The Only Person who Survived in Vacuum

By Anupum Pant

There was an accident at NASA when they were testing the space suits for the Apollo moon missions. To recreate the situation the suit had to face on moon, a large vacuum chamber, with other chambers on the outside which had successively decreasing pressures, was constructed.

A NASA spacesuit technician, Jim LeBlanc was the test subject to test this suit out on December 14, 1966. Somehow when he was going through the test, the tube which was supposed to pressurize his suit was disconnected. His suit pressure dropped from 3.8 PSI to 0.1 PSI in less than 10 seconds. But in the end, he survived and became the first and only person to survive in near-vacuum pressure.

Normally, to re-pressurize the chamber it would have taken about 30 minutes. But the experimenters had to rush and did this re-pressurization in about 90 seconds, which could have done a lot of damage to LeBlanc’s hearing and other sensitive parts of the body. However, he gained consciousness all fine and everything was perfectly al right.

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