Some space suits are designed to provide an atmosphere of 100% oxygen but at a reduced air pressure about 20% that of sea level.

Is breathing in such a suit uncomfortable? It seems like having such a reduced mass/pressure of air might feel strange or uncomfortable, despite having all the oxygen necessary. Do we have record of any astronauts commenting on this?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Breathing at higher pressure (up to 5 bar) does not feel very different in personal experience. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Sep 6 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ I also wonder how the process of depressurization feels. Stupid 10mbar when driving down a steep hill makes one's ears feel stuffed and pop. I imagine going 70 times that much can't be very comfortable. $\endgroup$ – SF. Sep 6 at 17:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @SF. With some experience and training as well as healthy ears pressure changes during scuba diving are no problem. You should be able to equalize your ears easily. Much more than 10 mbar difference. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Sep 6 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ Former astronaut Tom Jones gives a very detailed story on the sensations of doing an EVA in his book Skywalking. I quoted some excerpts from it in this answer about sounds during EVA space.stackexchange.com/a/44285/6944 He does not mention any effects of the lower pressure except how it made his voice sound. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 6 at 18:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @SF Of course, driving down a steep hill presents a pressurization, vice a depress, event... $\endgroup$ – Digger Oct 6 at 14:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.