Hazards of Outer Space

There are a variety of environmental conditions in outer space that humans cannot survive. Temperatures on the moon, for example, range from +250° F. to —250° F. (+121° C. to —157° C.). These temperature extremes are experienced instantly, as one moves from sunlight into shade. Astronauts are exposed to cosmic rays and charged particles from the sun. There is little filtration of ultraviolet light, so they must also have significant protection for their eyes.

The absence of atmosphere means that there is neither oxygen for breathing nor atmospheric pressure to keep body tissues intact. Without at least a portion of the pressure of the Earth's atmosphere on the body, its flu ids begin to boil and migrate outward. When unprotected a person becomes unconscious in 15 seconds, with death quickly following.

Finally, micrometeoroids are small particle-like grains of sand that travel at great rates of speed. These pose the threat of suit puncture and the risk of loss of pressure.

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