Saturday , June 19 2021

“Devoured by the crew or sent into eternal orbit!” What can happen to the body of a person who dies in space?

About 21 people have died since the first man boarded a rocket and launched into space 60 years ago, and as space agencies prepare for their first human mission to Mars, it is likely that increase the number of deaths.

Astronauts heading to the red planet will spend at least seven months inside a capsule on a path humans have never taken, and if they survive the flight to the red planet, they will endure the harsh environment of Mars’ climate.

And when a crew member dies, it can be months or years before the body is returned to Earth, which raises a question: what about the body of a person who dies in space?

Experts have suggested several ways to dispose of the body, including “throwing a corpse” into a dark abyss or burying a person on Mars, but the burning of the remains should happen first so as not to contaminate the surface.

However, the worst case came with the space heroes running out of food, and the only food was the corpse of their dead companion.

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NASA image showing

As SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, “if you want to go to Mars, prepare for death.”

NASA has not established protocols to deal with death in space, but researchers around the world have launched this work to respectfully dispose of a dead astronaut, Popular Science reports.

If a crew member dies while on a voyage of more than 170 million kilometers to Mars, the object can be placed in a cold store or freeze-dried until the spacecraft comes in contact with Earth.

Freeze-drying in space is very different from what happens on Earth: the object will be placed outside the capsule and the space will cover it with ice.

But if staying cool isn’t an option, the surviving crew can send their companion’s body into space.

“Currently, there are no specific guidelines in planetary protection policy, either at the NASA or international level, that address the issue of ‘burying’ a dead astronaut by launching it into space,” said Catherine Conley, of the NASA Planetary Protection Office. .

Launching the object into space seems to be the easiest option, as it gets stuck in the path of the spaceship and stays exactly where it left off.

If many missions choose this method, future missiles destined for Mars will fly over a sea of ​​corpses.

And when astronauts reach Mars, they will face new challenges that threaten survival, one of which is radiation.

And the above data indicates that the red planet was exposed to 700 times the radiation to which the Earth was exposed.

Radiation can alter the cardiovascular system, damage the heart, harden the arteries, or destroy some cells in the lining of blood vessels, causing cardiovascular disease and possibly death.

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In this case, a burial on Mars would be necessary, but NASA has strict laws about the contamination of other planets with microbes from Earth.

“As for the removal of organic matter (including corpses) from Mars, we do not impose any restrictions while killing all the microbes on Earth, so cremation will be necessary,” said Conley of NASA. , a Popular Science.

However, not all dead astronauts are likely to be buried, but eaten so that others can survive.

It may sound barbaric, but experts expect what happened when a plane crashed in the Andes in 1972.

The passengers had no food or media, so they made the difficult decision to eat the bodies of the dead when the plane crashed in order to survive.

“There are two types of approaches,” said bioethicist Paul Wolpe: one says that while we owe the body a huge amount of respect, life is key, and if the only way to survive is by eating- ne the body, then it is reluctantly. acceptable and not desirable “.

Source: Daily Mail

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