In the chosen answer for What size hole in the International Space Station would be catastrophic, we find that a 0.6cm hole would depressurize the ISS to life threatening levels in 14 hours. A 20cm hold would do the same in 20 seconds.

The first step to dealing with such an emergency would be to isolate the astronauts in a non-leaky module. How long does it take the astronauts to isolate themselves in a safe module?

  • $\begingroup$ My guess is that the actuaries requested such numbers before construction began. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Dec 1, 2021 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ My notes are too old (pre Crew Dragon) to answer this :( $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2021 at 20:50
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh When I wrote the question, I assumed that in such a catastrophic incident, one would act quickly, and isolate any module that happens to be convenient. Organic Marble's comment now makes me wonder if the procedures always isolate the astronauts in an escape vehicle (Dragon/Soyuz). In such a case, the particular vehicle's quirks would be quite important. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Dec 2, 2021 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble An answer for an older procedure would be applicable. Although I admit that its a fascinating thought that the emergency procedures might have changed enough with Dragon to materially change the rate at which they can be accomplished, like how seatbelts changed cars. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Dec 2, 2021 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ In the "old days" - prior to Crew Dragon and MLM - the crew would shelter in the MRMs to which their Soyuzes were docked as well illustrated on page 349 of nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/… Isolating a module involves a bit more than closing the hatch - when the crew or the onboard system triggers the alarm, there is a software controlled response that closes intermodule ventilation valves, etc. But the ISS now is sufficiently different from "my day" that I don't know how applicable all this is. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2021 at 20:33


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