What happens to the body if you die in space?
If something goes wrong during a mission to Mars or the Moon, what would happen to the astronaut’s body?
Since the beginning of the space exploration era, 18 people have died in the cosmos. With a return to the moon and missions to Mars, the tragic fate of cosmonauts may increase. But how long can a man live in space before he dies? What would happen to his body? Although NASA and other spatial agencies currently do not have an official protocol for these situations, there are several scenarios being studied. But, what happens to the body if you die in space? These are some of the key trainings.
Send to Earth
It is probably the most logical solution. If a cosmonaut dies, you can send him to Earth with the first load of supplies. This is only possible for some missions. Spaceships actually do not have the space needed to transport a corpse, not to mention the contamination of other astronauts, where the danger is too high. If we consider the trip to Mars, it would take at least 3 years for the body to return to Earth. Fortunately, astronauts reach the International Space Station (ISS) safely.
Conserved in space suits
If a micrometeoroid would hit an astronaut while walking in space, it would take 15 seconds for him to lose consciousness. 10 seconds from exposure to vacuum, would cause the blood and body water to evaporate. The lungs would erupt. At these moments, the body should be sent to the special room of the spaceship. The body should not be pulled out of the suit, in order to avoid the worst danger: the release of unpleasant smells or crew contamination and the environment where they stand. It should be conserved in rooms called airlocks until it is possible to send the body to Earth.
The body can be frozen or burnt
An alternative solution may be to burn the body directly to space. In 2005, NASA commissioned a study at a Swedish agency to handle ecological funerals. The technique envisions freezing the body and then burning it into small pieces of the frozen body. It also happens that the ash is then moved to Earth. In space, it is necessary to put the body in a bag, exposing it to the vacuum for one hour from a robotic arm that would then begin reducing the body weight. So by a body weighing 90 kg, you will get 22 kg of frozen ash.
Burial in space
The body of an astronaut can also be left in the space vacuum. International agreements have no clauses to prevent contamination of the space. But if you put a small rocket to the dead body, it will follow the orbit of the station and then go into the atmosphere but shattered. In the case of interplanetary travel, the risk is too long. Traveling to Mars will resemble more than a gloomy cemetery.
Burial on Mars
Burial of those troops of those who can’t make it on Mars, obviously, it would be a practice simpler than waiting for years for the return of bones to Earth. But this method would risk Mars contamination with bacteria from decomposed bodies. Burning the body and then burying the remains on this planet could be a more acceptable solution.