Man Survives Losing Pressure in 1966 Moon Suit Experiment

A NASA experiment went awry when test subject Jim LeBlanc became the only man to survive near vacuum pressures.

In 1966, NASA space suit technician Jim LeBlanc entered a vacuum chamber to test an early Moon suit. Somehow the pressurization hose attached to the suit detached, causing rapid depressurization from 3.8 psi to 0.1 psi in 10 seconds. LeBlanc lost consciousness after 15 seconds. As he fell backward, he said the last thing he remembered was feeling the saliva on his tongue bubbling.

The chamber, which usually takes 30 minutes to pressurize, was brought back to atmospheric pressure in 30 seconds so LeBlanc could be retrieved. He survived with little more than an earache.

Jim LeBlanc inside the vacuum chamber
Jim LeBlanc inside the vacuum chamber

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