Question: You are in space, have 40 minutes of oxygen left. how will you use your time??

  1. watch the stars and try to remember nice things like times with my wife and kids, students who I trained to be scientists etc etc.

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  2. Not sure whether I would remain cool in that situation, so part of that valuable time might go off to panic or shock reactions. The more substantial part, though, would probably be devoted to trying to communicate a farewell to my family and friends (and be this by forming a particular knot or scratching a message on my helmet), and some minutes in between to my life, the peculiarities of my situation (is there really no way out?) and the spectacular views I get on the planet (I assume we are orbiting Earth) and “my” space ship, as well as to the question of what celestial object my corpse would eventually collide with, and when.

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  3. Writing a letter to my children and wife.

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  4. 1) Holding my breath
    2) Trying to fix whatever it is that’s stopping the oxygen being recycled
    3) Staring wistfully into space thinking how beautiful it is and how privileged I am to have lived at all

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Comments

  1. Great answers, scientists.

    Also :) at Ian…

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  2. Great question, even better answers! 😉

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  3. A variant of this question is the basis for an online game, Superstruct: “a supercomputer has calculated that humans have only 23 years left on the planet”.

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