A rather horrible accounting of what happens if an astronaut floats off into space

The good news: There's a contingency plan for this sort of thing, involving the use an emergency jetpack that can (hopefully) stabilize you and help you maneuver back to the ISS. The bad news: If the jetpack fails, you're pretty much screwed. And you've got 7.5 hours of breathable air to consume while you think about that fact.

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  1. I didn't read this article. I don't have to. If I floated away from the ISS by accident, yes, I would try everything to get back. But if everything failed and you told me that the last 7.5 hours of my life would be spent floating in orbit above this planet... I would simply say "thank you." The best way to die... ever.

    [An edit to explain a bit further:] If you love life, as I do, there is no good way to die. But some ways might be better than others, and there might be one that's better than all. There's a reason that I'm not an astronaut. Let us overlook the fact that I'm too old, out-of-shape, overweight, and don't have the right education. I'm not an astronaut because if they sent me up there, I'd never get any work done. I'd be forever looking out the window. And so, if I was drifting away with all hope of rescue gone, at least I'd have I'd have 7.5 hours to take in what Yuri Gagarin and so many after him got to see. Thank you.

  2. Best way indeed, unless you happen to be spinning uncontrollably. Are there any arm/leg/body movements you could make to slow your spin rate? Using just body motions, could you orient yourself in any position/direction?

  3. "Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don't have the balls to live in the real world."
    ~ Mary Shafer, NASA Dryden Research Center

  4. So, it wraps the astronaut in foam and aluminum foil then has him smash in to the stratosphere. Are you sure they're not just trying to make a baked potato and got the ingredients slightly wrong?

  5. Take heart. Someday there will be justice in this world, and the underprivileged and disadvantaged alike will enjoy the freedom to plummet to a cold, airless death in the vacuum of space.

    For lo: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the empty, lightless, vast, and uncaring gulf between the stars."
    --Matthew 5:3

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