Would a spaceship explode in space?

Solon Marquardt asked a question: Would a spaceship explode in space?
Asked By: Solon Marquardt
Date created: Sun, Mar 14, 2021 9:25 PM

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Those who are looking for an answer to the question «Would a spaceship explode in space?» often ask the following questions:

❓ Would a spaceship explode in space look like?

An explosion in space would realistically look like a brief spherical burst of light moving outwards, as well as a discharge of energy and material from the exploding object (energy and light can both travel in a vacuum). For a moment, the area around the exploding ship would no longer be a vacuum, given the outpouring of oxygen from the ship.

❓ Can a spaceship explode in space?

Not only can a spacecraft explode in space, it has actually happened already. See Apollo 13 - Wikipedia It is true that the effects of explosions in space are limited to the immediate vicinity of the part that explodes. In Apollo 13, an oxygen tank exploded after a spark occurred inside the tank.

❓ When did spaceship columbia explode in space?

The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was a fatal incident in the United States space program that occurred on February 1, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it reentered the atmosphere, killing all seven crew members.

10 other answers

Yes, provided there is an oxidizer. A spaceship with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen will blow up quite well in the vacuum of space. Chemical explosives will also explode in space since they function by breaking weakly bonded chemical components; no oxygen is necessary. Nuclear explosions can of course occur in space, too.

Not only can a spacecraft explode in space, it has actually happened already. See Apollo 13 - Wikipedia It is true that the effects of explosions in space are limited to the immediate vicinity of the part that explodes. In Apollo 13, an oxygen tank exploded after a spark occurred inside the tank.

An explosion in space would realistically look like a brief spherical burst of light moving outwards, as well as a discharge of energy and material from the exploding object (energy and light can both travel in a vacuum). For a moment, the area around the exploding ship would no longer be a vacuum, given the outpouring of oxygen from the ship.

What we usually think of as “exploding in a vacuum” is usually in reference to a body or a space ship. The reason these would explode is because they have gasses (air) inside them. Air is effected by pressure – if it is in high pressure, it is compressed, and gets smaller. If it is low pressure, it expand, and gets bigger.

This may have been an unintended consequence for the citizens of Hawaii, but it also showed scientists and researchers the true power that a nuke in space could have. It could effectively cripple a nation’s infrastructure, without physically destroying any of it! Now, consider the size of the bomb used in Starfish Prime (1.4 megatons).

Hannah - In the vacuum of space where it's a low pressure, water boils at a lower temperature. It expands, creating gas and this could possibly cause you to explode or if you're sitting in the Earth's orbit, you'll eventually end up at about 4 degrees Celsius in the sun. If you're in-between galaxies however, with no stars or hot sun around you, you'll end up about minus 270

The body will not however explode even when exposed to vacuum with no pressure suit nor pressure vessel such as a space ship or space station. Both suits and the station keep the body sufficiently pressurized to prevent any of the above effects.

The most serious dangers of exposure to outer space are a lack of oxygen and ebullism. Ebullism is the formation of bubbles in body fluids due to a reduction in ambient pressure.

The difference in internal tire pressure in Earth's atmosphere and absence of atmospheric pressure in vacuum of space is only 4.3 - 4.9%. Tires would experience far more dynamic pressure environment due to friction heating and pressure of weight of the orbiter during landing (240,000 lbs / 109,000 kg) at contact speeds up to 260 mph (418 km/h) than those ~ 5%.

I can unequivocally and without a doubt say that it would not explode. The air would leak out from around the shaft that makes the screw go around, but you'd likely weld that shut before spending several billion dollars flying something that heavy that high. You'd also have to seal a few cable ways but sonar doesn't work in space, so no big loss.

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