyone being close enough to get to them in time is very small. Compared that to the certainty of dying if the suit cannot be closed.

Mentioned that in the last paragraph of my post. He's gotta trust his partner a lot to try it.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Kristopher on July 17, 2010, 11:30:04 am
Ermmm ... onel danger involved in opening his suit to get the communication device out is a chance of a case of the bends. This would be the equivalent of a crash ascent from 33 feet ... not a good idea, but not horribly dangerous. You may want to review the pod bay scene in "2001, a Space Odyssey" for an accurate depiction of such an emergency.

The difference between two atmospheres of pressure (the 33-foot ascent you mention) and one atmosphere of pressure and between one and zero are not the same.  It's not a linear relationship, plus there can be phase changes.  Boyle early on realized that Boyle's law is not constant.


Pulmonary circulatory system air bubbles from incompletely deflated lungs is a bigger danger here ... which will kill fast if, say, a face plate was ruptured by complete surprise. I think this is survivable, IF everyone does everything exactly right.

This has been done before ... the cosmonaut who did the first tethered space walk had to crack the seal on one of his gauntlets to deflate his suit in order to re-enter the capsule:
http://www.aerospaceguide.net/humansinspace/voskhod.html
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Rocketman on July 17, 2010, 01:09:27 pm
They're in a tough spot no doubt.  The military always teaches you that in an emergency situation you look at what you have to figure out a way to solve the problem.  If Bert can fit inside the mass driver and Ernie can cover the openings with a rock maybe then he can get into his suit and make an emergency call.  That's what I would try to do.  

Opps department:  Looks like I reversed Burt and Ernie names.  My bad!   ;D
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: ZeissIkon on July 17, 2010, 02:09:31 pm
Seems to me I recall the belter suits have a lot of duration -- another option might be to take a nap (everything always looks better when you're not dog tired), finish digging, and see if there's something useful to be done when they know what the mascon is.  Failing that, dismount the mass driver, bag up a lot of rocks, and ride the driver home...
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Bob G on July 18, 2010, 11:04:28 am
Also, why assume one atmosphere of pressure? A lower pressure (with an oxygen 'enriched' gas mixture) would allow for lighter construction due to less stress. Also lower incidence of physiological pressure differential problems.

Of course, there would be trade-offs. (Apollo 10, anyone?)
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: enemyofthestate on July 25, 2010, 06:09:57 am
Also, why assume one atmosphere of pressure? A lower pressure (with an oxygen 'enriched' gas mixture) would allow for lighter construction due to less stress. Also lower incidence of physiological pressure differential problems.
Comic book space suits almost always seem to assume an operating pressure of close to cabin pressure -- probably to avoid the problem of transitioning between a shirtsleeve environment to the suit pressure.  A space suit providing a pure O2 environment at 4.3 psi (would requires a pre-breathe of pure O2 for about four hours before sealing the suit if the cabin is at 14.7 psi.  If the cabin pressure is 10 psi this can be cut to 30 minutes.  After sealing the suit it takes another 30 to 40 minutes to lower the suit pressure to the final operating pressure.

Here is  NASA publication on EVA.
http://msis.jsc.nasa.gov/sections/section14.htm

Quote
Of course, there would be trade-offs. (Apollo 10, anyone?)
????  I donlt recall any problem on Apollo 10
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Brugle on July 25, 2010, 11:06:45 am
Of course, there would be trade-offs. (Apollo 10, anyone?)
????  I donlt recall any problem on Apollo 10
I suspect Bob G meant to refer to Apollo 1.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Rocketman on July 25, 2010, 04:02:17 pm
I know.  But I was assuming that he was talking about Apollo 13
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Bob G on July 25, 2010, 07:38:07 pm
Sorry, brain fart. I meant Apollo 1.

R.I.P. Chaffee, Grissom, & White.

