Astronaut Chris Hadfield Debunks Space Myths | WIRED

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield helps debunk (and confirm!) some common myths about space. Is there any sound in space? Does space smell like burnt steak? Is NASA working on warp speed?

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield Debunks Space Myths | WIRED
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Five four three two one hi i'm commander . chris hadfield astronaut spaceship . commander space walker part-time. musician i'm here today to hopefully . debunk some common space myths here's . this common perception that you will . immediately fry to a crisp by the . unfiltered unadulterated solar radiation . if you get sucked out of the airlock in . truth it's way worse than that in the . shade in space it's like minus 250 . degrees but the part of you that's in . the sun it's plus 250 degrees at least . so it's gonna start boiling and burning . so it's like lying on a red-hot stove . with a piece of dry ice on your back and . your lungs are gonna be sucked flat . instantaneously but even worse than that . is your blood is gonna boil like opening . a can of pop where suddenly that all the . little bubbles come out because there's . no air pressure around you so . simultaneously you are going to freeze . boil burn get the bends and no longer be . able to breathe not a good way to go . i've done two spacewalks and i was very . thankful to have a spacesuit around my . body so that none of those things that . happen to me . [music]. sometimes you hear that you have to work . out constantly or you will pass out and . possibly die in space not true living on . a spaceship is the most lazy existence . you can imagine you're weightless you do . not have to lift a finger you don't have . to hold your head up your heart doesn't . have to lift your blood against gravity . you can be the laziest person in the . universe in space but eventually you . need to come back to earth and if you . don't exercise for your whole 6 months . in space you're sort of turn into a . jellyfish so we do exercise two hours a . day on a spaceship we have a resistive. machine we have a unicycle and we have a . treadmill where elastics hold us down . just to keep our bodies strong enough . and our bones dense enough so when we . get home we don't just fall over like a . pole but you don't need to work out . you've probably heard that space has a . smell maybe like burnt steak or some . type of barbecue that's true when you . come in from a spacewalk you're . surrounded by the emptiness of space . it's sort of like the opposite of air . there's nothing there at all when you . quickly repressurize the hatch and you . open up the hatch and you smell what is . that lingering smell from a place that . used to be exposed to space but smell in . there is a little bit like that trace of . a smell of gunpowder or a burnt steak or . to me it's sort of like brimstone like a . which has just been there it's a cool . lingering trace of a smell i think what . it really is is the emptiness of space . the vacuum of space is actually pulling . trace chemicals out of the metal of the . walls of the ship little bits of stuff . you never smell because normally there's. air pressure holding them into the metal . they're slowly off gassing those tiny . little trace gasses and trace particles . that otherwise they never get into your . nose and those are released sort of that . metallic gunpowder fired smell that's . where the smell is coming from maybe . it's not even coming from space it's . just sort of coming from spaces effect . on our ship yeah in truth smells a . little bit like a burnt steak . so there's a lot of word out there that . if you go incredibly fast like the speed . of light if you could travel at the. speed of light that you won't age and . despite thousands of years going by . you'll stay the same but everybody that . you know will die that's not really true . einstein called it relativity because . what he meant was your aging will be . different relative to people's aging on . earth . you'll still age time will still pass . for you but people on earth will age at . a different rate so that if you came . back after going incredibly fast you . would have gotten older by the amount of . time that it took for you to travel but . people on earth would have aged much . much faster they would have had a longer . period of time because even get going . fast enough your speed is sort of . proportional to the time passing so. you'll still age but you just ain't a . different rate than people back on earth . einstein did this cool thought. experiment imagine if you were looking . at a clock that the light from the clock . is coming and hitting your eyeballs and . telling you it's 12 o'clock i'll imagine . if you could move away from that clock . at the speed of light it would only say . 12 o'clock because that light and you . would be moving away from the clock at . the same speed so for you it would look . like it was always 12 o'clock forever . you'd still be getting older but that . clock would always look like it was the . same time the people on earth were . continuing to live they're not aware of . you go on the speed of light so you can . see that the time for you because of . your speed is relatively different than . the time for the people on earth it's a . really unusual thing to try and grasp in . your head what happens when something. blows up in space if something explodes . in space will it make a sound and could . a human hear it it's a pretty easy . question to answer the sun is just an . explosion the sun is the biggest . explosion any of us can imagine it's a . huge continuous thermonuclear explosions. every atom bomb we've ever built way . more than that continuously exploding it . would be the loudest thing imaginable . it's constantly happening but we don't . hear a whisper of it and that's because . there's nothing to carry the sound from . the sun to us even though it's . incredibly violent there's nowhere for . the pressure of all of that sound all of . that noise to be carried across the . emptiness of space to shake my eardrum . in. and let me hear the sound of the sun . it's a good thing it'd be deafening so . if something explodes in space it makes . sound but there's no way for that sound . to be carried across space so that i . could hear there is this idea out there . that maybe the only way that we could . really create gravity is to spin the . spaceship so that everybody is stuck to . the sides like one of those rides at the . fair where you're pinned against the . wall and for now that's actually