If you threw a piece of food into space, would it freeze?

Find out why there are no take-aways in space


Internal heat can be maintained in space, but external cannot. Image credit: NASA

Asked by Keith Ferdowsian

The low-pressure environment would likely cause any liquid in the food to boil and evaporate away. This would produce a cooling effect, which is what would freeze the food. Due to the lack of an atmosphere and the fact that space is generally considered to be cold, it is difficult to transfer heat away from an object. This means that, typically, internal heat can be reasonably well maintained. The human body, for example, is more at risk from excess body heat. The issue of heating can also be exacerbated by sunlight – with no atmosphere to absorb energy of sunlight, being directly-lit can result in high temperatures being reached. This combination makes space a very tricky environment to work in.

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