Victims of GovThink.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: terry_freeman on July 25, 2010, 07:40:22 pm
You need an airlock to transition between "cabin pressure" and "vacuum", so why not transition between "cabin" and "suit" pressure? What are the physiological constraints on air pressure? Some athletes train in "high altitude" chambers. People who spend extended periods at high altitude, without acclimation, experience difficulties.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: OPossumTX on July 30, 2010, 02:07:58 pm
Another good reason to run less than atmospheric in a suit is joint stiffness.  The lower the pressure differential inside to outside, the easier the joints including the gloves are to move. 

Still anohther reason is the earlier mentioned decompression risk.  If the pressure diferential, interior to outside of the suit, is low it stands to reason that there is less expansion of the disolved gasses in the subject's body so less probability of "the bends" when decompression does occurr.

Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: terry_freeman on August 02, 2010, 12:45:17 pm
In the book Kings of the High Frontier, the author (or the characters therein) made the claim that space suits do not need fancy expansion joints and whatnot; that a sort of rubberized lycra suit topped by a helmet would do the job with far less complexity and expense.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: SandySandfort on August 02, 2010, 03:34:29 pm
In the book Kings of the High Frontier, the author (or the characters therein) made the claim that space suits do not need fancy expansion joints and whatnot; that a sort of rubberized lycra suit topped by a helmet would do the job with far less complexity and expense.

See Drexler's Engines of Creation, for a full description:

http://www.nano.ir/nano_world/famous_people_desc/publication/ENGINS%20OF%20CREATION.pdf
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: wdg3rd on August 02, 2010, 11:03:00 pm
In the book Kings of the High Frontier, the author (or the characters therein) made the claim that space suits do not need fancy expansion joints and whatnot; that a sort of rubberized lycra suit topped by a helmet would do the job with far less complexity and expense.

Vic has never tested such suits in vacuum.  Nobody else has either.  NASA stands in the way.  (A major point in the novel).  I _think_ the suits Vic describes would work, but I don't own a test lab for that.  Hell, I don't even have enough of a lab to test the chances of winning in Three-Card Monte (though I suspect they're slim unless you're the dealer, just like testing space technology sucks if you're not butt-buddy to NASA).
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: quadibloc on August 02, 2010, 11:16:59 pm
that a sort of rubberized lycra suit topped by a helmet would do the job with far less complexity and expense.
I remember that was the sort of space suit that women were often depicted as wearing on science-fiction magazine covers, and at the time it was claimed that this was clearly and obviously unrealistic.

In fact, though, it indeed makes sense that a skin-tight suit wouldn't need expansion joints. It would just have to be strong enough to exert pressure on the astronaut's body sufficient to match the pressure differential.

In that case, I think I know what the problem is. It is entirely possible, at least with a pure oxygen atmosphere at something like 2.5 psi, to make a space suit of that type which would work.

It's putting it on and taking it off that would approach impossibility.

If suitable zippers could be put on the suit in sufficient quantity without compromising its airtight seal, though, taking it off would become trivial.

Ah. Add belts to the suit. Belts that are tightened with turnbuckles, in order to achieve the necessary level of tension in the suit fabric for it to apply the needed pressure - thereby achieving the design shape of the suit, at which point the zippers could be closed.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: J Thomas on August 03, 2010, 01:02:02 am

In fact, though, it indeed makes sense that a skin-tight suit wouldn't need expansion joints. It would just have to be strong enough to exert pressure on the astronaut's body sufficient to match the pressure differential.

It has to stretch at the joints, just like a fetish latex suit does. That means it takes extra muscle to move it out of the default position. The default might as well be halfway through the range of motion.

Quote
In that case, I think I know what the problem is. It is entirely possible, at least with a pure oxygen atmosphere at something like 2.5 psi, to make a space suit of that type which would work.

It's putting it on and taking it off that would approach impossibility.

You want it to be skintight, don't you? Spray it on, and then cut it off. Of course, it isn't ideal to have it release fumes while it dries that have to be removed from the air. Maybe find something that self-cures like epoxy?

