Robert Frost trains astronauts for NASA. At Quora, he answered an interesting question about what happens when astronauts cry. It's certainly happened, Frost says. But it's pretty uncomfortable. Without the aid of gravity to send tears streaming down your face, they just ball up around your eyes

28 Responses to “You can cry in space, but it's not recommended”

  1. agonist says:

    I’d love to see a YouTube video of that. NASA should pipe some Smiths or Joy Division to the International Space Station and film the results.

  2. bcsizemo says:

    Cry for long enough and you’ll drown.

  3. SamSam says:

    A good companion piece, which you posted here a month ago: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/01/why-you-cant-cry-in-space/267147/

    Astronauts can, certainly, tear up — they’re human, after all. But in zero gravity, the tears themselves can’t flow downward in the way they do on Earth. The moisture generated has nowhere to go. Tears, Feustel put it, “don’t fall off of your eye … they kind of stay there.” NASA spacewalk officer Allison Bollinger, who oversaw Feustel’s EVA, confirmed this assessment. “They actually kind of conglomerate around your eyeball,” she said. 

  4. Punchcard says:

    As a result, standard NASA protocol is to have you cry with your face burried in a regulation teddy-bear.

  5. Jardine says:

    Hopefully none of them try playing To The Moon.

  6. silkox says:

    Curious: under what circumstances have astronauts cried in space?

  7. Edward says:

    Just one more danger you must deal with in space.

  8. . says:

    Is there a link that you don’t have to be logged into to read it? Everything is blurred out and it says you have to be logged in using facebook or google to view.

  9. peregrinus says:

    Imagine the space-terror situation where you find a companion who’s been weeping gently for half an hour.  They open their eyes to look at you, and there’s that total bug-eyed space monster lens-eye thing going on.

    Freak out</b)

    • dculberson says:

       As they turn to face you, their eyes slowly open.  A vast quantity of ichorous eye fluid comes streaming out, granted momentum by the turn, heading straight for you.  “NO!” you gasp, overcome with fear and feeling the bile rise in your throat.  You turn to run and realize that the capsule door has sealed itself behind you.  There is nowhere to run.  And in space, no one can hear you scream.

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