– If you were in space and had a space suit over your entire body except for your hand, what would it do to you?


I know space is a vacuum. However, if you were to be in space with a really tight seal around your body except for your hand, would that have any adverse effects on that part of your body?

In: Physics


Yep, you would. Space has no medium for heat transfer so your hand wouldn’t freeze immediately, but it would eventualy. The bigger concern would be decompression.

There’s a show on Netflix called Love, Death, and Robots. It’s a short story anthology series. The episode Helping Hand deals with this exactly.

Not only is it a vacuum in space, but it’s also really cold, so your hand would eventually freeze solid. If your suit trulywas and would stay completely sealed during the process of your hand freezing to death, then the rest of your body would be ok.

Interesting thing, NASA has developed essentially a spandex space suit, not airtight but allows compression so you can breathe and keeps pressure on the skin. This theoretically works just fine, as your skin provides a decent amount of protection. It’s been tested, but shelves. It had a normal space helmet, and needed to fit exactly or you would get big blood blisters where it didn’t.

I do recall reading somewhere that you can survive in space without a helmet (assuming the rest of you is in a protective suit) for around fifteen seconds. After that you pass out because you lose all the oxygen in your blood.
EDIT: Sorry, I realised I didn’t make it clear that shortly after you pass out you then die because your unprotected head is exposed to a freezing vacuum. You definitely die. I just thought it was intriguing that you could theoretically take off your helmet, snap a selfie, and then put your helmet back on. Although I can’t imagine it would do your skin any good. Plus, there’s no shielding from radiation.

An unprotected hand would last longer than fifteen seconds, but probably not that much longer.