Well, but it doesn't recycle, so you have to keep getting new space-suit tanks from terra. Maybe find a way to extract it from a plant, and have the suit material be biodegradable? Then you can keep growing new suits without needing importado.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: quadibloc on August 03, 2010, 04:28:25 am
You want it to be skintight, don't you? Spray it on, and then cut it off.
The big issue is that the whole suit has to be tight - that is, when you are wearing it, the suit is stretched, so that it is exerting a pressure on your body.

If the compound that you spray on is formulated just right, I suppose it could shrink as it dries, so that it is forced to stretch.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: dough560 on August 08, 2010, 10:37:46 pm
Why not apply nano-tech to the suit material and seals?  The suit could be self adjusting.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: SandySandfort on August 09, 2010, 08:37:12 am
Why not apply nano-tech to the suit material and seals?  The suit could be self adjusting.

There you go. Drexler imagined just that in Engines of Creation. Here's that URL again:

http://www.nano.ir/nano_world/famous_people_desc/publication/ENGINS%20OF%20CREATION.pdf
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: wdg3rd on August 12, 2010, 12:42:48 am
Why not apply nano-tech to the suit material and seals?  The suit could be self adjusting.

There you go. Drexler imagined just that in Engines of Creation. Here's that URL again:

http://www.nano.ir/nano_world/famous_people_desc/publication/ENGINS%20OF%20CREATION.pdf

Some of these kids think us old guys never read what they (if they've read enough) think are the classics.

They also don't seem to realize that some of us know the authors of those "classics".  All of us being old guys and stuff.  (Eric is a month older than I am).

What, kids, you think Eric Drexler is hanging around at middle schools?  Aside from the local ignorance level, he'd get arrested and the last time I checked, he's not into children, aside from the chance of teaching them minor stuff like math, chemistry and physics.  The same  shit I'd like you little bastards to learn.  Or at least you young fucks should read some actual hard science fiction rather than fairy fantasy.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: terry_freeman on August 12, 2010, 04:06:02 am
One of my beefs is that it is terribly difficult to find "hard" SF. It's all thud and blunder nowadays.
Title: Hard sf
Post by: robryk on August 12, 2010, 04:52:37 am
It isn't as hard as one could think. Books by Hal Clement appear in many libraries (unfortunately, some of his short stories were published only in a magazine).
Title: Re: Hard sf
Post by: Brugle on August 12, 2010, 07:47:24 am
It isn't as hard as one could think. Books by Hal Clement appear in many libraries (unfortunately, some of his short stories were published only in a magazine).
Unless some unknown work is discovered and published posthumously, there won't be any more Clement stories.  I enjoy rereading, but reading decent hard SF for the first time is much better.
Title: Re: Hard sf
Post by: wdg3rd on August 13, 2010, 12:45:17 am
It isn't as hard as one could think. Books by Hal Clement appear in many libraries (unfortunately, some of his short stories were published only in a magazine).
Unless some unknown work is discovered and published posthumously, there won't be any more Clement stories.  I enjoy rereading, but reading decent hard SF for the first time is much better.


Chances are you missed some of his shorter works published in the magazines (I know I did) and never anthologized.   And it'll take me longer than the lifespan any actuary grants me (I'm 55 and nobody with my Y-chromosome has had a 56th birthday in recorded history) to go through the the collection of my first wife's late husband, but I'll keep trying).
Title: Re: Hard sf
Post by: J Thomas on August 13, 2010, 02:33:08 am
It isn't as hard as one could think. Books by Hal Clement appear in many libraries (unfortunately, some of his short stories were published only in a magazine).

Sure, but it's hard to find new hard science fiction. Most younger readers don't know much science and don't care. Hard to blame them when the science itself is so hard to understand. And now there's a big market for so-called science fiction among older readers who don't care about the science.

