From wikipedia:

Before opening either door, the air pressure of the airlock—the space between the doors—is equalized with that of the environment beyond the next door to open

Anyone knows how this work? What the mechanism make possible "equalize" the air pressure between the doors? For example, in the ISS (International Space Station).


each "end" of the airlock has a valve in it which, when opened, allows the pressure between the inside of the airlock chamber and the pressure inside the adjacent chamber to equalize. Once this is done, the equalizing valve is shut and then the door to the adjacent chamber can safely be opened.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do they just vent the gas into space? $\endgroup$ – joojaa Aug 11 '18 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ @joojaa Yes, exactly. $\endgroup$ – Eric S Aug 11 '18 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ @EricShain Seems wasteful. But that's certainly the fast way to go about things. But i suppose having a pump to recover the atmosphere may not be cost efficient. $\endgroup$ – joojaa Aug 11 '18 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ @joojaa Pumps are heavy. It’s about the cost of lifting mass to orbit. $\endgroup$ – Eric S Aug 11 '18 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ @EricShain Please provide a source of your info, and to which airlocks it applies. The systems vary. Reduced pressure soaks (called camping out) are used to prevent the bends. I believe in some units this is pumped down and recovered, but haven't found a source. $\endgroup$ – Phil Sweet Aug 11 '18 at 16:06

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