Have you thought about what would happen to our bodies if we died in space? We thought about it and wrote this process for you comparing it to the process on Earth…
What happens to our bodies if we die in space? In fact, a lot of people are thinking about the answer to that question. Because it’s getting easier and easier to travel in space and even stay in space for a while. For example, Blue Origin, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic made their first flights for space tourism purposes this year.
After billionaires, ultra-rich people and actors like William Shatner who went into space for‘tourism’purposes, their dreams of going into space are now even closer. Because this year, of course, the successive flights of companies will not be the last. Billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos say they want to reduce space tourism to lower costs.
What happens to our bodies when we die on Earth?
Since space travel for tourism purposes is now possible, we can reach periods in the coming years when we travel to other planets for holidays. There may even be a chance we could live on another planet. With these developments, we begin to think about what life and death will be like in space…
So, what happens if we die in space? For example, in the world, the human body goes through the process of decomposition after death. In 1247, song Ciwrote about this process in his book The Washing Away of Wrongs. According to the content of The Conversation,first the blood flow stops and the livor mortis begins. That is, as a result of gravity, blood accumulates, and the color of the skin turns purple-red.
Then the body cools(algor mortis)and the muscles harden due to the uncontrolled accumulation of calcium in the muscle fibers(rigor mortis). Then enzymes break down the cell walls. However, the bacteria in our intestines spread throughout the body, damaging soft tissues. The body begins to swell and later rot and smell.
While these decomposition processes are the internal process of our body, factors such as temperature, the presence of other living things, burial, burning or embalming of the body affect the process of decomposition.
If we die in space, what processes will our bodies go through?
Now, let’s go to death in space… Which of the processes mentioned above can occur on other planets? Different gravity on other planets will definitely affect the livor mortis stage. The absence of gravity as our bodies swim through space means that blood will not accumulate.
While the livor mortis process is affected by the space environment, rigor mortis will occur in our body in the spacesuit. Because there is no reason to stop the factors that will affect the hardening of the muscles. Meanwhile, rigor mortis disappears about 36 hours after death.
However, if we die in space, the bacteria in the gut will still damage our soft tissues. This causes decay, smell and release of gas to inflate the body. However, limited air sources significantly slow down the process as these bacteria need oxygen to function properly.
Microbes in the soil on Earth also help to decompish. However, other planetary environments that block microbial action, such as excessive dryness, increase the likelihood of preservation of soft tissue. So it slows down the decay.
Decomposition in extraterrestrial conditions also affects external factors such as skeletons. When we are alive, bone is a living substance consisting of both organic matter such as blood vessels and collagen, as well as inorganic substances of crystalline structure. Normally, the organic component decomposes. For example, the skeletons we see in museums are usually inorganic remains. But in high acidic soils on other planets, the opposite could happen. So the inorganic component can disappear, leaving only soft tissues.
Postmortem environmental factors in space
The decomposition of human remains on earth forms part of the ecosystem. For example, insectsare recycled by living organisms such as microbes and even plants. It shows a balanced system of our world. But if we die in space, that’s going to change.
In space, on other planets, at least as far as we know, insects and scavengers don’t live. Which means our bodies won’t be recycled. But the dry desert-like conditions of Marscan affect our bodies. Becausethere’s a chance that the tissues will dry up and maybe the sediment blown by the wind will erode the skeleton and cause damage.
In addition, temperature is an important factor in decomposition. For example, the temperature on the moon ranges from 120°C to -170°C. Therefore, objects face the possibility of change or freezing. At the end of the content, our bodies will probably be protected for longer than here, as there are probably not as many factors as in Earth conditions. Unlike Earth, however, sunlight on other planets will cause serious damage to our skin.
Our bodies can becomealiensin space. Besides, if we ever build bases on other planets, we might have to find funeral methods. In the meantime, let’s note that you have different opinions on this issue. The process, of course, will be influenced by the spacesuit, the planet or location where the body is located.