Hard science fiction readers are an aging demographic that's a smaller slice of the market every year.

Similarly, it gets harder to find good poetry and harder to make a living as a poet.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Bob G on August 16, 2010, 10:18:04 pm
If suitable zippers could be put on the suit in sufficient quantity without compromising its airtight seal, though, taking it off would become trivial.

Ah. Add belts to the suit. Belts that are tightened with turnbuckles, in order to achieve the necessary level of tension in the suit fabric for it to apply the needed pressure - thereby achieving the design shape of the suit, at which point the zippers could be closed.

While I was working on Kwajalein as an ALSE (Aviation Life Support Equipment) tech., one of the ballistic missile tests shot at us used an RB-57 as a sensor platform. The crew of said aircraft had to wear, in effect, space suits because of the altitude at which they flew. Since their support team used my shop to do their maintenance, I got 'checked out' on doing a spacesuit pre-flight inspection. (Suits were made by David Clark, BTW.) The suits were sized using laces and sealed with zippers.

Dealing with the LOX was a bit of a pain in the rear.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: BMeph on August 24, 2010, 09:38:30 am

If suitable zippers could be put on the suit in sufficient quantity without compromising its airtight seal, though, taking it off would become trivial.

Ah. Add belts to the suit. Belts that are tightened with turnbuckles, in order to achieve the necessary level of tension in the suit fabric for it to apply the needed pressure - thereby achieving the design shape of the suit, at which point the zippers could be closed.
While I was working on Kwajalein as an ALSE (Aviation Life Support Equipment) tech., one of the ballistic missile tests shot at us used an RB-57 as a sensor platform. The crew of said aircraft had to wear, in effect, space suits because of the altitude at which they flew. Since their support team used my shop to do their maintenance, I got 'checked out' on doing a spacesuit pre-flight inspection. (Suits were made by David Clark, BTW.) The suits were sized using laces and sealed with zippers.

Dealing with the LOX was a bit of a pain in the rear.

I'm hoping that's just a turn of phrase, and not a literal reference to the...er, access port.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: dough560 on August 28, 2010, 02:51:18 am
Many readers don't know the difference between fiction based on the hard sciences or fantasy.  Those who aren't sure which is which, are too lazy to think their way through.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: J Thomas on August 28, 2010, 08:22:09 am
Many readers don't know the difference between fiction based on the hard sciences or fantasy.  Those who aren't sure which is which, are too lazy to think their way through.

The trouble is that the distinction has gotten way, way blurred.

Hard science fiction from the 1930's is not hard science fiction any more.
Most hard science fiction from the 1950's is not hard science fiction any more.
A whole lot of hard science fiction from the 1970's is not hard science fiction any more.

What's hard science fiction now? Should all the stories be limited to very slow travel in one solar system, plus possibly ruinously-expensive slow generation ships headed to nearby stars? Or will we say "wormholes" and use that to make it hard science fiction? Or throw in something about FTL drives?

Quantum mechanics does not make intuitive sense. So physics no longer makes intuitive sense. If somebody says something that makes no sense, it could be true. Vice versa, when Townes first got the idea for the maser, various prestigious physicists told him it was impossible because of quantum mechanics. After he did it, they figured out their mistakes and saw that it fit quantum mechanics after all.

I found that various things in probability theory are kind of unintuitive. It's easy to make some simple slip and think you're measuring one thing when really you're measuring something else. The Monty Hall problem is one example -- you get different results depending on minor difference in the way the problem is stated, and usually those details are left unstated. And quantum mechanics is heavily polluted with probabilities. So, does Bell's theorem have the unintuitive results that people want to say it does? Maybe. Maybe not. You can use it in a story and in ten years it might be like you used phlogiston or copy-choice.

Or look at the BlackLight Power guys. Revolutionary stuff if it's right. But they look like scam artists. How would you find out if it's right? Experimental results, which have not yet been done by anybody who isn't in their employ and who isn't being sued for saying it doesn't work. Is it hard science fiction if you use their results?

