Re: [GZG Fiction] Seventy Dead after Freighter Accident
From: Roger Burton West <roger@f...>
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2004 21:49:15 +0000
Subject: Re: [GZG Fiction] Seventy Dead after Freighter Accident
On Fri, Jan 23, 2004 at 03:16:26PM -0800, Brian Burger wrote:
>Minor quibble: How does a fire burn for over an hour in vacumn?
>Explosions, sure, but smoke & flames in vacumn?
Oh, ho ho! Evacuating air is _no_ way to stop a fire in space - the
burning stuff just sits there, very nearly as hot as it was, until you
let the air back in, at which point it happily goes "foosh".
That's assuming there's no combustible oxygen in the burning material
itself, of course - many plastics will happily keep smouldering in
If you have a fire in zero-G which is relying on atmospheric oxygen,
it'll tend to "burn out" quite quickly since it can't draw in oxygen by
convection. Until you turn on the circulation fans or start
accelerating, of course... because as before it's sitting there hot,
waiting for more oxygen.
The space shuttles carry bottles of pressurised Freon-1301 (or at least
they did a few years ago, not sure whether they've now refitted with the
CO2 system they were contemplating at the time, but probably not since
it's just too bulky) and Halon-1301 hand extinguishers. Extinction by
vacuum is _not_ a standard procedure.
Roger (did some research in this a few years ago)