Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 1 decade ago

In the Space Shuttle air lock, is the air pumped into storage tanks or exhausted it into space?

Dumping the air means losing that amount inside the air lock, but pumping uses an increasing amount of energy as vacuum is obtained.

8 Answers

  • B.
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Excellent question.

    I gave you a star.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    The oxygen will freeze/vaporize depending on whether its released in sunlight or in the shadow of a super massive object (such as the earth). Ignoring solar winds, gravitational forces would then most likely pull the substance down to the closest massive slowly (would fall down like a whirlpool essentially, but you're not asking an orbits question). Furthermore, if solar winds are considered AND the oxygen is far enough away from a super massive object, the winds and gravity gradients from the closest star and objects would push the oxygen through space, and rip it in separate directions until it disperses. Eventually each atom will end up so far apart from each other that it's existence will become negligible to the entity of space.

  • Bobby
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The air in the lock is vented to space as pressure (or lack of pressure) is equalized.

    To try to pump down to a vacuum in the airlock would, indeed, use up a lot of precious energy that may have been better put to use elsewhere in the craft.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's easier to carry an additional 300 cubic feet of oxygen in liquid form, and replace the air lost from a lock when it's vented, than it is to pump the air into tanks, so it's simply dumped overboard.

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  • Cirric
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Hi. Good question. Most airlocks are vented. The whole ship was vented during Gemini spacewalks.

  • 1 decade ago

    its exhausted into space

  • 1 decade ago

    great question,, you have a star from me as well,

  • 1 decade ago

    it is reused or a rebreather for diving.

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