Think about how you suit up when you go outside on a cold winter's day. You have your shirt, pants, sweater, perhaps long underwear, jacket, gloves, hat or hood, scarf and boots. You put on quite a bit of clothing to protect you from the cold.
Now, imagine what you would have to put on to protect you from outer space. Space suits must provide all of the comfort and support that the Earth or a spacecraft does, addressing issues like atmosphere, water and protection from radiation.
Outer space is an extremely hostile place. If you were to step outside a spacecraft and you weren't wearing a space suit, the following things could happen:
- You could become unconscious within 15 seconds because there's no oxygen.
- Your tissues (skin, heart, other internal organs) could expand because of the boiling fluids.
- You could face extreme changes in temperature. For example, in the sunlight temperatures might reach 248 degrees F (120 degrees C) and plummet to -148 F ( -100 C) in the shade.