What would happen to an astronaut if they floated off in space?
December 29, 2013 1:00 AM Subscribe
After watching Gravity and Europa Report I started to wonder what would happen to an astronaut's body if they floated off in space. Googling reveals information about how long they'd be able to breathe (~8 hours
) and that we have little jet packs
that can help people maneuver, but nothing about what would happen over thousands or millions of years, assuming there's no way to rescue the astronaut alive or dead and they drift off into outer space, say on an interplanetary mission and not near the Earth's atmosphere to be burned up.
posted by UltraFleece to Science & Nature (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I want to know stuff like:
- Would the body decompose inside the space suit, or is everything sterile in there? Would bacteria inside the body decompose it inside the suit?
- Would the body freeze solid, or cook?
- Would space debris floating around or radiation eventually disintegrate the suit over time?
- Would the sun turn the suit completely white like the flags on the moon
Basically, I want to know what we'd see if we stumbled across an astronaut who'd been long dead, floating around in space for a few thousand years.