true we . don't know how to control gravity we . have no way to control gravity we can . sort of pretend there's gravity by . spinning a ship and everything stick to . the sides like a ball on the end of a . string maybe someday we'll figure out . how to control gravity but for now we . have to spin the whole ship only in the . middle would they be weightless i've . seen that people think that nasa is . working on warp speed so that we can . travel at the speed of light to . interstellar planets warp speed is an . invention of science fiction if we knew . how to work on warp speed we would we . don't know how to go anywhere near the . speed of light it takes an unlimited . amount of energy the faster you go the . more energy it takes a equals mc squared . it goes up with the square of the speed . in fact so how can you generate that . much electricity and what does it do to . your mast we don't know we think maybe . it's possible that you could go faster . than the speed of light but we sure . don't understand how right now so we're . not really working on it so it's not . really true we're hoping for . in so many movies you see that the only . way that they survive interstellar . travel from one star to another is to . freeze yourself into cryo sleep we don't . know how to do that right now when you . freeze water which is what we're mostly . made of our blood and everything it goes . into crystals it turns into ice crystals . and if you allow the beautiful delicate . nature of your human body to expand into . ice crystals it'll destroy the structure . of you it'll kill you you know frostbite . destroys it so that you get gangrene in . your hand you'd end up with entirely . destroyed body so right now we do not . know how to successfully freeze a human. body so that it is not going to be . permanently destroyed maybe we'll figure . it out someday but all of those movies . that rely on freezing the crew we don't . know how to do that it's not real you . see on the internet all the time someone . has built a balloon and they've launched . some little figurine with a camera. attached to it where they take a picture . way up high in the atmosphere you can . see the curvature of the earth it's . pretty cool but there's some people . thinking you could fly yourself all the . way up to the stratosphere with some . sort of high-altitude balloon you can . actually but it's really complicated . felix baumgartner when he did his his. leap out of a balloon and actually go . through the speed of sound falling down. towards the earth and landing with a . parachute he was way up into the . stratosphere the stratosphere starts at . about six or seven miles up it's not all . that high then that goes on for a long . way there's not enough air to breathe . you kind of need to have an airliner . with the pressure inside to keep your . body healthy if you're that high but if . you take the right equipment with you . yes we can use a balloon to lift us high . enough to get all the way up into the . stratosphere so if you have the right . equipment it's true . you've probably read somewhere on the . internet that if you go to the space . station your body will get taller sort . of expand and it'll be painful and . you're gonna be taller forever an . irreversible experience and it's not . really true as i'm standing here talking . right now gravity is pushing me down . towards the floor every single bone in . my body and a little bit of gristle . that's in between the bones like each of . the vertebra of my back everyone has a . little disk in between each of the bones . and even my hip bones on my knee bones . there's a little bit of a gap well if . there's no gravity pushing me down and . those gaps can all get a tiny bit bigger . if you stay in weightlessness for a few . weeks in fact your body just sort of . stretches because the gap between each . of the bones gets a little bigger and in . my case i got about that much taller but . you aren't really taller you're just . sort of temporarily longer but it's not . permanent as soon as you get home and . gravity starts doing its its work on you . and grinding you down everything. squishes back down to its launch so you . maybe for a little while a little bit . taller in space and it may hurt your . back a little cuz everything's sort of . getting pulled tight some people have . back pain in space as a result but it's . not really growing it's just sort of . stretching to your natural maximum that. you're gonna get squished back again as . soon as you get home if you do get maybe . that much longer after you've been in . space for a few weeks . think what your pants would be like . you're you know they're gonna they're . gonna be high above your ankle and if . you put on a spacesuit who custom-fit . the spacesuit to the size of your body . but we know it's going to happen so we . actually plan in advance we fit our . spacesuits knowing that the astronauts . are gonna be a little bit taller when . they're in space or at least their . bodies are gonna be a little bit . stretched and even the seat that . protects us when we come back to earth a . crash seat so that when we hit the . ground it protects us properly we allow . for the fact that our back bones are . gonna be slightly longer when we're up . there but your clothes you don't really . know how they fit because you're . floating around weightless your shirt is . always floating around your body so you . never really have a sense up there how . well your clothes fit just because . there's no gravity to pull them down and . look and see how well they're fitting on . your body it's more like they're just . floating next . i've read somewhere that onboard the . international space station bacteria . multiplies ten times faster in space so . if you get sick your body is gonna be . like torn apart by this ravenous strain. of mutant salmonella now it is a . different place than earth the space . station we run around with little swabs. all the time to measure what microbes . and what viruses and what little tiny . bits of life might be growing on the . spaceship we also go around with little . cleaners and wet wipes and wipe down the . whole space station all the time like in . a hospital to try and keep the whole . thing clean and hygienic and we are . finding that some of those primitive . forms of life do mutate slightly. differently in the high radiation . weightless environment of the spaceship. but no one has died yet because of the . mutant salmonella i'm chris hadfield . hopefully this has helped answer some of . those comments basements . .
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