What will happen to a dead body in outer spaceBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/what-will-happen-to-a-dead-body-in-outer-space.html
It is well known that the body of a dead person changes over time. These changes begin immediately after death and become more obvious every hour. But how does the process of decomposition occur in space, where the conditions are radically different from those on Earth?
Under normal conditions, changes in the body begin with the appearance of pallor, and then cyanosis, which is associated with the cessation of filling large and small blood vessels with blood. When the heart stops functioning, gravity begins to control the fluids in the body — they accumulate in the lower part of the corpse. Blood, falling down, causes the appearance of cadaverous spots.
After a certain time, rigor mortis occurs — the muscles lose elasticity and become hard as wood. The body cools down and the change in its temperature depends on the surrounding conditions, the fat content in the tissues, the presence of medicines, alcohol and narcotic drugs in the body.
By comparing the signs of decomposition with the factors acting on the dead body, pathologists determine the time and even the place of death of a person. A huge role in changing the corpse is played by various bacteria that first destroy the internal organs.
The body retains its shape as long as the skin holds back the products of putrefaction, and when the skin is destroyed, it becomes difficult to identify the corpse. Is it worth reminding that these processes are accompanied by a terrible smell.
People have come up with many ways that allow you to slow down or even stop the decomposition processes for a certain time. The simplest of them is freezing, and more complex — different types of embalming. They preserve corpses for various purposes — to examine, transport, or give relatives the opportunity to say goodbye to the deceased.
In space, everything happens quite differently. There are several possible scenarios for how the body will change over time. Let's consider a situation when a body, for some reason, turned out to be in outer space without a spacesuit. If an internal or external heat source does not act on the corpse, it will freeze through very quickly.
Today, science cannot say exactly how long the body will be able to stay in such conditions without changes. It is possible that it will drift in airless space forever, if it is not attracted to a planet or a star. In this case, thermal radiation or radiation can heat the body and after that it will change beyond recognition or completely collapse.
It is quite another matter if a heat source acts on the corpse. For example, if the deceased will be in the outer layer of the atmosphere. There the body can get hot, but not to such an extent as to burn. The corpse is dehydrated and will resemble dried meat, and the rarefied medium will sterilize it. Since microorganisms play a key role in the decomposition process, it is quite possible that the body will be able to stay in orbit for many years without undergoing special changes.
If the body is in a spacesuit, it is important whether the heating will work. If so, the body will begin to decompose inside, as long as the temperature favorable for bacteria is maintained. If there is no heat source, then the spacesuit will not affect the safety of the tissues in any way and the corpse will freeze through as if it were without it.
Let us clarify that this is just a theory, and it is really very difficult to say how the decomposition processes will take place. A huge number of factors that can not always be predicted can make their own adjustments.