In the next few decades, space exploration will inevitably achieve many breakthroughs, such as sending more humans into Earth orbit and even more distant universes. The private space travel industry is also making progress, with Elon Musk and Richard Branson being the leaders in private space exploration. Professional astronauts will also continue to land on the International Space Station for scientific research. By the 2040s, human colonists are likely to embark on a long journey to Mars.
But with the advent of opportunities, opportunities for disasters will increase. In the 20th century space exploration process, 18 people lost their lives. As humans conduct more and more frequent space adventures, this number will gradually increase. By convention, NASA will almost never use health problems or older people to become astronauts. How does the most likely casualty in space travel happen?
According to Chris Hardfield, the former commander of the International Space Station, spacewalking may be one of the potential dangers. Spacewalk is more accurately a floating state of an astronaut in a weight-loss environment outside the spacecraft. Tiny meteorites can crush astronauts’ protective clothing, which can cause them to lose oxygen supply and be exposed to extreme temperatures.
In just 10 seconds, the water in their skin and blood will evaporate, and their bodies will be filled with gas. The dissolved nitrogen around the skin creates bubbles, which causes the astronaut to expand to twice as large as a balloon. Within 15 seconds, they will lose consciousness. Within 30 seconds, their lungs will collapse and they will be paralyzed. Before their bodies freeze, suffocation or decompression can cause them to lose their lives.
According to reports, NASA has no official regulations on the handling of dead bodies. But Hadfield said that the training of the International Space Station mentioned this possibility. He explained that astronauts must treat the bodies of the victims as a biological hazard and understand how to store them, because the space station is really not prepared for such a place. To solve these two problems, the commander is likely to recommend keeping the body in a sealed spacesuit and then placing it in a cold place, such as a garbage storage area, to minimize odour.
And NASA also admits that this treatment does not sound like respect for the deceased. NASA has also explored the business of space corpse processing, and one of the proposals is to freeze the body using liquid nitrogen (or vacuum in space), so that the body will break down into frozen tissue fragments, and the space occupied by it will Greatly reduced. So why not spray the bodies of the victims into space like the 1982 movie Star Trek 2: Khan’s Wrath?
If the bodies are sprayed into space but no engine changes their orbit, they are likely to fall into the wake of the spacecraft. If many people die on long-distance travel, this practice will form a terrible “burial team.” Even if the security landed on another planet, the astronauts had no choice. For example, on Mars, cremation is very necessary, because it can eliminate any bacteria from the earth on the body.
Standardized corpses are treated in the same way as most of the things we do on Earth, and it may take a long time for death in space to become very solemn and dignified.