Not funny anymore
- Feb 6, 2008
- Reaction score
Depends on how rapid the depressurization is. When the crew has many hours before it would run out of oxygen, the standard procedure contains locating the leak and seal it.1. What is the emergency procedure in the case of rapid depressurisation? Are there things that seal shut the affected modules or something? How big would a hole in, say, a window need to be for a rapid depresurisation to take place?
In cases, where only a few minutes would be left (similar to Mir), the crew would either attempt to seal the then known module from the rest of the station (for example Columbus) or directly flee to the Soyuz (or docked Shuttle) and wait for further orders after sealing the hatches.
A hole does not need to be very large, 2mm diameter is enough for causing trouble, but the large volume of the ISS means it would require quite a large hole (more than 1 cm) for causing instant rapid depressurization.
Locating leaks and reacting to them is part of standard ISS training.
The modules have generally 4.5m diameter on the outside and the inside is about 2.2m x 2.2m across. How cramped it gets depends on many factors, most important:2. How big are the interior of these modules? Does it tend to get cramped up there?
- Age of the modules: Older modules have more stuff stowed and experiments installed.
- Activity: Where more work is done, more stuff likes to be stowed inside the walls
The most cramped part of the ISS is most likely the FGB, which is used as "space attic" currently, followed by the service module.
There is a standard orientation of the ISS, putting the Russian modules into the aft direction of flight because of their maneuver capability and the US module in front.3. Is there a definate front and back of the ISS? Do they tend to point one direction prograde most of the time, or do they do a flip-the-coin (as impossible as that would be on the ISS) and say "Ha, looks like the Ruskies are being blasted by the Sun for the next quater orbit"? Not that I have anything against Ruskies
This orientation is also used for designating the names of the payload racks: Forward, Aft, Port, Starboard, Overhead and Down.