Re: xenonauts

Date: Thu Jul 05 2001 - 22:35:07 MDT

spike writes:
> The noble gas xenon is chemically similar to helium,
> except for being nearly 33 times denser. If a person
> were to be placed in a pressure chamber with oxygen held at
> 0.2 atmospheres, then xenon added until the total pressure came
> up to about 190 atmospheres, the density of the gas mixture
> in the chamber would be about equal to that of water. The
> person would then float. It would simulate weightlessness
> better than being in water, since the xenonaut could breathe the
> medium in which she was floating.

It's a fascinating idea, I wouldn't have realized that a gas could become
so dense at what is in many ways a moderate pressure.

However the question is, can people withstand such pressures? The deepest
dive record I found on one site was 2250 feet in 1981, breathing a mixture
of N, O, and He. That would be about 70 atmospheres. Could people
withstand 2-3 times more? Maybe the record has been improved since 1981.


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