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What would happen inside a spacecraft with no power?

  1. Aug 18, 2010 #1
    Hey guys,

    A friend and I were wondering what would happen if you were trapped inside a spacecraft with no power to run any life support systems such as heating/cooling. Assume there is plenty of usable air.

    Would the spacecraft interior get hotter due to warmth generated by the human bodies because the heat does not transfer to the vacuum of space very well (via the craft walls)? Or would it get colder?

    Would it matter how well insulated the craft is? I imagine whether the sun is shining on you would make a fair difference.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2010 #2
    It depends where you are. Far out in space, you would lose heat fairly rapidly and die within an hour or two.
    Close to a star (where we are), one side of your ship would be fiercely hot and the other colder than you could imagine. That's why the recent failure of the ISS cooling system (actually it's a heat re-distribution system) was so dangerous.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  4. Aug 18, 2010 #3
    Interesting. Will check out the link, cheers.
  5. Aug 18, 2010 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Note that one of the more immediate dangers (along with suffocating) faced by the crew of Apollo 13 was the danger of freezing to death.
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