I'm working on a short sci-fi game and I'm curious about how the effects of a hull breach in a confined area play out. For perspective, let's say a very confined space of 100 cubic feet of normal, livable atmosphere, with one person inside wearing regular clothes. If it takes 30 minutes for the atmosphere to fully escape, what would happen over that time span?
I've read quite a bit about the effects of vacuum on people and water, etc., but it's always described as if there is immediately no pressure. One second you're fine and the next, you're in space. How things play out as a vacuum builds over a period of time, I have not found anything of substance.
Here are some of my basic questions, and it doesn't need to be an exact time stamps, just an approximation [30:00, 27:00, 24:00, 21:00...]
1.) When would someone become confused? When would they have laboured breath? When would they pass out?
2.) Would it get cold? Would condensation ever form/freeze on surfaces during this time? Would a person get hypothermia?
3.) Would they feel their tongue boil before they pass out? Would vision be affected?
4.) Would they experience swelling of hands and face? Would it be hard to bend their joints and grasp things?
5.) What size of hole would deplete the atmosphere in 30 minutes? Would you hear a whistling?
6.) If noise was occurring from any source, would it become more silent as time goes on... or just stop all together at some point?
7.) Bonus question: If the person had a regular oxygen mask (like a fighter pilot), how would it change the way this plays out? Can they even use the mask effectively after a certain period of time?
Just looking for perspective mostly (there are so many factors at play) and feel free to bring attention to things that I might not have thought of. I figured this was probably the best place to ask a question like this. The alternative is that I use "movie logic" to write this scenario and I'd rather not go there. ;-) Thank you.
Wow! Thank you all so much for your input thus far. I'll be going through the suggestions and piecing together a proposed time line of medical and environmental variables soon and update this question with that for your opinion and critique.
Note: I refrained from delving into the specifics of the scenario for fear that it might be moved to one of the writing exchange sections. However, some here have questioned about sensor alarms and such so I'll provide a little more context for the curious, but let's keep the feedback centered on the medical and science side as much as possible.
Basically, it's a puzzle/escape room scenario. You're a pilot in a small, short-range, single cockpit star-fighter. You open your eyes to an alarm describing that you have X minutes until life support fails. Your ship is badly damaged and spinning uncomfortably though debris and wreckage. Not all thrusters or systems work. Evidence of a massive battle is all around. So yes, the alarm is happening and you've just come to from what can only be a massive impact in the time leading up to now. I envisioned a hull breach to be the catalyst for the timer.
I'd like an engaged, panicked pilot who succumbs after 20 minutes, if they can't reach safety in time. Being a pilot, in a rudimentary ship (the sudden war forced massive manufacturing efforts to get war ships in space ASAP), I figured he would have an oxygen mask and a regular jumpsuit. Because it's a game of choice, you can choose not to put the mask on and deal with the consequences (why I needed that information). However, the oxygen mask does seem integral in prolonging the available time.
I would like it to somehow get cold temperatures and ice to build up in the cockpit, but it's not critical to the story. My goal is for realism, first and foremost. From what I can gather, one of the last remaining things is, what would the temperature be over the course of the atmosphere escaping in a non-linear way. It starts at approximately 22 celcius. Though I imagine the cockpit is well insulated and your character is wearing a jumpsuit so unless it's a chore to keep the ISS heated, this might be an element of story telling to abandon.
I'll update this again as soon as I can.