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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,537
# 19
07-16-2012, 04:48 PM
Originally Posted by nynik View Post
Well I would assume "pressures" means more along the lines of the effects of temperature on materials, the transitions from hot to cold to hot places materials under certain stresses, even in space. That or he means space barnacles.
No, atmospheric pressure is a consideration, too. Pressure is never the direct concern, pressure differential is. If the pressure is equal inside and out, even if that pressure is very very great, the skin can be made of tinfoil and it'll be fine. But if the interior pressure is higher or lower than the exterior pressure, the skin has to withstand that pressure differential.

A spacecraft or station with an internal pressure of 1 atmosphere has to withstand the same pressure differential as a vacuum depressurized vessel at sea level, just focused in the opposite direction. That changes how the force is applied and how the structure has to bear it, but not the amount of force.

Real world spacecraft get around the problem by having a much lower pressure than 1 atmosphere, but the differential is still bigger than an airplane with a pressurized cabin, and those can already blow out damaged windows just from pressure differential.

Last edited by hevach; 07-16-2012 at 04:52 PM.