Hi! Do you remember blogs? Well, this used to be one. Now it just serves as an archive for my multiple Twitter accounts.
There are several cases of humans surviving exposure to vacuum worth noting. In 1966 a technician at NASA Houston was decompressed to vacuum in a space-suit test accident. He lost consciousness in 12-15 seconds. When pressure was restored after about 30 seconds of exposure, he regained consciousness, with no apparent injury sustained.
Why is there still a debate?
I’m not convinced of the dangers of explosive decompression, either — it seems to me that, unless your ship actually explodes or you’re teleported into space, the loss of atmosphere would almost always be a wind (as the air escapes from whatever contains it) rather than a sudden decompression.
The best Earthly comparison is what happens to people who walk into a room containing a pure-nitrogen atmosphere. Such accidents happen occasionally in industry. Sudden loss of consciousness occurs within 10-15s, and death follows quickly. Stringent precautions have to be taken to prevent such accidents, because survival is rare – you get no warning that you’re about to keel over.
Wow. Only ten to fifteen seconds between the lungs being emptied of oxygen and the brain shutting down.