Without Air

Human life can exist only in the presence of appropriately composed gaseous air: on the one hand, because life is a combustion phenomenon and, therefore, requires for its maintenance a permanent supply of oxygen, which the human organism, however, can only obtain from gaseous air by breathing; and, on the other hand, because the body must always be surrounded by a certain pressure, without which its water content would vaporize and the vessels would burst. It is necessary to provide a manmade supply of air if our terrestrial life is to be maintained in empty space.

To accomplish this, people in empty space must always be completely surrounded by absolutely airtight enclosures, because only within such capsules can the air be artificially maintained at the appropriate pressure and in the correct composition by automatic equipment.

Actually, we are only concerned with larger enclosed spaces extending from the size of a closet up to the size of an entire building, because only the latter would be possible for a longer stay. The walls of these structures would have to be built in accordance with the fundamentals of steam boiler construction because they have to withstand an internal air pressure (relative to empty space) of 1 atmosphere; they should not only have an appropriate strength but also curved surfaces if at all possible, because flat ones require special braces or supports in view of the over pressure. The nitrogen necessary for the air, and especially the oxygen, would always have to be maintained in sufficient supply in the liquid state in their own tanks through continual resupply from Earth.

However, in order to exist also outside of enclosed capsules of this type in empty space, airtight suits would have to be used, whose interior is also supplied automatically with air by attached devices. Such suits would be quite similar to the familiar underwater diving suits. We will call them "space suits." The subject of space suits will be addressed in more detail later.

It can be seen that we are dealing here with problems similar to those of remaining under water, that is, with submarine technology and diving practices. On the basis of the extensive experiences already gathered there on the question of supplying air artificially, it can be stated that this problem, without question, is entirely solvable also for a stay in empty space.

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