Hard science fiction is mostly a social phenomenon. It's science fiction that fits the preconceptions of guys who got an engineering degree 20 to 40 years ago.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: terry_freeman on August 28, 2010, 10:01:51 am
Hard SF need not be 100% reliable science - in fact, it often does have elements of speculation, such as travel through wormholes or other means of FTL travel. However, it should not permitted to degenerate to the level of "anything can happen, it's all magic and incantations" - which characterizes much of the thud and blunder school.

Once in a while, writers are surprised to discover their speculations becoming reality. Asimov wrote The Last Question in 1956, which predicted the miniaturization of computers - over very long time scales. Heinlein wrote about the use of vast libraries of computerized information, which must seem familiar to any user of google, wolfram alpha and wikipedia today.

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=price+of+gold
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: SandySandfort on August 28, 2010, 05:57:24 pm
Hate to interrupt Star Wars: The Troll Wars, with information about the original topic, but this info is very cool, very authoritative. These two sites discuss the effects of explosive decompression:

     http://www.geoffreylandis.com/vacuum.html

     http://www.geoffreylandis.com/ebullism.html
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: KBCraig on August 30, 2010, 01:25:00 am
Thanks for the links, Sandy. The data on time to unconsciousness seems counterintuitive, since the blood is still oxygenated and flowing, at least unless or until something interferes with the flow, or the oxygen in the blood supply is depleted.

The data seems perfectly in line with what we teach about responding to choke holds, though: once the blood supply to the brain is blocked, you have about 10 seconds to restore it, or you're toast.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Grashtel on September 01, 2010, 03:10:58 am
Thanks for the links, Sandy. The data on time to unconsciousness seems counterintuitive, since the blood is still oxygenated and flowing, at least unless or until something interferes with the flow, or the oxygen in the blood supply is depleted.
The thing is that the blood going to the brain is no longer oxygenated .  Once the lungs are "filled" with vacuum they pull the oxygen out of the blood passing through them (passive gas exchange works equally well either way) which then goes straight to the brain.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Sio on September 01, 2010, 09:24:13 am
He knows what pocket the comm is in, right?  Where the pocket opens?  Do they have patch kits for their suits, to repair minor damage?

Shut down suit pressure, or turn it way low.  Ignore the warning hooters.  Cut a small incision right over the pocket seal-rip or whatever.  Quickly fish out the comm, while the the other brother stands with a patch hovering ready over the cut.  Once the comm is out, slap on the patch.  Apply a bigger one over THAT patch.  Wait the necessary couple of minutes for the patch to cure, living on what's left of your suit air (it all wouldn't have gone out that little cut in that short time, just like a bullet hole in a plane doesn't depressurize the whole craft, that's a myth).  Then increase it slowly while watching the patch.  If it leaks, slap on more sealant.  If not, raise pressure to normal, connect your comm to your suit, and start yelling for help.  I doubt you'd die or suffer major injury from a small incision, that's why they have patch kits.  Otherwise, a small bit of damage would be instant death, and they wouldn't bother to have them, they'd be pointless.  I think, worst case, he'd have a hickey right under the incision, but I doubt he'd have that, since there'd be fabric between vacuum and the skin.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: J Thomas on September 01, 2010, 02:43:36 pm
Quickly fish out the comm, while the the other brother stands with a patch hovering ready over the cut.  Once the comm is out, slap on the patch.

I wondered about this approach. What do you get once you have the comm out in vacuum?

If you have an arrangement to do morse code with it then you can send a signal with your fingers. If you can type on the comm with a spacesuit on, then you can send text messages. If you need to talk into a microphone then getting the comm out of the suit is only half the problem. You have to put it back inside the helmet....
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Sio on September 02, 2010, 09:32:33 am
Quote
You have to put it back inside the helmet....

