It’s the classic action or horror science fiction moment. Our hero or victim (depending on his or her role in the story–it could also be the villain) is trapped in an airlock or maybe the wall explodes, all the alarms sound, and suddenly all the air rushes out, sucking the hero/victim/villain into space, or at least threatening to. It’s a big dramatic moment when done right…but does science agree that it would happen?
In BW’s continuing quest to remind you realism is boring and you should go with believable, today’s filler video (don’t worry, this week is almost done and I’ll get back to actual commentary stuff soon) goes to Kyle Hill and The Facility to find out what would really happen if your space room suddenly decompressed into space outdoors.
Catch more of The Facility on Kyle Hill’s YouTube channel.
This whole hypothetical experiment (here’s the full math he used if you’re interested) is about the airlock, and if the air shoved itself into space like that it would be a waste of the air supply, unless this was one of those vessels that somehow generates it’s own internal air. In an airlock I would assume they stop pumping air into the little chamber before opening the doors to the outside. In addition to allowing someone to transition from one ship or station to another ship it’s also meant for someone to go outside to do external maintenance or repair or whatever else has to be done out there. Maybe someone wants to go space swimming, I don’t know. I’ve never been to space nor do I plan to. I’m scared of heights.
I wonder what if any changes would happen with a sudden or explosive decompression, if someone blasts the wall or window of the ship. I’ve heard that the sudden decompression of an airplane we also see in action movies may not be the same way Hollywood depicts it, but that’s nothing new for Hollywood. So unless it’s a small airlock and you’re right by the door there is no tension being stuck in one when the computer goes crazy and tries to space you. There’s your realism, folks. Interesting but not very exciting, is it?