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Old 07-21-2016, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
They didn't, thank goodness and one small step and giant leap and all that, but... Let's suppose that they had died on the moon and we were unable to retrieve them until now.

I recently read that the flag on the moon is probably completely white now. What would likely be the condition of the remains of the astronauts be like by now? Let's assume that one was still in his space suit outside the module, which would've run out of oxygen in a few days, and another was out of his spacesuit inside the module out of sunlight. Would they be mummified? Freeze dried? Recognizable?

Just curious.
My WAG is that due to the extremes from direct sunlight to shadow that the body would degrade outside, and while there was still atmosphere in the suit, which would take some time to completely leak out (same with internal temperature initially, due to the suits seals and insulation). So, my WAG is that body would go through some decomposition and disintegration before finally freeze drying whatever organics would be left, leaving essentially a skeleton with perhaps some organics still on the bones.

The body inside might fare a bit better, and perhaps would still be recognizable, though as a freeze dried mummy sort of recognition. I THINK the shelter of the space craft would be a better shield and would allow the body to decay somewhat, but degrade less.

I'm sure someone here can find some sort of NASA paper on this, though, as I'm sure they have something. In The Martin they posited that the main characters body would be basically there 'forever' and I think they mentioned that it would be mainly intact, but no idea if this is like the 'wind' that picks up the antenna or the magic relationship between NASA and the Chinese or like the more scientific parts of the book/movie.

Last edited by XT; 07-21-2016 at 08:16 PM.