You don't have to get it into the helmet unless it's a voice comm that can only be used with a microphone.  Silly arrangement for a comm to be used in space, where you spend a large percentage of your time in vacuum, where your voice is useless, and you can't get anything near your mouth.  It'd be a poor design, something only a groundhog would carry.   Besides, this is a tanglenet comm, something that does voice, video, and computer net communications. It's more of a smartphone/iPad/modem than a walkie-talkie, if I get the concept right, and as such, it'd have multiple interface methods.  One such would be to plug it into different inputs, such as a video source, alternate microphones, comms, or computers to interface them to the Tanglenet.  It'd likely have something like a USB connector on it to do this, something fairly standardized.  Being able to plug the tanglenet comm into their suit comm from the outside would only make logical sense -- it would be the engineering feature that would make it usable to people who spend significant time in vacuum.

These people, unlike the bureaucrats from Earth, do not strike me as being illogical or stupid about space engineering practices.  And you don't get many second chances with the latter, so the dumb ones would get weeded out, and you'd end up with the smart engineering practices.  Mind you, that doesn't preclude being lazy or lacking foresight and simply forgetting to put the gadget in an outside suit pocket, or having the extra gold grams to buy a suit that has it as a built-in feature in the first place, or having it as a built in occipital implant system that you can't ever be without.  In those cases, hindsight is 20/20, and if you live long enough, you correct them.

Even my Earthly tri-band amateur radio handie-talkie has the necessary jacks for the mike and speaker to be routed elsewhere.  It could be plugged into a spacesuit without much trouble, if one had the necessary cable, and the suit had a matching jack.  For that matter, even my Android cell phone could be routed to a spacesuit through a remote cable.  What do you think a headset jack is FOR?  I'll grant, though, that neither one is space-hardened, though similar handie-talkies ARE used on the ISS on a regular basis, they typically are not exposed to vacuum and probably would not survive the experience.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: J Thomas on September 02, 2010, 09:56:34 am
Quote
You have to put it back inside the helmet....

You don't have to get it into the helmet unless it's a voice comm that can only be used with a microphone.

Sure, and there's no particular reason to put it inside a spacesuit where it isn't available. Or better to have a jack there too, so you can use it while it's inside your suit. And wouldn't it make sense to have a spacesuit design that lets you pull your arm out of the sleeve and scratch your back? Then you could do anything with stuff that's inside the suit that you can do by feel.

If it's useful in vacuum then maybe it's a mistake to make it inaccessible in the first place. I guess it could go either way.
Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: Oneil on September 04, 2010, 03:57:48 pm
It looks obvious opening a suit was a bad idea, low pressure or not, re-patch kit close at hand and luck on the brothers side.  Fact is, Ernie would have to loose all pressure in the contained atmosphere of the closed circuit re-breather system.  I didn't see a huge backpack PLSS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_Life_Support_System) hanging off of them with extra Liquid Oxygen to make up lost volume repressurizing a suit and still expect to have four more hours duration to await rescue.  So Ernie would be sacrificing himself to save Bert, even if help could be called to fly immediately.

And it looks like Bert answered the question on how they could talk thru the comm unit had they had gotten it out of the suit on page 513 (http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=513).

More fun on the survival without suit debate.. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_suit#Exposure_to_space_without_a_spacesuit


Title: Re: Why so frightened of vacuum?
Post by: KBCraig on September 07, 2010, 03:15:37 am
Thanks for the links, Sandy. The data on time to unconsciousness seems counterintuitive, since the blood is still oxygenated and flowing, at least unless or until something interferes with the flow, or the oxygen in the blood supply is depleted.
The thing is that the blood going to the brain is no longer oxygenated .  Once the lungs are "filled" with vacuum they pull the oxygen out of the blood passing through them (passive gas exchange works equally well either way) which then goes straight to the brain.

Excellent, and logical, explanation. Thank you.