This is what happens when an astronaut’s skin is exposed to outer space.

Ever heard about the famous astronaut Joe Kittinger?

Joe Kittinger realised his glove had a leak on his way up while he was making his long-standing and record-breaking sky-dive in 1959 from 100,000 ft. Instead of calling the mission off, he decided to continue with the dive without informing mission control.

At 100,000ft, the pressure from atmosphere was around 1.3% of sea level, and therefore mechanically very close to a vacuum which is normally used for practical purposes. The pressure suit that Joe Kittinger was wearing maintained pressure over the rest of his body. However, his hand was exposed to an extremely low pressure for most of the 90mins ascent, the 12mins wait at altitude right before he jumped, and the final 4mins fall.

The resultant effect made Kittinger’s hand swell up to double its normal size and became painful. He couldn’t use the hand for a while. When he finally returned to normal pressure, the swelling in his hand reduced and he regained its use again within a few hours. However, at this time, it was already severely bruised and remained that way for several days.

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