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Pretty Little Blood Snowflakes. The Science of The Expanse, Episode 7
We explore how real the science in science fiction is.
The Expanse has been painstakingly crafted to be as scientifically accurate as possible, so we'd be doing the whole universe a disservice if we didn't call out all of the minutiae that make the show the most realistic look at the future we've ever seen. We sat down with Daniel Abraham, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby, the co-creators and producers (Daniel is also 1/2 of the team that wrote the book series the show is based on) to get the lowdown on the insane level of detail and intricacy they put into the science we see in the show. But how real is it? Nerds, read on.
Q: At the beginning of episode seven, Bobbie is on the ground bleeding. If that actually happened, would blood get pulled out of her body?
DANIEL ABRAHAM: No. It wouldn’t get pulled out of your body. What you’re seeing are holes in her pressure suit. So you’re not seeing the vacuum pulling the actual blood out.
Q: Is it pulling blood from the vein at all?
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Maybe a little bit but it’s mostly the atmosphere from the suit going out. If it’s a small enough mass that it could radiate heat quickly, yeah, sure it could freeze. It will will certainly freeze eventually. The smaller it is the faster it loses energy and the quicker it freezes..
Q: Would the vaporized blood will crystalize into a snowflake?
Q: Yeah, but there’s a lot of water in blood, right?
DAN ABRAHAM: Sure, but there’s a lot of other stuff in blood too.
MARK FERGUS: There is a lot of water in it, so it could do that.
DAN ABRAHAM: It’s absolutely taken from existing text. One of the things that we’re experimenting with these days is the effect of magnetic fields on the brain including the part of your brain that controls moral choice. They have located the part of your brain that deals with right and wrong, and used magnetic fields to suppress it little.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Well, it’s a nootropic drug. We don’t specify exactly what it is, but it’s job is to increase focus, to cut away the distractions and to allow people to hyper-focus on whatever it is that they’re doing. It’s not unlike what we do with Ritalin.