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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)
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BotM Discussion - SCI-FI > Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Chapters 8 - 19 / ** SPOILERS **

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Greg | 998 comments This thread is for discussing approximately the second third of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, chapters 8 - 19.


message 2: by Greg (last edited Oct 06, 2016 01:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 998 comments [Chapter 8] It doesn't matter because this book is deliberately absurd and humorous, but I'm curious .. is it true that a human being could survive without a spacesuit in outer space for 30 seconds? Temperature and pressure would be a problem even without the lack of oxygen, right?

[Chapter 9] I love Adams' bizarre imaginative creation of the Infinite Improbability Drive - genius! So many opportunities for outlandish and entertaining developments going forward!

I'm in chaoter 11 now, but lunchtime is over. Back to work!


Mary Catelli | 1154 comments Temperature is not a problem. In space, you can lose heat only by radiation, not by conduction or convection. Remember that a thermos uses vacuum to keep hot things hot and cold things cold because it just doesn't let heat pass.

Pressure is more of a problem but you are kind of solid. It would be doable.


Milou | 486 comments Temperature and pressure are fine, it's the vacuum thats the problem. Youll shit your pants and can't hold your breath, which means you pass out within a few sec (the time it takes for blood to get to your brain, bout 8 sec i believe). All fluids that are exposed to the vacuum wilp start to boil (so your saliva and tears).


message 5: by Greg (last edited Oct 09, 2016 08:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 998 comments Milou wrote: "Temperature and pressure are fine, it's the vacuum thats the problem. Youll shit your pants and can't hold your breath, which means you pass out within a few sec (the time it takes for blood to get..."

Thanks Mary and Milou!! - vacuum, that's the word I was looking for. I googled survival in vacuum, and I guess it is possible ... if you don't hold your breath. Odd, no? The article says that the air in the lungs & airways will expand because of the extremely low pressure in the vacuum; so if you don't hold your breath you can actually survive longer.

Scientific American article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...

Yet another thing movies get wrong - I guess your head and eyes don't instantaneously explode ... though the tender gas exchange tissues in the lungs will rip if you hold your breath because of the expanding air.


Ryan Thanks to Milou's advice, if I ever find myself in the vacuum of space I will be ditching the trousers immediately.


Mary Catelli | 1154 comments Oh, yes, you won't survive long, but 30 seconds?


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